Dark Season: The Ten Best Winter Survival Games

Dark Season: The Ten Best Winter Survival Games
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 bunkers comfortably or the most creative ways possible to collect frostbite.

The first thing that matters to us on this list is that the winter theme is clearly visible. 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's getting cold!

Place 10: Arctico

Easy survival mechanics, a beautiful landscape and basic construction: Arctico is an early access game for friends 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.

Place 9: ICY: Frostbite Edition

A good story that confronts the player with a lot of decisions: ICY drives without it stunning graphics great freedom and important decisions. Source: PC Games After the fall of human civilization, you lead your family in ICY through a frozen no man's land and try 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 its dramatic mini-stories, ICY offers a lot of entertainment, especially for story-obsessed survival fans.

Rank 8: Near Death

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 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 snowstorm. 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, despite its desolate setting, gives the game a lot of character

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

With only 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 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 add-on "Survival" offer a special winter battle royal experience: If you don't feel like PVP, survives here even 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 the middle of a New York ravaged by a virus Century snow storm. 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

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

Source: PC Games As a dog-loving survival artist, you try to find your way home in The Red Lantern on Nintendo Switch. 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

With cute graphics, great designed playing fields and absolutely vicious murder possibilities, Project Winter speaks frosty Among-Us Fans.

Source: PC Games With Project Winter, the player can expect an icy version of Among Us, in which eight players fight for their 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

Frostpunk offers a strange mixture 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 the leader of the last city in the strategy title Frostpunk and you have to 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

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 and the game with the longest update support of all time - take a look at 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 friends of the real art of survival.

1st place: The Long Dark

The Long Dark has been a genre primus 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, The Long Dark is 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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