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We Need a True Minecraft-ish Survival Game

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Random thought this evening… I’d like a true survival game using the Minecraft voxel style gameplay.

Perhaps minus the ability to absolutely destroy everything and dig into the ground, but similar to the voxel build-what-you-want system.  I feel like Minecraft itself doesn’t have true survival anymore. Booting up a fresh game, even on vanilla, is trivialized by a simple wall and a door. The true ‘survival’ progression feel present in a game like The Long Dark, for instance, could be fun.

Then there’s the survival style where you’re playing in a King of the Hill setting like PUBG. I think a Minecraft-ish voxel world PUBG would be awesome. Adding the ability to build using resources you harvest/find and having to get ammunition would be cool.

Maybe even a Fortnite style game using a Minecraft model. That’d be pretty sweet to have to defend a Minecraft player-built base against waves of zombies, and having other players out in the world being able to interact with you.

I’ve always been a fan of the old school “Island Troll Tribes” mod for Warcraft 3. You basically load into the world as a troll and have to survive. You find things in the world (map) and combine them to make a campfire so you don’t freeze, or combine them into a weapon to hunt and fight off other players. That would be insanely fun in a voxel world.

Why Minecraft and voxels? I think it blends two things I really like: Stylized graphics (borderline cute stuff) and simplicity. Graphics and pushing the envelop with visuals have really swapped gameplay for visuals. We’re getting dumbed down simplistic gameplay that lacks depth because it’s hidden behind a pretty facade. Simpler, less visually stunning games had ridiculous depth — sometimes over the top — because our suspension of disbelief went so much further.

Have I missed a game out there kind of like PUBG or Island Troll Tribes but built using Minecraft-like systems?

  • Have you tried 7 days to die?
    Might not tick all your boxes but sure is a survival builder.

    • Thanks for the recommendation! I haven’t tried 7 Days to Die yet. I looked it up and found it on steam. Looks a little more gritty and similar to the other survival games out there. I’d want something that’s incredibly builder-oriented–Like dropping actual blocks.

      • I was actually coming here to suggest 7 Days to Die as well. The deve team was originally inspired by Minecraft, and used to have the blocky aesthetics you are asking for. It’s turned into its own game over the years, and really just keeps getting better.

        But as for building, it still uses a block-based system and is very, very building-oriented if that’s what you enjoy. There’s even a creative mode for those who just want the freedom to build without zombie survival.

        I agree it’s more realistic and more gritty, but having put hundreds of hours into this game, I highly recommend it. I love taking a random broken down house I come across, and eventually building it up into a protected fort. Every 7 nights, a zombie horde comes to test your build, and it’s fun to find ways to combat them (there are many different kinds of zombies with different kinds of attacks).

        With the new painting feature, you can now make your base look the way you want to, as well. Here’s the newest base my team has been working on, that I’ve painted up to look like brick (actually steel and concrete blocks under the paint):

        Anyhow, I second the above comment!

      • Dang you guys make it sound fun. Is it like a round-based game or MMO lobby style? Guess I could look these up.

      • You can play it single player (where you set up your own game perimeters) or you can join another person’s server from a server selector in the game. If you have friends who play it, you can jump on a private server or host one just for friends (which is what we do). Worlds can be a fixed map or randomly generated.

        It’s very much a survival sandbox. Take Minecraft and smooth out the land, give it more realistic graphics, but keep the block style building, and that’s 7D2D.

  • How in the world have I been reading your blog for so long now and never realized you have not played 7DtD???? I love this game, one of my favorite early access purchases. Yes it still has some rough edges (melee combat can be a real pain in the ass) but I think it is easily one of the best survival/crafting games out there.

    If you do try the game definitely go on the site and get the mod launcher and try VALMOD. It really enhances the experience and I love the idea of a class system and some decent starting loot to get going.

    Game really shines too when you play online with friends, just a blast.

      • Combat is actually the weakest part of the game in my opinion. As another person said running through old buildings to find materials is great fun and trying to come up with the best base possible to survive the hordes is a good time.

        In answer to your other question about structure.. the game is persistent. You spawn into either a set map or a random map and just wander off into the world to gather and craft and build. You can build from scratch or take over an old location like a house or a store and fortify it and try to make it better. Crafting recipes are unlocked via leveling a skill plus using various crafting stations that you either find in the world or craft yourself. The way you level your skills and such though is determined by what system you play in as there are various mods that add new skills, recipes and game mechanics. That being said you should definitely play it on pc as the console lags behind with features and does not have the vast modding community that pc has.

        The game is not perfect as the graphics can sometimes be a bit off putting but the crafting and building is great. There can be some bugs, especially if you play random maps, but I have not encountered anything that would make me tell someone to stay away from the game. You just have to approach it as an open ended building game. There is not story. There is no ‘end game’. It just is.

        If you guys enjoy it this is a game that really shines best when you have a closed server (have to protect against hackers) with a bunch of people on it so you can check out everyone’s creations in game and such. I was on a healthy server for about a year and just had a blast.

  • Here to concur with the recommendations to try 7DTD. Its got its issues but has been constantly evolving for awhile now and practically always for the better. Just do yourself a favor and watch a newbie guide video or something for the current patch. There is some in game tutorial quest stuff to point you in the right direction, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it left you wanting something more.

  • Minecraft does modpacks that can be closer to what you want. I searched your archives for mentions of Minecraft Modpack recommendations to make sure I didn’t repeat anything, here is one from 3 years ago, its mostly still relevant:

    There are several Mod Packs which have direction. A few of them even have a book of quests and numerous tweaks to give the game a theme. Crash Landing and Agrarian Skies are excellent examples of this.

    Others add more mechanics to survival modded minecraft to make progression a little more deliberate. Magic Farm 2 is a bit more challenging. BloodNBones is a LOT more challenging.

    The ones I mention are on the FTB launcher, some in the 3rd party packs. The ATLauncher has a variety of packs, some of which will give you something more directed than FTB Monster.

    (Turns out this was my post. I knew I wrote about this on someone’s blog, but wasn’t sure until I came across the post 🙂

    • Mods are cool, but I really would love a full game that other people actively sought out and played together. A Mod seems very private and small-scale.

      Would be awesome if a pre-packaged standalone game carried the same kind of customization and uniqueness as a Minecraft themed survival game.