“A real Gem” – Destructoid at E3 “Offers a different experience for zombie game veterans” – Co-Optimus “Has a lot more going for it than smashing brains and gory, red goo ... With a surprisingly deep crafting system” – GamesRadar You're shipwrecked on an isolated island, a desperate castaway in a total freakshow world.
User reviews: Very Positive (8,118 reviews)
Release Date: Oct 23, 2013

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Packages that include this game

Buy How to Survive - Storm Warning Edition

Includes 7 items: Barricade! DLC, El Diablo Islands - Host, Heat Wave DLC - x 3 pack, Hello my name is... Nina. DLC, How to Survive, Kovac’s Way DLC, One Shot Escape DLC

 

Recommended By Curators

"How to Survive, is a Fun top down zombie survival game. Totally worth the money if you are looking at a single player game, it also has shared co-op."

Reviews

“How To Survive is more than just a solid zombie role-playing game, it's also one of the best games of the year. With its mix of Diablo-esque hack and slash and dual-stick shooter action, 505 Games' newest Xbox Live Arcade game is a real surprise. It has a deep crafting system and a world you can't help but want to explore. How To Survive rewrites the book on zombie RPGs!”
90% – Gaming Nexus

“While there have been several games that have recently released that fall into the growing zombie survival genre, How to Survive manages to do enough differently to earn its place among the crowd. The game’s strong emphasis on crafting and juggling basic human needs helps distinguish itself from other titles. Additionally, the story campaign features a tale that manages to contain a few plot twists despite its simplicity. One area where How to Survive shines is the game’s strange brand of humor which is helped along by the title’s decent voice acting. In all, How to Survive is recommended to any fans of either the undead or survival simulators. Those who enjoy intricate crafting or top-down gaming should also give it a look.”
4 Stars – Examiner

“In terms of graphic and sound design, How to Survive looks good and sounds even better. The lighting gives real-time shadows based on not only the source but the time of day as the shadows move with the passing sunlight. The island is beautifully rendered, and animations are fluid and zombie deaths are pleasingly gory, chunks of body parts will liter the ground and roll depending on the shape of the surface”
8/10 – Gamer Horizon

About This Game

  • A real Gem” – Destructoid at E3

  • Offers a different experience for zombie game veterans” – Co-Optimus

  • Has a lot more going for it than smashing brains and gory, red goo ... With a surprisingly deep crafting system” – GamesRadar

You're shipwrecked on an isolated island, a desperate castaway in a total freakshow world. How will you survive? [/b]


Collect the pages of a Survival Guide and figure it out, of course! Find food, water, and shelter before you perish. Uh oh, is it getting dark? Figure out how to get through the night! While you’re at it, gather up some of this awesome stuff and piece together over 100 handmade weapons and tools—from shotguns to Molotov cocktails. Now you can defend yourself and your friends like a boss!

• Choose one of the three playable characters, each with different characteristics and skill trees.

• Explore four islands filled with unique flora and fauna and a variety of abhorrent monstrosities.

Collect “Survival guide” video chapters to learn tips that will save your life!

Play with a friend offline through the story mode or go online and play with a friend through 8 demanding challenges..

