Smalland: Survive the Wilds – Preview
Follow Genre: Platformer, Survival
Developer: Merge Games
Publishers: Merge Games
Platform: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Tested On: PC

Smalland: Survive the Wilds – Preview

Good: Living amongst the insects, Large open world
Bad: Multiplayer sync bugs
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VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably wondered if there are other intelligent life forms out there, but what if they happened to live closer by than anyone ever expected? Last year’s Grounded seemingly kickstarted a new ‘small’ genre, which allowed players to view the planet on a different scale. This is an idea that is explored further, albeit in a different way in Smalland: Survive the Wilds. The game, which lets you explore the world of ‘giants’ and meet its many tiny inhabitants, is still in Early Access, but as you’ll find out, there’s already plenty to do here. 

Before you can get started on your open-world adventure, there are a few things you need to take care of. First and foremost is character creation. Any characters you create can be used in different servers and you can have multiple ones, if you prefer to play a unique character in each of your different playthroughs. After you select your character, you can host a server, this can be solo or online, private or public. There are also various options to fine-tune the experience of your game. You might want a peaceful world where insects don’t attack, or a hardcore experience where one bite could mean your demise.

The story begins with the King asking all Vanguards for their help. The Queen is gravely ill and you are prompted to go explore the Overland and seek out a cure. You are one of the Vanguards and take the task upon yourself to find the mysterious cure to help out your royal leaders. The game starts with a short tutorial that teaches you the basics of the various gathering, crafting, and combat mechanics. You must master all of these if you want to have a fighting chance outside the Vanguard lair. After you make it to the world outside, you are dropped in the rather large Overworld and are tasked with finding your first contact. Basically, there is a wizard that holds the cure to save the Queen, but he has locked the potion inside a chest and now you must venture forth and help the many inhabitants to get an idea of where the key might be located.

This sends you out on a rather large exploration in a world that is vastly inhabited by many different creatures, small, large, crawling, and flying. It turns out that Vanguards are a tasty snack for most creatures, and many will attack you without hesitation. Fortunately, you are able to defend yourself, either with one of your starting items or with a weapon that you craft at your base. Killing the creatures will grant you resources to craft with, to become even stronger in the long run. Scattered around the Overworld are also boss creatures. You must defeat these to progress in the story but be well prepared as they are unbelievably strong.

Just like beer, this game is best enjoyed with friends. It is great to help each other in combat, by gathering resources and maintaining your shared base. Sadly during some sessions, there were multiple issues with friends not able to collect anything or deal damage to creatures which is rather annoying but the host themselves never had any issues whatsoever. Hopefully, these synchronization issues will get ironed out in the future as the game has quite the potential to be fun with more people.

As the game is set in the “real” world, you will see the many remains of humans, or Giants as they are called. Various trinkets lost by these Giants can be used for crafting and the further you go from your initially spawning points, the more human-built structures you will encounter. Another cool aspect is that there are quite a lot of height differences in the many locations. Not only does this add verticality to the gameplay, but it also makes the game quite a sight to behold, especially on higher graphical settings.  Even with less powerful hardware, you can still enjoy the gameplay. The game runs remarkably stable, as the map stays completely loaded in at all times. Not only will the nice graphics, realistic scenery, and colorful nature immerse you in the experience, but the sounds also take an equal part in truly transporting your mind into the game. There is no music present, just the lovely sounds of nature such as water flowing, the wind whistling through the grass, insects making noises, and all the other soothing ambience of the peaceful outdoors.


Smalland: Survive the Wilds is a fun survival game set on a large map. It will take quite some time to explore the outside borders and meet the many key figures that can help you in your quest to save the queen. As you have the freedom to adjust the server settings to your preferences, you basically have a carte-blanche to enjoy the game how you feel, alone or with others. Currently, there are still some issues plaguing the multiplayer portion of the game but when enjoying it on your own it is quite the fun title to spend your evening with, feeling small in a giant’s world.

VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:R_U [1.9.22_1171]
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Smalland: Survive the Wilds - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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