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9 new survival games to play in 2021

Surviving 2020 was tough, but now it is time for a new challenge. A virtual one, at least, as we hope you all stay safe. To feel the adrenaline rushing again, here is a selection of the new and recent promising survival games to play in 2021.

Valheim

Developer: Iron Gate AB
Publisher: Coffee Stain Studios
Release Date: February 2, 2021
Platforms: PC, Linux

Here at SQUAD, we are head over heels for Valheim. You may have noticed a rising number of articles about Valheim, and for a good reason. This survival game ticks all the right boxes, and while not everything is perfect yet, it’s already one of the most promising releases on 2021.

Valheim Early Access Date Reveal Trailer

You start off in Valheim as a naked Viking, lost somewhere on a fog-shrouded location. Then, hopefully, you dress up a bit and start building your new home, while avoiding the monsters roaming all over the place. There are so many things to do in Valheim, from building your colony with friends to fighting monsters in dungeons or finding old runes scattered around.

Icarus

Developer: RocketWerkz
Publisher: RocketWerkz
Release Date: 2021
Platforms: PC

Icarus is a survival game set in an alien world. The game looks gorgeous, and promises a lot of fun exploration either solo or with friends. The concept is also good, as the ultimate goal for Icarus players is to return to orbit before time is up and they are left behind on this alien planet. In the meantime, you will have to survive a hostile environment and build yourself a nice villa with a view of the alien landscape.

Icarus - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming

Adding Icarus to your shopping cart won’t cost you a dime, as this survival game is free-to-play on Steam. Icarus will take flight later this year. One can only hope that the game won’t meet the tragic end of its mythical namesake.

Outpost Glacier

Developer: Doomlord Interactive
Publisher: Doomlord Interactive
Release Date: 2021
Platforms: PC

Survival games don’t all have to be set either in a forest, a desert, or in some hot apocalyptic environment. Outpost Glacier lowers down the temperature and brings players to a frozen wasteland where they will have to do their best not to freeze overnight.

Outpost: Glacier - Prototype Trailer

The setting of Outpost Glacier is similar to that of Frostpunk, a simulation game placing you at the head of a frozen outpost. But as a survival game, Outpost Glacier offers more gameplay than merely surviving the frost. Covered in several feet of snow are the ruins of an old civilization, just waiting for you to uncover.

Little Devil Inside

Developer: Neostream Interactive
Publisher: Neostream Interactive
Release Date: July 2021
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, MacOS, Linux, Wii U

First of all, yes, you read that right: Little Devil Inside will be available on the Wii U, out of all of Nintendo’s consoles. It was a request made by some of the 5126 Kickstarters who funded the game.

So, what’s all the hype about? This survival adventure RPG throws you in a surreal world, with many characters and stories to discover.

Little Devil Inside

I’m so excited for this game. The graphics give a Pixar movie feel, and the trailer of Little Devil Inside even includes comedy. The game’s art department have really outdone themselves, and Little Devil Inside is worth trying, even if just to roam around its colorful universe.

Besides graphics, Little Devil Inside seems to have a solid story and a rich universe to discover.

Away: The Survival Series

Developer: Breaking Walls
Publisher: Breaking Walls, Game Seer Ventures
Release Date: Early 2021
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC

Away: The Survival Series is the first project of Breaking Walls, an independent game studio gathering veterans who worked on AAA titles such as Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, and Far Cry. Unlike other survival games on this list, you do not play a survivor in Away: The Survival Series. Or rather, you do, without even realizing it.

Away: The Survival Series makes you see nature from the animal point of view. Avoid predators, hunt your prey, and take the time to enjoy every little detail from that outside world – thing us humans often overlook.

Smalland

Developer: Merge Games
Publisher: Merge Games
Release Date: 2021
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

If you liked the idea of Away: The Survival Series but don’t feel like playing as an animal, Smalland might be a better fit for you. In Smalland, you do play as a human. A shrunk-down human, now the size of a pebble. A squirrel is now a threat to your life.

Smalland Official Trailer

Smalland seems so peaceful it makes me want to be the size of a bug. The survival side is omnipresent, as staying alive in a world full of predators can be a struggle. And of course, you will need food and shelter, and the definition of shelter may vary depending on the animals you meet on the way. Besides some giant spiders, Smalland is a great survival game you can play with kids.

Undying

Developer: Vanimals
Publisher: Skystone Games Inc., Vanimals
Release Date: Summer 2021
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

This survival game is not a happy one. In a zombie-infested world, you follow the adventures of Anling and her son Cody. Anling gets bitten by a hungry zombie, and it is only a matter of time until she turns into a deadly brain eater. Before turning completely gray, Anling wants to teach her son how to survive in this world. That’s where you come into action.

Undying - E3 2019 Trailer

Undying carries the same vibe of desperation and survival as This War of Mine, especially with its Father’s Promise extension. Undying also has its share in emotional rollercoasters, with a heartbreaking story of a dying mother and her soon-to-be-orphan son.

The mother’s death is a time limit built into the game. Whatever you taught your son will influence his chances of survival after you exit stage. Of course, that is if you managed to survive long enough to teach him anything.

The Day Before

Developer: FNTASTIC
Publisher: MYTONA
Release Date: TBA
Platforms: PC

A pandemic has hit America, leaving very few survivors. You wake up in a post-pandemic world, where zombies roam the streets in search of faces to eat. This is the world of The Day Before.

The Day Before - Announcement Trailer

The Day Before features a story for you to uncover. What happened? Is anyone else alive? Time for you to find out.

Trash Sailors

Developer: fluckyMachine
Publisher: TinyBuild Games
Release Date: 2021
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Ahoy! Trash Sailors brings you out on the open sea, where you have to survive with up to 4 friends.

The graphics are hand-drawn, giving Trash Sailors a very unique vibe. Your goal in the game is to cross the seas without dying from a crocodile attack, hitting an iceberg, or becoming shark lunch. Trash Sailors is fast-paced and full of surprises.

There are so many new survival games coming out in 2021; it’s as if we all have survival on our minds, for some reason. Realistic or hand-drawn, filled with zombies or cute animals, there is a pick for everyone. If you are ready to jump into your next favorite survival games, we already have some guides on Valheim waiting for you.

Stay tuned to SQUAD for more gaming content and news!

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Ophélie Castelot

I was born with a gamepad and played my first MMORPG at 8. I'm scared to death by Resident Evil's dogs. FPS enthusiast, I like to pewpew people. I love both video games and writing, so naturally, I'm a gaming writer. Want to pitch an idea or debate the latest game you played? Let's talk!
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