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New Lovecraftian strategy game is Don’t Starve meets Cult of the Lamb

The Tribe Must Survive is a colony sim style strategy game with roguelike replayability in mind, and launches today via Steam Early Access.

The Tribe Must Survive launches via Steam Early Access - Two people with bright white eyes huddle together next to a roaring fire.

Holding out against the gloomy dark and the cold nights of Don’t Starve makes for one of the most memorable survival games I’ve played. But what if you had a Rimworld style colony to take care of amid the horrors of a Lovecraftian stone age? The Tribe Must Survive poses just that challenge to you, entwining people management reminiscent of Cult of the Lamb into a horror city builder and strategy game with just a little of that roguelike moreishness, and following a free demo at Next Fest it’s out now via Steam Early Access.

The Tribe Must Survive, from developer Walking Tree Games and published by Starbreeze, puts you in charge of growing and protecting said tribe from the environment, the shadows, and the horrors that lurk just out of sight. That’s easier said than done, however, as your tribe members all have their own personality, driven by their wants and desires, meaning you can’t just point them somewhere and have them go. It’s a killer twist that makes for some of the best strategy games – Majesty was always a personal favorite of mine, but perhaps I’m old.

The good news is that you can influence your tribe’s actions using all manner of rituals, buildings, upgrades, and more as they gather and build out their own colony. The bad news is that you’ll have to make some very meaningful decisions about how to proceed. Need to make a deadly journey? Do you risk one of your best people, or send a less-valuable member of the team knowing they’re in greater danger? Are your squad surviving comfortably, or are some of them facing dangerous levels of despair?

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Acts in The Tribe Must Survive are punctuated by a potentially run-ending calamity, so you’ll have to do your best to ensure that you’re ready for their arrival. Make it through and another threat lies ahead; fail and, well, there’s always next time. With your people’s unique personalities driving the challenges and opportunities presented to you, each playthrough promises to be a different experience, and each failure a chance to learn and improve on the next run.

The Tribe Must Survive launches Thursday February 22 in early access on Steam. Walking Tree Games says that the launch game “will closely resemble the final product,” and that the decision to launch via early access was made “to involve more real players in the game while fine-tuning balancing and quality-of-life improvements.” As such, it says it hopes to release version 1.0 “within three to four months.”

If you’re sold, you can buy it now on Steam – to celebrate the launch, The Tribe Must Survive is on sale until Thursday February 29 at 20% off, so expect to pay $15.99/£13.59, down from its usual price of $19.99/£16.99.

Alternatively, we’ve got more of the best city-building games around if you’re eager for the strategy side of things, along with the best horror games in 2024 if the allure of the unknown and the frightening calls to you.

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