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For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad, Windows Phone
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Survival of the fittest

Product: Survivalcraft | Developer: Igor Kalicinski | Publisher: Candy Rufus Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Adventure, Casual | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version:
Survivalcraft iPhone, thumbnail 1
Minecraft is an indie gaming phenomenon, garnering the kind of sales and critical acclaim usually reserved for big-budget blockbusters. Almost inevitably, it has also gained its fair share of imitators, and Survivalcraft is the latest to join the ranks of clones clogging up app stores worldwide.

However, to totally dismiss Survivalcraft as derivative would be unfair. While the game makes no attempt to hide its inspiration, it offers a focused and often unremitting challenge which is arguably lacking from Minecraft - Pocket Edition.

How long can you last?

Marooning you on an island and leaving you to fend for yourself, Survivalcraft places you in mortal danger from the outset. The opening few seconds of our first outing saw us mauled by an angry bear - a grim portent of things to come.

A quick respawn later and we were being chased by ravenous wolves. Moments of peace are few and far between in Survivalcraft, and this feeling of tension is what makes the game so compelling to play.

The usual Minecraft tropes are here - you can craft items and build yourself some shelter - but the objective is always keeping yourself out of harm's way. Neat touches - such as the ability to ride horses and other animals - show that the developer isn't merely copying Minecraft's every move, and it's worth noting that the visuals are actually better.

The biggest question mark hanging over Survivalcraft is how long it can remain a viable alternative. Minecraft on the PC already has mods which turn the game into a survival-horror epic, and once the mobile edition catches up Survivalcraft - and other clones like it - could be rendered entirely redundant.

It's dangerous to go alone

We also have out doubts about whether established Minecraft fans are going to warm to such a familiar game. Yes, Survivalcraft offers a reasonably distinct experience, but it doesn't really do much to convince hardcore lovers of Mojang's famous title to down tools and switch their allegiance.

Still, Survivalcraft is different enough - and polished enough - to be worth a second glance. At times it's genuinely scary, and if you're a fan of Minecraft's spookier moments this could be the alternative you're looking for.
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 20 May 2013
This is basically Minecraft with the scariness turned up to 11 - if you like being chased by wild animals, then this is sure to be your dream ticket
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Aug 2013
Post count:
Mothreja Jay | 13:27 - 22 October 2013
Half assed iOS port. No than brah
Nov 2010
Post count:
evanac | 14:20 - 20 May 2013
This game remains a valid contender if only because the world is infinite in size and updates are very regular. MC:PE (which I also own) is twice the price but offers a very limited world size and the updates are very slow to appear.

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE Minecraft and will always continue to support it - but for me SurvivalCraft is the far better prospect on iOS and will be for the forseeable future.