• Try the “Iron Man” difficulty for a demanding hardcore game experience.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo or better
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Ati 5700 series/NVIDIA GeForce GT240 or equivalent
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Hard Drive: 7 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
291 of 431 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2014
I really tried to give this game a fair try. It simply wasn't as interesting or enjoyable as it appeared to be in the Steam store. The premise is neat but the execution is lacking. Crafting could be cool, but most of the time your tiny inventory is full up with junk. You have no homebase so there's nowhere to store excess stuff. Also, where you sleep for the night is highly limited and really annoying. There is usually only one secure bed shack per island. And for some reason, when you go to try and use it, a red light and alarm goes off every time, alerting tons of zombies to your location for no real reason. The most entertaining aspect of this game is watching the short "Kovac's rules" videos. Save your money and buy State of Decay instead for a much deeper zombie survival crafting game with a better plot.
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54 of 79 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 16
+ Crisp, minimalist UI
+ Excellent tutorial; fun, interactive, and does a good job of displaying some of the charm of the title
+ Voice-acting was of about average quality
+ Minimap is functional and easy to read; objectives and points of interest are clearly marked and hard to miss
+ Very detailed environment; the design and amount of inclusion is meticulous
+ Foraging is wonderfully implemented; by doing away with bold POI markers in the overworld, you find yourself constantly searching for familiar leaves, shapes, etc.
+ Except for a few small qualms I had with the crafting system (noted below), it is largely excellent; there are a refreshingly large variety of combinations
+ You have the option to 'uncombine' items that you've crafted, thus freeing up the materials for re-use; this little quality of life feature is incredibly useful, and I feel that many crafting systems throughout the gaming world would have benefitted from it
+ An appropriately moderate variety in creatures
+ Some crafting recipes are only available for certain characters, thus increasing incentive to replay
+ Exploration is both rewarding, and very much encouraged throughout the title
+ The story did a suberb job of managing to not take itself too seriously, without falling into the classic pitfall of being cringey and annoying
+ While the hunger and thirst meters fit well into the game, it was the fatigue meter that really stood out as a breath of fresh air; this added a bit more challenge and a greater feeling of urgency to the game
+ Hunting was very fun and challenging; tracking wild game through a monster-infested island could be quite the rewarding challenge
+ Nighttime operations were very well-handled, in that a setting sun very much puts you on edge if you're out in the open and far from a campfire
+ Melee combat was solid and satisfying

- Zombies are largely generic copies of only a handful of models
- During daytime, inventory is slightly too transparent; this results in a fair bit of squinting, but wasn't an experience-killer
- You cannot craft stacks of items
- Aiming (I used mouse and keyboard), while for the most part excellently designed, could occasionally prove frustrating and unreliable; picking specific targets out of an oncoming horde (something you will NEED to do) is difficult when you're cursor is constantly jumping between several front-rank targets
- Could have benefitted from a larger, more comprehensive skill tree

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40 of 58 people (69%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
I tried to get into this game and like it, but the myriad of negatives overshadowed the few positives in the game. More often than not, I felt like I was fighting the clunky movement, mechanics and horribly designed UI more than I was the zombies. Not even the saving grace of co-op could make the horrid combat worth my time.

I've been told once the game pacing picks up and you begin gearing up the game becomes more bearable, but I'm not one to slog through several hours of bad gameplay to do so.
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34 of 52 people (65%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 6
Very boring and tedious game, gets repetitive very easily. The islands are really small, the monkey quests are a pain in the ♥♥♥ and just stupid, the survival features like thirst and hunger are unique but annoying. Combat is mediocre, if you play as melee you struggle a lot, play with ranged weapons and wreck everything. The level system is just pathetic and there are less than 20 skills to level up, some of them just being completely passive and not helpfull at all. On top of that, the game wasn't really designed for mouse and keyboard. Paid like $1 for this game so not too much to worry about but I wouldn't recommend it anyway, it's just boring.
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19 of 25 people (76%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
38.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
TL;DR - This game is boring and repetitive, but a couple of the DLCs will make the game a lot more fun. The Kovac's Way DLC is a MUST HAVE! Without this, the base game is trash. If the difficulty is too hard for you, get Hello my name is... Nina. DLC, her skills make the hardest difficulty more manageable. El Diablo Islands DLC will adds a lot more content if you liked the base game.


DISCLAIMER: I bought all the DLCs, and all my playthru and review is based on my experience of having all the DLCs activated.

WARNING when buying DLCs, the Heat Wave DLC - x 3 pack is the same as Heat Wave DLC - Kenji's pack, Heat Wave DLC - Abby's pack and Heat Wave DLC - Jack's pack combined! DO NOT REPEAT PURCHASE!


The game is quite interesting at first, but it gets boring and repetitive very soon. The game consists of fetch quests from start to finish. While fetching items, you got to take care of your other needs other than health.

During the early game, you might need to spend some time gathering food and resources, but once you venture into 2nd island, food water and sleep are just things that take up some of your limited inventory space. And if you are playing solo, inventory space is VERY LIMITED! I play co-op with my friend, and yet we are still struggling on holding all the quest items and crafting ingredients.

Crafting might seem complicated at first, but in fact there are only a handful of recipes to do.

