The Long Dark

Game image The Long Dark
Play YouTube video
Buy The Long Dark now on Amzon

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Released: September 2014. Added to this library 3 weeks ago, last updated 2 weeks ago.

Overview

The Long Dark is a thoughtful exploration-survival game where you have crash-landed in the icy Canadian wilderness after a global disaster and must find a way to survive. Through exploring, crafting and fighting you must look after your body temperature, caloric intake, hunger, thirst and fatigue. This means taking on not only the harsh environment by wildlife and other environmental dangers.

You can play in Story or Survival mode in one of the six regions: "Mystery Lake", "Coastal Highway", "Pleasant Valley", "Forlorn Muskeg", "Desolation Point", and "Timberwolf Mountain". Your objective is to survive as long as you can while the game simulates a full day/night cycle affecting wildlife, windchill and other dangers. You can only save progress in buildings or when you sleep. If you die it's game over, the original save file is deleted, and you must start again.

Navigating is unlike other survival games. Without a map or compass, you need to learn the landmarks to find your way around Great Bear Island. You can draw your own map to create a local snapshot of resources. As the game world is over 50 square kilometres is quite possible to get lost. To help, you can leave markers on rocks, trees and cabins. If you spend more time on mapping, you can collect polaroids to unveil small portions of the surrounding area.

"Welcome to the quiet apocalypse," says the marketing, and it is right. This is a low key experience compared to other survival games. There are no zombies, other players or alien dangers. It's just you and ice-cold silence of the wild.

Tip

Commitment

Duration: This game will take between 19 hours and 30 hours to complete. The story mode is episodic at about 8 hours an episode. The survival mode can be played for much longer.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

Costs

Does not include in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

Free episodes can be downloaded, the first three of five are available:
  • Do not go gentle - Bush pilot Will Mackenzie (player character) and Dr. Astrid Greenwood are separated after their plane crashes deep in the Northern Canadian wilderness in the aftermath of a mysterious flash of light in the sky. Struggling to survive as he desperately searches for Astrid, Mackenzie comes across the small town of Milton, where he begins to understand the scope of this quiet apocalypse.
  • Luminance Fugue - Mackenzie’s search for Astrid takes him deeper into the savage Winter wilderness. A mysterious trapper may be the key to finding Astrid, but can he be trusted?
  • Crossroads Elegy - In the aftermath of events in Milton, an enigmatic stranger rescues Dr. Astrid Greenwood (player character) from near death. Facing the blizzards of Pleasant Valley, Astrid must bring all her skills as a doctor to bear on the survivors she encounters. But will she find Mackenzie, and get closer to the mystery that's taking them to Perseverance Mills?


This game is free with Xbox Game Pass.

Ratings

Rated PEGI 16 for realistic violence towards human and animal characters. As a survival game, the player’s character is required to hunt for food, which necessitates killing rabbits and stags. This can be achieved by using either a rifle or a bow and arrow. For example, when hit by a rifle bullet the Stag bellows loudly, this is accompanied by a blood splatter and the animal falls to the ground. Similarly, when a rabbit is shot is will squeal, and there are small blood splatters.
The game also includes cut scenes, in one of which a character is seen restrained in a chair and subjected to repeated punches to the face. His hands are restrained around the rear of the chair, the character is unable to defend or move away from the violence which is regarded as realistic-looking.

ESRB TEEN for Blood, Violence, Language.

Accessibility

System settings: Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). Xbox One has a wide range of system features including some that can be used on all games, like the excellent co-pilot mode... read more.


Content devider

Similar Games

The following games address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play after The Long Dark, and also offer a range of alternatives for different age ratings.

Change: A Homeless Survival Experience

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Simulation and Strategy

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Change is a survival game where you play a homeless person trying to make it against the odds. It's intentionally hard to do well as you explore an endless city that's different every time you play.


Sable

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Open World

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Sable is an adventure game where you play a young girl, Sable, alone in the world, but bravely exploring ancient monuments, ruined architecture, and fallen ships to uncover her place in it.


Eco

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Creative, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 20 hours and 50 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 100 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Eco extends the resource-collecting and building of Minecraft by introducing environmental implications to your actions. Using resources like trees will erode the soil; mining might pollute the river; and each animal depends on another.


Minecraft

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo 2DS/3DS, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Platform and Shooting

Duration: Between 5 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round.

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 16 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

Although Minecraft – where players place blocks to build structures, sculpt the landscape and create adventures – is the best-selling game of all time, some of the best aspects of it are little known. Along with the exploration, building and...


