Mixed or average reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. Oct 23, 2013
    It's an adequate twin-stick shooter, and a few years ago that might have been enough. With so many zombie games out there now though, one this uncommitted to its own ideas can never hope to be more than just part of the horde.
  2. Oct 28, 2013
    While it may be tinged with an insubstantial campaign and a few other minor problems, How to Survive is a worthy game built on a strong foundation of exciting experiences.
  3. Nov 20, 2013
    There are no areas where How to Survive really stumbles, and there are plenty of areas where it shines. The combat flows well, though ranged seems to be a better idea than melee, and the enemy variety keeps things from becoming stale.
  4. Dec 25, 2013
    The fact that the campaign is so short is actually something of a blessing. [Jan 2014, p.85]
  5. Oct 30, 2013
    How to Survive's story can be played quickly, so the two-player co-op and the Challenges are a buyer's best option to extend the play time. That's the only way the average player will be able to explore all the seemingly inconsequential upgrade options and power-ups and not feel bored.
  6. Mar 11, 2014
    Surprisingly entertaining to play, it it just too easy. [Dec 2013]
  7. 60
    Solid action RPG with some survival aspects that might help you make it through a boring day – but not any longer. [Issue#237]
  8. 55
    What we're left with is a quirky combination of tones and systems that never really mesh together to create an engaging whole. The game feels like with a bit more depth, length and ambition it could've given us a pretty unique experience.
  9. Oct 22, 2013
    Attractive in its original idea, How To Survive could have been more fun if it was not as lopsided: the gameplay is cagey and the game is quite repetitive. There is still a multiplayer mode, and battles are sometimes letting off steam.
  10. Oct 30, 2013
    Despite finding one or two things fiddly and frustrating, How to Survive is a good game. I found the survival aspect addictive, challenging and most importantly, thrilling.
  11. Oct 25, 2013
    How to fall asleep – that would be a more suitable title. Or: Uncle Kovac’s island hopping for stressed out zombie tourists… You will stumble over the occasional good idea. But good execution should mean more to development than another way to dismember the undead.
  12. Dec 13, 2013
    There are a lot of games better in terms of technical execution, but How To Survive makes up for that with interesting gameplay. [13/2013, p.68]
  13. Nov 25, 2013
    Occasionally funny but mostly rather rote, How to Survive drowns under the weight of the developer's ambition. [December 2013, p.83]
  14. Nov 21, 2013
    How to Survive is more or less a minimalistic RPG bringing nothing new to the table. Fans of the zombie theme will like it as long as they are not bored by the game's repetitive setting, limited combat system and wasted potential of crafting.
  15. Oct 25, 2013
    How to Survive has some undoubted merits, mainly thanks to the crafting and combat system and the survival component. However, the game is very immature from other points of view, like the variety of enemies and locations, the limited size of the islands, the graphics and the triviality of quests and dialogue.
  16. Dec 27, 2013
    Too many ideas without nearly enough follow through. [Jan 2014, p.65]
  17. Nov 4, 2013
    How to Survive is a quite good game with a fair amount of flaws. After a longer session it can be boring, and the RPG & survival mechanics aren't being used sufficiently. Fortunately the fun coming from killing zombies is surprisingly strong. The game is quite cheap, has some interesting ideas and looks nice - these things should outweigh all the mistakes. But the most important question is this: are you not sick of zombies already?
  18. Nov 6, 2013
    My initially negative impression started to melt away when I reached the second island. I don’t blame myself too much for that, as the game’s presentation at that stage is kind of bland and uninviting and especially its God-awful music needed switching off immediately. But sticking around a little longer, I started to appreciate what the game was trying to achieve; combining the therapeutic fun of slaying zombies with requiring players to apply their brain and look for ways to survive tomorrow as well as today.
  19. Dec 30, 2013
    Other rickety spots aside, How To Survive’s biggest issue is that it doesn’t do enough to keep you engaged across its short, repetitive campaign.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 203 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 41
  2. Negative: 6 out of 41
  1. Oct 30, 2013
    This game was advertised as multiplayer co-op and it's not. May all liars burst into flame; they stole my money.

    The idea of surviving by
    making cool things from items found in the environment is great, but the execution on this idea is abysmal. It really has the feel of a High School project.

    The gameplay is dull and repetitive, the spawns are infinite giving everything you do a pointless feel.
    Building things might be interesting, except they managed to take all mystery out of that process.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 23, 2013
    Disclaimer: I've played this for 2 hours as of writing this. I will continue to play it and will adjust the review/score accordingly if something major changes. This games premise is pretty good. The execution leaves something to be desired, however. The controls on PC are just weird at the start; although aiming is easy the movement feels more like you are controlling and old nes game with a dpad. Movement is much more fluid with a controller as you don't "steer" with the mouse unless you are aiming so it gets some getting used to. It's quite linear so far with a bit of sandbox. You move from island to island (as of writing this I'm on the 3rd island) and do (sort of) what you want on each island. The downside is you really don't have much time with the respawning enemies and how obnoxious it is to explore at night. I applaud the premise of this but the execution just makes exploration very menial and more high risk low reward. Resources seem to respawn every once in a while meaning it's basically impossible to run out of ammo. Fatigue is particularly annoying because you can only rest in designated areas and sometimes that means going back from where you came and the enemies respawn and now it's night so you have more annoying enemies after you too. They needed to either implement more rest areas or allow you to construct your own rest areas. The crafting system is decent but it only allows you to combine when there is something to combine so there isn't any experimentation. If it says combine when you select something then you can combine. I have been playing on ironman and the difficulty is lacking but the tediousness is quite high, so maybe if you play on a lower difficulty it would be more enjoyable. Overall it's an extremely mediocre title so far with nothing exceptional. It's repetitive and tedious at times and the best it has to offer is the feeling of getting some parts and making a cool new weapon. I'm glad I bought the game at a heavy discount with store credit rather than paying money. Could be worth a few hours romp but lower your expectations coming in and you might enjoy it more. Full Review »
  3. Oct 25, 2013
    "How to Survive" is basically "Dead Island" packaged as an isometric perspective twin-stick shooter, but it doesn't take itself as seriously. The gameplay is good and responsive and the fighting feels right: you're tough and fast, but by no means invincible. There's no camera control and no way to rotate the view, which is primitive by today's standards and leads to parts of the map that are permanently hidden. The crafting adds nice variety without overly complicating the game like in "Far Cry 3". The skills aren't very exciting, but they don't hurt the game either. The humor is cutesy, but forced and unoriginal. Kovac, the author of the survival manual, is a blatant rip-off of Marcus in Borderlands. I have two complaints. The first is that you can't remap the controller buttons. Only laziness can explain this in a game that's released in 2013. The second is that it uses checkpoints instead of actual saves. Again, that's just pure laziness. But what's worse is that it's not clear where and when the checkpoints occur, so you don't know when it's safe to exit the game. But overall, while this game isn't stellar, looks and plays like a game from 10 years ago, and won't win any GOTY awards, it's still well made enough that someone who likes the zombie genre (and isn't fed up with it) will enjoy it. Full Review »