Playing co-op have their pros and cons.
- Co-op have a very lousy camera. Both players share the same camera, therefore when both players wander too far away from each other, off-screen zombies become very dangerous.
- The connection is quite crappy, it will de-sync every couple of minutes, ruining a lot of fun. Also, the desync will cause the joining player to take a lot of damage sometimes.
- Quest rewards will only be given to the host player, so if the reward is a good gun, only one of you will get to use it.
- Food and drinks must be shared.
+ You have double the inventory slot.
+ You have double the health, so when one is dead the other can try to survive and revive the dead player without having to reload checkpoint.

The other game modes are a waste of time.

If you collect 100% achievements, you will need Kovac's Way DLC, Barricade! DLC, One Shot Escape DLC, and El Diablo Islands. You will also need a lot of patience and luck.
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27 of 40 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
I get the impression that I don't understand How to Survive. The number of legitimate looking positive reviews indicates that whilst others have enjoyed the game I haven't.

The survival element from which the game takes it's name seems tacked on with little effect on game-play. In the hours I've played I've never come close to starving or dehydrating. A little message pops up telling you that you're becoming thirsty or hungry and that's solved by drinking or eating one of the many things in your inventory.

There are wells and bottles and canisters everywhere; I've haven't felt any tension or had to go on an epic quest to find water. There are also edible plants everywhere so whilst meat might not always be on the menu starving is not going to happen.

Sleeping is ... strange. There's no building or reinforcing shelters and no bedrolls or similar. There is one special shack per island that has a closeable door. That's the only place where you can sleep. If you're 51% tired you can't sleep but if you're 49% tired than you must. There's no wait command so sleeping through the night won't happen unless leave your character to get tired.

As survival games go there's no real element of survival in 'How to Survive'. Fallout 3 with Primary Needs or State of Decay will give you a much better experience.

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27 of 42 people (64%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 18
It seems this game was built of blocks or which is more appropriate to say - of patches like Dr. Frankenstein's monster: the general canvas of zombie, gameplay of isometric shooters like Alien Shooter, Alien Breed, Crimsonland etc., Lara Croft look of Abby and Tomb Raider styled menu, spiced it up with the Borderlands-ish Kovac. So it turned to be a very-very poorly made game with very-very cheap animations, bad controls, imbalanced weapons system (the best weapon in the game is a boomerang made of bones which can be made on the second isle (after 30 minutes of playing), not clear crafting system, not a breakthrough gameplay, pretty common story, a mash of re-used graphical solutions and an obvious lack of the art direction.
All of the said above is usually requires more than an update, but a core functionality re-work, thus quite unlikely it to be fixed. I wouldn't recommend it for buying despite it's in a $5 bundle, also before buying I would suggest consulting the forums about the above mentioned points.
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37 of 61 people (61%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
You couldn't buy a bigger pile of w**k if you tried.

Game constantly stops working and freezing.
Gameplay is not fun at all.
Controller support doesnt even work properly.

No wonder the game was reduced by 90% when i got it. I would rather give birth to a baby out of my ♥♥♥ hole than play this game again.

(Update) Tried to give the game a second chance with the co-op still think its a load of s**t

You have to stay close to your partner at all times.
Game says waiting for partner when no one has even paused the game.
You dont even get the same gear for doing quests, eg we did a quest and my friend got a machete and i was still stuck with a ♥♥♥♥♥♥ stick!
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
35.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 23
Sometimes my biggest fear is that I will end alone...

Nope...
I don't mean alone because I'm not able to find the love of my life
I don't mean alone because all my friends will leave me
I don't mean alone because there will be no more ingredients to make a nice carbonara again

I mean that I will woke up, I will do my things, I will go out and I will find the total absolute nothing.
And the moment when, with all my fears coming true, I will go round the corner...suddenly...the light...

A russian guy that will approach me and he will tell me "No worry my friend...I will teach you how to survive"....

Because this is what will happen in this game

You was planning to spend your summer on a small lonely island full of amazing wonderful girls (if you are a boy) / boys (if you are a girl) / sheeps (if you...well...nevermind) but suddenly a huge octopus will push your ship to hit some rocks and you will end into the luna park of zombies.