Don't Starve

Platforms: Android, Mac, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One and iOS

Genres: Action, Open World, Simulation and Strategy

Duration: Between 32 hours and 46 hours to complete.

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 6 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

This is an open-world survival game. Here it’s the environment and enemies, rather than other players, that you work with. You need to find and develop food, weapons and shelter to survive. It’s enjoyable because it’s hard, so repeat-plays to...


Rust

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Creative, Fighting, Open World, Shooting and Strategy

Duration: Between 80 hours and 100 hours to complete.

Players: You can play this with 250 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Rust (also, Rust: Console Edition) is an online survival game set the wilderness. You explore, gather and craft materials to manage hunger, thirst, health and protection. The preparation is to ward off the threat of bears, wolves and (more commonly)...


Ark: Survival Evolved

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Fighting, Open World and Simulation

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 8 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost. Season pass and in-game purchases.

This game offers hunting-and-harvesting gameplay in a primal setting. Although not as polished or streamlined as a game like Horizon Zero Dawn, this is a more ambitiously open world where you can choose your own way to survive. With crafting and...


The Forest

Platforms: PC and PlayStation 4

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World, Role-Playing and Simulation

Duration: Between 20 hours and 25 hours to complete.

Players: You can play this with 4 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Forest is a survival horror game where you are the only passenger to live after a plane crash. You explore a mysterious forest to find food, shelter and safety but soon have to battle strange cannibalistic people.


DayZ

Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Open World, Shooting and Simulation

Duration: Between 60 hours and 80 hours to complete.

Players: You can play this with 60 players online.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

Day Z (DayZ) is a post-apocalyptic open world survival game. The population are infected with an unknown virus and you play as one of the few who are immune. You fight other survivors for limited resources and weapons. However If you die there are no...


The Long Dark is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to The Long Dark in the following lists:

Free With Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service that provides 100 top-tier games. Once subscribed you can download the game at no extra cost. Of the 100 games available the ones in our recommended database are listed below.

You cannot play games you install when your Xbox Game Pass expires, although you do keep any games you have purchased at a discount with your membership. You will need to purchase any in-game extra content in addition to the subscription, although some games include this content for free.
  • Xbox Game Pass £7.99/month
  • Xbox Game Pass Ultimate including Xbox Live Gold for online play £10.99/month
  • Xbox Game Pass PC £7.99/month
Xbox Live Gold usually costs £6.99/month and is the Xbox service that lets you play with others online. It also offers a few free games each month and substantial discounts.
 

Attempt The Impossible

How hare a game is considered to be depends on who is playing it. A three-year-old tackling Zelda will struggle. But equally a new-to-games-parents will find Mutant Mudds quickly gets beyond them. The games in this list are known for being difficult. They wear the difficulty as a badge of honour. "None shall pass," except this with the will, time and belligerence to get good enough at this particular activity to beat the high bar the game sets.

This might be grappling with the flying mechanics in Rocket League, getting endlessly lost trying to find the next guardian in Shadow of the Collosus or coming up with the right tactic to get enough money for the ship you need in Elite. Of course, some of these games can be made easier, but to play them at their best is to ramp up the difficulty to max (crushing on The Last Of Us for example) and let them give you all they've got.
 

Inhabit Another World

Whether it’s a simple puzzle grid, a battlefield or a universe of planets to visit, all games create virtual spaces in which to play. Some of these are simply the background to a campaign - the game’s unfolding drama, missions or challenge. But others invite you to invest in the worlds they create, move in, tend to and inhabit in fantastical ways.

The games in this section invite you to spend time in spaces that have a sense of place, life and character. Worlds that hold history and lore in their landscapes, flora, fauna and inhabitants; environments that respond to your presence and invite you to restore them to their former glory.
 

Survive The Night

Surviving in games is often a key element. Some games, however, make it the main focus. With minimal resources and little light can you make it through to the morning? Can you prepare a shelter as the daylight dwindles in time for you to cope with the lurking creatures of the dark?

Whether this is as simple as closing the door to keep the zombies out in Minecraft or as complex as crafting food, clothing and medicine to cope with the freezing blackness of The Long Dark these games are exhilarating as they pose a strategic puzzle with personal consequences.

Many of these games offer an open world in which to survive, which opens up more ways of preparing for and then making it through the night time. This, of course, leads to another day where you need to spend time and resources wisely while exploring your surroundings.
 
Content devider
 
Image 210 Image 187 Thanks for using our resource, supported by AskAboutGames and ParentZone. We are editorially independent, written by parents for parents, but welcome sponsorship, partnership and suggestions. Email our editor for details on these opportunities.

The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

Email a correction for The Long Dark.