Dark season: The ten best winter survival games – Gamesaktuell

Freezing cold, a warm fire and lots of ammunition: games that take us into a hostile winter wonderland are made to build a feeling of "you against the world" and to really cozy up in a warm home with a cup of cocoa do. Instead, you long for icy despair and a real fight for survival, red to teeth and claws? In that case, too, we have the right evening entertainment for you! We'll introduce you to the ten best winter survival games, regardless of whether it's about building a bunker comfortably or the most creative ways possible to collect frostbite.

First of all, it is important to us on this list that the winter theme is clearly recognizable. We avoid games that only contain a frosty season and are otherwise standard survival. Second, this ranking was created according to the atmosphere and quality of the games – in other words, the moment one of the games appears on the list, we believe it is also recommended. Last but not least, we warn graphic purists that in this case we do not pay attention to a chic look, but above all pay attention to detailed work and a winter mood that is noticeable even in front of the monitor. All right? Then put on your parka and light your magnesium torches, because it will be cold!

Place 10: Arctico







Easy survival mechanics, a beautiful landscape and basic building: Arctico is an early access game for fans of pillow forts and cocoa.



Easy survival mechanics, a beautiful landscape and basic building: Arctico is an early access game for fans of pillow forts and cocoa.

Source: PC Games




We start with a representative of the category "Hot cocoa and thick walls": In Arctico you explore the Arctic with your loyal sled dogs, an airplane and the will to see new and interesting things. Gradually you expand your base, learn ice fishing and set up hydroponic systems inside your warm home. You only really have to "survive" if an accident happens far away from home – but then you have the long and arduous journey across the ice shelf before you can return to your home. Due to its very solid early access status, Arctico mainly offers long walks, relaxed work and tranquility; there is no real goal. This is mainly due to the fact that the game was still called "Eternal Winter" at the beginning of development and offered significantly harder survival elements. The direction changed and the result was a pleasant walking simulator for friends of light survival food.

9th place: ICY: Frostbite Edition






A good story that confronts the player with a lot of decisions: ICY offers great freedom and important decisions even without stunning graphics.



A good story that confronts the player with a lot of decisions: ICY offers great freedom and important decisions even without stunning graphics.

Source: PC Games




After the fall of human civilization, you lead your family in ICY through a frozen no man's land and tries to stay alive as long as possible. The role play gives you the opportunity to create your family members individually – specializations such as negotiators, soldiers and hunters are very worthwhile here. On an extensive playing field you move your small family bonds, visit villages, defend yourself against attacking bandits and make tough decisions. Thanks to the lovingly hand-drawn characters and backgrounds, the small Indy team manages to successfully outsmart the graphic hurdle. With its excellent writing and dramatic mini-stories, ICY offers a lot of entertainment, especially to story-obsessed survival enthusiasts.

8th place: Near Death






<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/960x/2020/12/Near_Death_01-pc-games.jpg" alt = "In Near Death you fight against darkness and frost. The game keeps the cold in after all basic rooms, so that you can build islands of warmth.
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In Near Death you fight against darkness and frost. The game keeps track of the cold in all basic rooms so that you can build islands of warmth.

Source: PC Games




With Near death we come to a largely unknown pearl among the survival games. As a researcher cut off from the outside world, you try to survive in a largely destroyed research station in the arctic winter during a snow storm. If that sounds like a lot of obstacles, then you are absolutely right: In addition to absolute darkness, you can expect a temperature system that keeps up the heat in the research station and, for example, freezes steel doors. Despite the extremely tough premise, Near Death is surprisingly beginner-friendly and can even be mastered well by absolute survival novices with a little planning. Bonus: The fax communication between the destroyed Sutro station and the McMurdo station is entertaining and gives the game a lot of character despite its desolate setting

7th place: Skyrim with Frostfall, Wet and Cold and Realistic Needs






<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/960x/2020/12/Frostfall_01-pc-games.jpg" alt = "With only three mods, Sykrim becomes a survival game: If you don't care about your Diet, lots of sleep in a good tent and proper clothing becomes a problem.
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With just three mods, Sykrim becomes a survival game: If you don't pay attention to your diet, a lot of sleep in a good tent and the right clothes, you will get a problem.

Source: PC Games




How could it be otherwise: Skyrim is on this list. Instead of doing gymnastics in the proverbial chain bikini in the frosty edge of the sky, you can turn your adventure into a real struggle for survival in just three steps. The Mods Frostfall, Wet and Cold and Realistic Needs represent the ideal survival combination. Frostfall integrates a temperature system that takes into account your surroundings, your clothes and the current weather and, in the worst case, can actually freeze you to death. With the compatible Mod Wet and Cold, even rivers and rain showers become a danger, because if you walk around in wet fur clothes in Ostmarsch, for example, you will also freeze to death. Realistic Needs finally forces you to eat and drink regularly, because a well-nourished adventurer is robust and can also better withstand "improved" diseases. Our tip: Cooked food is your friend. Have fun shaking!

6th place: The Division: Survival







The Division and the “Survival” add-on offer a special Winter Battle Royal experience: If you don't feel like PVP, you can also survive in PVE mode.



The Division and the “Survival” add-on offer a special Winter Battle Royal experience: If you don't feel like PVP, you can also survive in PVE mode.