But the thing that will really creep you out is not the fact that every step you will do there will be a group of zombies trying to eat you...is the fact that you will find a russian...A SOBER RUSSIAN.
That is a thing that you should really be scared...in fact even the zombies tries to avoid him...remember...if you get bitten by a zombie you become a zombie...if you get bitten or bite a russian...you become a russian.

But apart for this...this is a really really really really underrated game.
Yes I know you will say "IT WAS REALLY CHEAP SO IT IS CRAP!"...no it isn't. Developers put a lot of passion inside this game and you can clearly see that after the last patches.
The game itself is not only improved but they have added some quite good stuff...from weapons to game modes to achievements...all stuff that will make this game more enjoyable day after day.

The gameplay is quite simple and original. It is a mix between a crafting game a survival horror and a RPG.
Crafting because all your weapons, armour, ammo and so on...needs to be crafted.
Survival because you will need to eat, sleep, drink etc...
RPG because you will have a series of skills that you will learn level after level (the stats are automatically leveled up)

The graphic is quite good and there are some interesting effects (rain, fog where you will literally see nothing, lightings etc..).
The main story itself it is quite short yes but all the side quests and the nice number of possibilities about how to deal with some situations will make the game going for a while. Even the new different game modes are a huge plus (survival mode, escape mode or barricade mode...and even a series of challenges with some objectives).

There are even several types of zombies...some of those only appears during night....and so be advised...only predators live at night...

Very nice thing is that you can make all this thing alone or co-op. And we all know that with a friend everything is better.

What else can I say? Do you have few coins to spend for a game that is original and will give you several quite good hours of fun alone but even more hours of fun with friends? Buy this game.
Are you looking for a zombie RPG where you will have to spend 10.000 hours only for the tutorial? Well this is not the game for you then.

HTS is a simple but very fun and original game. If you find it on sale don't think about it, just get a couple of copies for you and your best gaming buddy and you will be not disappointed.

Overall
Graphic 7/10
Sounds 7/10
Gameplay 8/10
Longevity 7/10
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14 of 21 people (67%) found this review helpful
11.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
How to Survive is a game you can easily sink hours in if you like the genre.

The controls feel fluid and are easy to remember with Gamepad.
Combat doesn't feel clunky(even have finishers). There's a simple yet solid crafting system.
You actually have to drink, eat & rest in this game(Some ppl may or may not like that)

The story has some humor in it, but mostly found myself mashing 'A'.
Skills are a bit bland (eg.''+X% exp at night''), but the different weapon combinations
more than make up for it.

7.5/10

The price is a little steep, but it's a must-have when it goes on sale.
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15 of 23 people (65%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: March 24
How to Survive is one of the Best Survival games I have played so far [24/3/2015]. It is about surviving [Duh] and finding many ways to Escape off the Island/Place that you are at. You can either play online, offline [local co op] and co op with a friend [counted as online].
There are alot of weapons you can design and make, to fight your way through. There are zombies that are weak, boomers and Mutant Giant zombies that have like zillion health.
You can meet survivors all across the map, and they are asking for your assistance.

This is a very fun game, I recommend and really consider you to buy it.

Rate: 10/10
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37 of 65 people (57%) found this review helpful
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 4
Very competent isometric zombie survival aRPG with a lot of depth and challenge. Its by no means perfect, for me the biggest issue was the excessive level of padding. For instance why cant I just use this one boat to travel to all the other islands and instead need to move to different locations throughout zombie infested islands to reach different boats in order to get to other islands? Padding that's why. Where HtS really shines though, is in the crafting department. There's a lot of stuff you can craft and improve as you discover new recipes books or just by experimenting with the stuff you have in your inventory.

The combat system won't turn any heads around, but its not too shabby at all IMO, especially the ranged combat mechanic. Now, the lackluster skills tree and the clown mobile safe houses mechanic was a little weird and slightly detracted from the experience, but not by much. I'm definitely looking forward to completing the Story(which was surprisingly cool with a nice twist at the end) mode on the highest difficulty and playing some more coop(which is pretty sweet btw) with my buds.


