It is the yr 1512 and my old-timey ship is on hearth. Earlier than I leap into the ocean to flee the flames, I’ve to decide on three gadgets to take with me from a chest crammed with instruments, weapons, and provides. 

This ain’t my first survival game: I take an axe so I haven’t got to craft one later out of sticks and rocks, a flint so I could make a hearth, and a backpack so I can carry extra stuff. Although… if I am taking a backpack as one in every of my three gadgets, should not that allow me take extra than three gadgets? There’s additionally a bag of meals and a few medication that might turn out to be useful. Should not I be capable to stuff these in my backpack too?

Alas, I am caught with simply three gadgets, and to compound my disappointment the tutorial nonetheless forces me to craft an axe out of sticks and rocks and make a hearth by rubbing sticks collectively as soon as I get up on an abandoned island. And I undoubtedly ought to have introduced that bag of meals, as a result of it isn’t lengthy earlier than I am cooking up a canine and consuming it. It will not be the final canine I eat on this game. Not by a longshot.

In first-person open world survival game Survival: Fountain of Youth, which enters Steam Early Entry tomorrow, you are a part of Juan Ponce de León’s expedition to what is going to ultimately turn into America. In case you missed that day in historical past class, Ponce de León is the Spanish explorer broadly credited for being the primary European to find Florida (he wasn’t) as he tried to search out the fabled Fountain of Youth (he by no means went on the lookout for it). Historical past class was a bit hit and miss when it got here to precise historical past, no less than in my highschool. Do not ask what they taught us about Catherine the Nice.

Survival: Fountain of Youth has an uncommon system for crafting and gathering, where somewhat than animating the actions the game merely fast-forwards via the time it might take to perform them. Chop up a chunk of shipwreck, collect coconuts or leaves from a tree, or cobble collectively a spear or a bandage, and you do not see it occur—it is simply immediately 20 minutes or an hour later than it was. It takes a little bit getting used to, particularly if you hit the crafting button and the world immediately goes from daylight to nighttime.

(Picture credit score: Twin Sails Interactive)

However there is a cool mapping characteristic, where you discover a excessive level just like the branches of a towering tree, and with a stick of charcoal made within the campfire you fill in your map. I like this map-making system as a result of in contrast to most survival video games it would not simply autofill your map primarily based on the areas you have bodily been to. It additionally enables you to fill in areas you have not been to however have solely spied out of your vantage level, displaying what assets or animals you may discover there. It feels extra reasonable than most video games, and whereas I am exploring I am all the time looking out for a superb vantage level to fill in additional of my map.

As I end up the tutorial, having hunted crabs with a spear and made a mattress out of leaves, I am given a quest to discover a grotto, which I solely have a sketch of because of a earlier expedition to the island. Whereas trying to find this grotto in the course of the evening, I am attacked by what seems to be a big, indignant raccoon with a bushy tail, however after flinging my spear into its face and cooking it on my campfire, I uncover it is truly a short-eared canine. 

Nicely, survivors cannot be choosers, and it is simpler to hunt canines (they run right at me) than crabs (they scuttle away from me).

(Picture credit score: Twin Sails Interactive)

I finally find the grotto with the assistance of some landmarks, and in it I discover numerous helpful stuff. There is a bottle of “Residing Water” from the Fountain of Youth, which can fully restore my health and treatment any ailments. I am tempted to chug it instantly as a result of I additionally discover a number of scorpions within the grotto—extra particularly, I discover them crawling on my arm, biting me and poisoning me. Ouch. My health has already gone downhill just lately: I am sunburned, I’ve a canine chew, and I’ve a chilly. However I save my magic potion as a result of I am fairly positive issues are solely going to worsen.

I am fixing the island’s canine infestation drawback one meal at a time.

I additionally discover Ponce de León’s journal (can I simply name him Ponce at this level?) saying he by accident left a spyglass someplace on the island attributable to leaving in a rush. He is even drawn a useful map exhibiting where he left it. Although… if he had time to go away a notice that he’d forgotten his spyglass and a map exhibiting where he left it, could not he have used that point to go get the spyglass? Logic apart, no less than I now have a magic potion that may heal me if issues get actually dire, and a brand new quest to finish whereas I am fixing the island’s canine infestation drawback one meal at a time.

Not that canines are the one factor to eat! I scavenge an infinite bird’s nest and fry up some eggs on my campfire, after which, maybe predictably, I’m attacked by an infinite and very indignant bird.

(Picture credit score: Twin Sails Interactive)

I spot a number of fishing spots alongside the island’s coast, although I have never progressed to crafting a fishing pole but. And I kill a turtle, which someway feels even worse than killing a bunch of canines, in all probability as a result of the turtle was minding its personal turtle-business and the canines had been attempting to gnaw my scorpion-bitten arm off.

I take precisely three steps ahead and I am instantly bitten by two extra rattlesnakes.

Simply as I predicted, issues get markedly worse. Having discovered PDL’s spyglass, a brand new quest suggests I climb a mountain to place it to make use of, and it is an extremely hostile mountain crammed with indignant canines, extra dive-bombing birds, rattlesnakes hiding within the grass, and even stinging nettle crops that injure me after I run via them to flee all of the livid canines and birds and snakes. By the point I am halfway up the mountain I am affected by each illness ever invented: wind chill, burns, poisoning, the flu, cuts, plus I am soaked from a sudden rainstorm.

It is undoubtedly time to chug my treasured Residing Water potion, however even that winds up being a catastrophe. It refills my health and cures my ills (besides, weirdly, my sunburn) however after ingesting it I take precisely three steps ahead and I am instantly bitten by two extra rattlesnakes. Dang it! If I ever climb to the highest of this dang mountain I am gonna throw Ponce’s spyglass off it, only for making me climb to the highest of this dang mountain.

(Picture credit score: Twin Sails Interactive)

I by no means climb to the highest of this dang mountain. I’ve no leaves to make a mattress with so I proceed stumbling round when it will get darkish, and after a couple of extra meals canines chase me up a cliff I miss a soar and plunge off the sting. Then I stumble round and plunge off the sting I might landed on. At that time I keel over from fall injury, waking up nowhere close to the mountain I used to be attempting to climb.

It was a fairly tough begin for my sunburned, poisoned, flu-ridden, repeatedly-bitten survivor, however I am unable to say I did not get pleasure from myself. With so many co-op survival video games on the market, it is easy to neglect how difficult and enjoyable it may be surviving by yourself. And judging by the trailer there’s tons extra past primary survival, together with constructing a raft and visiting different islands, underwater exploration, and base-building. Survival: Fountain of Youth enters Steam early entry on April 19.