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Survivors: The Quest

Score: 73%
ESRB: 9+
Publisher: G5 Entertainment
Developer: G5 Entertainment
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Simulation/ Strategy/ Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

Survivors: The Quest is sort of like Lost the game. Not the actual videogame that came out, but more like the TV show. You are one of three survivors of a plane crash that lands on a "deserted" island and you must survive. The areas so far that have been revealed are the beach, the jungle (forest road) and the lake area, but the map clearly shows that there are more, such as the plateau up the mountain, although these locations have yet to be opened and made available to the players.

What is there looks good, though. Your characters, Tilly, John and Lucio, are nicely detailed, as are the locations they will visit. The beach area has crabs skittering along the water, the jungle area has a monkey playing in a tree and butterflies frolicking near a bush, while the lake area has a waterfall and is covered with lush foliage that surrounds a lake containing bright lily pads.

A percussive jungle beat thumps in the background, with haunting wind instruments chiming in at times, but you'll also hear ambient sounds while you play as well. Get near the waterfall and you hear the sound of rushing water. If equipment is malfunctioning, you'll hear the constant sound of an alarm. While your survivors are increasing their fun factor (more on that later), you'll hear a guitar strumming, a monkey chittering, or my favorite, a boombox playing something between a disco song and Daft Punk's "One More Time." I have to give props to the fact that the sounds intensify when you draw closer to them, so if you are right by the dance floor with the boom box, you'll hear the music louder, but it fades as you move away from it. It's a nice touch.


Survivors: The Quest is a tough game to review. There are aspects that I really enjoy and others that I really don't. First off, it is free-to-play, but, as always, there are in-app purchases that make the game easier in the form of buying blue diamonds to speed up the processes in the game. You don't have to buy them, but Survivors: The Quest makes it difficult not to use the diamonds sometimes, because some of the tasks just take an insane amount of time.

Your survivors need to maintain their Stamina, Hunger, Comfort and Fun levels at all times and these are continuously draining. There are fruit trees around the island that you can shake to get fruit to eat, but this won't hold you over for very long. You'll need to find recipes, and fortunately for you three, this island was clearly a research location, as there are buildings located in the different areas which contain items you may need like batteries, wires, spices, boards, etc. Along the left side of the screen will be your current list of quests. These almost always include needing to refill your characters' stat bars, because they are always draining. You'll even need to maintain a friendship level between the three by swinging on a wooden swing. Personally, when they start getting low, I just make all three "soulmates" because what happens on the island stays on the island. That, and it's the surefire way to fill up all of the friendship bars fully and at once.

When a large task is presented to you, such as making a repair to some equipment, your characters will need full stat bars or they refuse to proceed, sometimes even when the bars are almost full, which is annoying.

Each task also takes time, but of course, you can speed anything up by using your precious diamonds. I will say that you are given about 250 diamonds to start with and you can earn a few more by signing up for G5's newsletters, etc. You will also occasionally earn more diamonds for completing quests and leveling up your characters, which is nice, but mostly you'll earn food items and experience.

Getting a banana from a tree will take 20 seconds, but it might take an insane 7 hours to repair the pump station! Mind you, if your characters are working and they get overly tired (low Stamina bar), they leave the job and go to sleep on their own and you will have to pick up the job later on where you left off.


Survivors: The Quest is not so much a difficult game as a frustrating one. I don't know about you, but I don't have the time to babysit a game constantly. If it allowed you to queue up a few actions and then come back and check on it later, that would have been preferable to simply watching your characters shake a tree for 20 seconds, but I guess G5 was counting on players' impatience to get them to buy diamonds.

I did find it annoying that certain items were not accessible until the game deemed them necessary. For instance, I had previously scoured the kitchen and tapped every available location, despite Lucio's warning that I might break a finger, but until the game was ready for me to find it, the boombox either wasn't there or wasn't clickable. Worse yet, I had found the needed equipment such as a respirator, to enter the lab filled with poisonous gases, yet John still barged in without safety gear and got infected with something toxic that has caused him to become a constant drain. He now walks much slower than the others and needs more food and rest. Hopefully, I will find his cure in a future location, but for now, I just have to feed him using a curative soup recipe Lucio found.

Game Mechanics:

In Survivors: The Quest, you use tapping gestures to tell your survivors where they need to go and what tasks they must accomplish. The Hint system, again, uses diamonds and is sometimes useless, such as directing you to the food table when you think you are actually filling up someone's Hunger bar. There were times when I didn't know how to proceed and using a diamond only directed me to an area that I was unable to access yet due to a repair needing to be made. Worse yet, when my character went there to try to do the repair, the game has your character say they aren't ready to do this yet. Argh! When you do make major progress and move on to a new location, it is very satisfying, but the time spent wandering around not sure of what to do next or where to find an item that is keeping you from moving forward can be a bummer. Also, be prepared to be left hanging since this game is a work in progress. Once you have completed the repairs at the lake area, you will not be able to progress up to the plateau, yet. The elevator, which was previously clickable and gave a message that it was dead, suddenly became no longer clickable, so I was totally confused, as have other players been as well. Just be prepared to wait on the rest of the game. Remember when I said earlier that this was a tough game to review? It's hard to review half of a game and be fair about it.

Probably the worst thing was when I had made lots of progress, but the game decided it wouldn't go past the loading screen. It did this for days, and I could hear things going on in the background behind the loading screen, like my characters were doing things in the game, but I just couldn't see them. I actually had to restart the game from the beginning on another iPad. Not cool. When I went back to my old game save recently, it was no longer an issue, so perhaps an update was pushed, but regardless, I was greatly displeased at the loss of my progress.

Daily visits to the game will net you items that, when combined (many days down the road) will create an item for some in-game assistance. I haven't completed the Friendship Amulet quite yet, but I will soon. Further, there are spots in each location that your characters can visit and gain items, which when combined, will give your characters stat boosts like 25% more health or cause your stats to drain slower, etc. Basically, the opposite of what is going on with John now that he is diseased. At the beach, you'll collect seashells, butterflies and various flowers; in the jungle, it's leaves, feathers and more flowers and butterflies; at the lake, it is exotic fish, eggs, different bees and wasps and stones. If you are bored and have no quests, you can send your characters to these spots to collect the items.

Overall, I have enjoyed Survivors: The Quest, but it has also been frustrating. I can see going back, once more locations are opened, but there's just no real draw without quests compelling me to go on. Every time I go back into the game, these people want more food, which means cooking a dish, which means fueling up the generator. However, not visiting the game every day also causes you to lose your daily progress on your Friendship Amulet. If you like The Sims and games where you micromanage your characters, check out Survivors: The Quest. Just know in advance that you will be waiting for more levels if you get through the first three areas quickly, so you may as well take your time.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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