Better Than DayZ/10
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39 of 70 people (56%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 5
Yet another fantastic game I totally ignored to buy and play until it was on 90% sale.. WHY GOD WHY?!

If you're a zombie fan you'll love this game. It is what it says: a survival slash n kill zombie game. Funny story, crafting, nice characters, nice music, day and night gameplay with quests.. So far so good! :)
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17 of 28 people (61%) found this review helpful
22.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
sadly it isnt a very long game which is a shame because the game itself is extremely fun I.M.O., there are some flaws and bugs with the game mechanics / design but nothing serious enough to spoil the fun.

great game if you buy it on a good sale.
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17 of 29 people (59%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 17
shoot ang surive zombie apocalypse ^_^
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18 of 31 people (58%) found this review helpful
22.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
not expect from the next "game about survival" something completely new, but still the gameplay is pretty interesting, especially in coop with a friend. also big plus is the presence of the storyline, humor, good execution.

highly recommend
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20 of 35 people (57%) found this review helpful
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 15, 2014
I really like the game, it's fun, beautiful graphics, the combat system is fast paced, the crafting system looks really good with endless possibilities and along with all that, Kovac's humor is very entertaining.

If it feels like there is a "but" coming, to me there is.

The game is great, has very well thought out elements, but it's a little more hack and slash, action game, than a survival or RPG.

Has all the elements of a great RPG, skill tree, crafting, but, it always feels very linear.

You have a story to follow and a path to follow and although you can go back to pick an extra herb or gather more resources, you feel you don't really need to since the game is progression in front of you and behind, is behind.

The DLC available adds two game modes that feel a little more "open end", but, still feels like this could have been huge and falls just short of it with the constrains imposed by the design followed.

Good fun though, and with co-op you can laugh with a friend while hacking through hordes of zombies, that die in countless ways.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
When I bought How to Survive, I was expecting it to be like a survival game like Rust, but with a bird's eye view type camera angle. This game is more about being creative and combining parts to make weapons so you can survive. You have to maintain health, hunger, thirst, and fatigue. These aren't much of a problem though. This game is unique and offers features that not a lot of zombie games offer. However, it isnt worth the full price so I would buy it when it goes on sale.
7/10
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 21
It's fun, that's what it boils down to. I could talk about the good stuff, but let's face it, it's the negative we're looking for.

* It's 3rd person perspective, which is never good for these kind of games
* Typical exaggeration on zombie types (the bloaters, the tanks, etc.)
* Annoying environment traps such as piranha's

But as said, it is fun for what it is, just a few things to be aware of when making a decision about buying
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
120.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 29
After so many hours of playing this game I can only recommend buying this when on sale or if you have some extra money you want to spend and have good friends on skype or teamspeak to play this with.
It really is fun and all but some bugs can be pretty annoying for some people. Achievement bugs, two cursors, zombie bugs, item bugs etc. Look into the forums to see what I mean. But their are also a few game breaking bugs which make you restart (Sanchez Packages not stocking).

Anyway I break it down to this

Pros:
- lovely mixture of survival, zombies and crafting
- the koop is the best way to play this!
- El Diablo, Barrikade are lovely additions to this game even tho I prefer El Diablo over the other because new island, new items, new extra storyline
- different zombie types
- lots of BOOOOM
- looting and collecting while abusing the A Button... just give me all the stuff
- crafting all kinds of different weapons and figuring out what does what
- Bumerang <- best weapon ever followed by burning stick
- different characters with different abilities and weaknesses
- animals, plants the whole environment looks lovely but the fog is a pain in the butt
- KOVAC! this ♥♥♥♥ing character has a lovely voice actor and beats everyone else. His guides and rules are also pretty fun.



Cons:
- The game contains some game breaking bugs which can't be fixed and need you to restart from the beginning.
- bugs, funny bugs, helpfull bugs but yes some bugs like standing zombies, stillwalking when dead zombies, stuck zombies
- some pretty much unbeatable achievements
- weird target system

As I said, if it wouldnt be fun I wouldnt have played it for almost 75hours by now.
If you love killing thousands of zombies with axe, bow, gun or just a ♥♥♥♥ing stick, collecting items, solving quests, looting and crafting, you cant do anything wrong with this game.
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