Source: PC Games




The first part of Tom Clancy's: The Division has a DLC mode that still attracts players today thanks to its good implementation of the Battle Royale principle: Survival puts you in New York, ravaged by a virus, in the midst of a snowstorm of the century. After a helicopter crash you fight for warm clothes, water and food, while sepsis threatens to kill you without medical care within an hour. Make a filter mask, grab the antivirus and make sure that you are the one who is extracted from the only rescue helicopter. What's special: If you don't feel like playing PVP action, you can also play with other players in PVE mode! Survival is so good that the purchase of The Division (at a sale) is justified by this mode alone.

5th place: The Red Lantern






<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/960x/2020/12/Red_Lantern_01-pc-games.jpg" alt = "Dog lovers with a weakness for adventure game books will be very happy with The Red Lantern is often very emotional.

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Dog lovers with a thing for adventure game books will be very happy with The Red Lantern. The sleigh trip is often very emotional.


Source: PC Games

As a dog-loving survivor, you try The Red Lantern on Nintendo Switch Finding your way home The wilderness of Alaska puts a lot of obstacles in your way, but you can handle them with quick reactions, common sense and a little caution. The way is the goal here, because the dog handler and her five sled dogs have a lot of character. If, for example, the lead dog is injured while defending the pack, the loyal soul is addressed and looked after by his name – it is difficult not to suffer in front of the screen. Who dies, receives a clever "everything is just a dream" sequence and starts again. All in all, it makes for an exciting adventure without challenging the player too much. If you like tension, emotions and dogs, this is the place for you.

4th place: Project Winter






<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/960x/2020/12/Project_Winter_01-pc-games.jpg" alt = "Project speaks with cute graphics, great designed playing fields and absolutely vicious murder opportunities Winter frosty Among-Us fans.
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Project Winter appeals to frosty Among-Us fans with cute graphics, well-designed playing fields and absolutely vicious murder possibilities.

Source: PC Games





With Project Winter, the player can expect an icy version by Among Us, in which eight players fight for survival. Bears, sub-zero temperatures and hunger bother you as much as traitors. That's right, among the eight players there are always two people who would like to see you as a frozen corpse. The well-designed playing field and the dark and funny graphics make Project Winter a real pearl among social deduction games. Poison your fellow players, abandon them in a wolf attack or beat them to death in a snow storm – the possibilities for betrayal are many and often only limited by the ingenuity of the traitors. Great!

3rd place: Frostpunk






<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/960x/2020/12/Frostpunk_01-pc-games.jpg" alt = "Frostpunk offers a strange mixture of campfire romance and Charles Dickens dystopia. Survival fans too Are interested in strategy games.
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Frostpunk offers a strange mix of campfire romance and Charles Dickens dystopia. Survival fans interested in strategy games will be happy.

Source: PC Games




In a post-apocalyptic world, a few survivors crowd around a gigantic, life-giving furnace. You are in the strategy title Frostpunk Leader of the last city and must keep its towering, steam-powered throat alive by all means. This includes tough decisions like rationing food, draconian punishment of criminals and "creative recruiting". Anyone who has always felt the full force of a society that is on its last legs and did not want to do without a cozy campfire atmosphere and basic building is right with Frostpunk. Strange but good!

2nd place: UnReal World






<img src = "https://www.gamesaktuell.de/screenshots/960x/2020/12/UnReal_01-pc-games.jpg" alt = "If you really want to challenge yourself, try UnReal World. You can see the game Age, but you can hardly find more realism in the survival sector.
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If you really want to challenge yourself, try UnReal World. You can tell the age of the game; but you can hardly find more realism in the survival sector.

Source: PC Games





UnReal World is both the first open world survival game, as well as the game with the longest update support of all time – check the Guiness Book of World Records if you don't believe us. As an Iron Age prehistoric man in pre-Christian Finland you try to stay alive in this roguelike by all means. The temperatures are already below ground and anyone who survives even a single Finnish winter can be proud of themselves. Trade with your neighbors, build huts, feed on the land … Or beat up your friends and steal their clothes so they don't freeze to death. UnReal World is the hardest and most detailed game on this list; if you value inexorable realism, you can't go wrong here. Bonus: After almost thirty years, there are still regular updates. UnReal World is the survival grandfather for fans of the true art of survival.

1st place: The Long Dark






The Long Dark has been a genre leader for six years and is still receiving new updates. Fans of winter survival games strike without hesitation and sink into another world.



The Long Dark has been a genre leader for six years and is still receiving new updates. Fans of winter survival games strike without hesitation and sink into another world.

Source: PC Games




Not particularly surprising for connoisseurs, sits down The Long Dark at the top of this list. In the northern Canadian wilderness you fight against the elements, wild animals and time after a geomagnetic storm: Every action consumes precious calories, so you calculate your current energy deficit in your head like Bear Grylls. Should you cross the river to get to the caribou body? Do you prefer to eat the berries at your feet? Long periods of contemplative silence and the crunch of snow are interrupted by panicked adrenaline highs, for example when you are fleeing a bear by barricading yourself in an old car wreck. If you add the atmospheric graphics and well-chosen musical background, you get the current genre primus among the frostbite simulators. If you want to travel to Canada without Permadeath at first, you can choose the "Wintermute" story campaign instead of survival mode. We wish you a lot of fun on your Canada vacation!

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