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The Forest is one of those games many of us in the indie gaming space have kept our eyes on over the years. When the game was released way back in 2014, The Forest was all anyone could talk about for months, with YouTube becoming inundated with playthroughs of the game. I cannot tell you how many YouTube man-children I saw screaming their fake son’s name into their webcam during this time.
However, as with many indie games that breakthrough into the mainstream, The Forest was very ambitious; the goals the developers, Endnight Games, set for themselves were lofty, and the Beta release of the title was far from what they envisioned as their final product. But, the games industry being what it is, they had to release something to keep the lights on. After all, this was the newly minted studio’s first-ever title, so it had to hit it big if the small development team wanted to stick together.
If we skip forward to the present, The Forest is still the game many of us fell in love with all those years ago. However, with the addition of many unique and quality-of-life features, the title’s replayability has increased significantly, encouraging players to return. Sadly, we never did get any extra content to prolong our playthroughs of this title, leaving fans wanting more.
Therefore, in this article, we will look at some of the top games like The Forest on the market that will scratch that Forest itch we have all had while waiting for the sequel to drop. So, with all this being said, let’s get right into the good stuff!
As you might imagine, when an indie game such as The Forest drops and becomes a huge overnight success, many game studios kick into high gear, trying to capture that same magic and produce something akin to The Forest but just different enough to avoid legal fees.
Therefore, we need to set some ground rules before we get into the nitty-gritty of the article to ensure no copy-cats or unruly customers slip through our net. These rules include the following:
- All games included on this list must have a Metacritic score (when available) of 60% or higher. I will not allow you guys to play something I wouldn’t happily play myself.
- Each game must have some element that you can easily see featured in The Forest.
- Only one game per franchsie.
- The game must already be in Beta or full release. No alpha titles that could easily be ruined by the time of complete release.
Now that we’ve got the boring admin out of the way, let’s jump into the article and look at the games that will take up most of your free time.
The Best Games like The Forest You Need to Try
- Developer: Bohemia Interactive
- Metacritic Score: 69% (PC Score)
- Platform: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
The first entry on this list is very close to my heart and a title that has shared a similar life cycle to The Forest. Releasing way back in 2013, DayZ took the world by storm. Starting as a simple zombie survival mod for Arma 3, it grew legs of its own and now sits as a standalone game with ports onto PlayStation and Xbox (however, these are buggier than a Bethesda pre-release, so stick to PC).
A typical lifecycle in DayZ is filled with highs and lows. You initially spawn on the coast of some Russian landmass; the player must then battle through numerous zombies, horrid weather conditions, and fellow players to get some decent loot and hopefully survive long enough to make friends and memories along the way.
The base raiding features modded into DayZ are brilliant as they allow player groups or clans to battle it out for supremacy over a server ensuring numerous antics ensue throughout. Outside of all this, the game has an incredibly detailed and well-thought-out survival system in place, taking the experience from The Forest to another level.
- Developer: Creepy Jar, Forever Entertainment S.A.
- Metacritic Score: 78%
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox Series X/S, PC
As with The Forest, this game places the player on a tropical island and asks you to do one thing first and foremost, survive. Of course, this game also comes with a detailed survival system that sometimes puts those of The Forest and DayZ to shame. To survive in this aptly named ‘Green Hell,’ you will need a lot of tips and tricks up your sleeves.
When you first land in this hellscape, you will likely die a good few times before you realize what is essential to your survival and how best to ward off the inevitable.
The game offers the player next to no help when it comes to getting started, leaving the player to their own devices and brain power to figure out most things. However, if you’re like me and don’t want to struggle this much, check out this wiki for some helpful tips.
- Developer: Hinterland
- Metacritic: 75%
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
One thing I loved about The Forest was the game’s ability to lure you into a false sense of security, only to surprise you with a switch in music and tone at a drop of a tree. The Long Dark is a game that takes inspiration from titles like The Forest and does everything better. The atmosphere and slow build-up of tension in this game is second to none in the survival space right now, as they enthralled me from the beginning.
Much like the other games on this list, the player begins their hero’s journey with nothing to their name, forcing them to adapt to this new and challenging environment quickly. Much like The Forest, you must survive against the elements while searching for clues or answers to the ever-increasing supply of questions you keep tucking away to the back of your mind.
After you get over the hardships of your first couple of hours in this title, the beauty of your surroundings comes to the forefront, only adding to the experience.
- Developer: Facepunch Studios
- Metacritic Score: 69%
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Rust is another game that, like DayZ and The Forest, gathered a lot of momentum upon release, only to fall away for a couple of years until updates and continued work on the game brought back some of the less dedicated players. Many players, however, did stick around through the years, creating a vibrant and bustling community of players who love to battle, exchange notes, and battle again for server supremacy.
While this game is like The Forest in many ways, especially regarding the survival and base-building elements, the two games were similar once the multiplayer update for the titular game was released. When I began playing The Forest with some friends, I only realized how similar Rust my experience was.
- Developer: Iron Gate Studios, Fishlabs, Piktiv
- Metacritic Score: N/A
- Platforms: Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S, PC
Valheim is a game that most of you Forest gamers have already heard about or played. Valheim came out in early 2021 and quickly became the game of choice for players who had already completed The Forest and wanted another multiplayer experience to fill the void left behind by finally finding the remains of Timmy.
With a good bunch of friends gathered on Valheim, you will always have fun things to do and new challenges to face. The world is somewhat randomly generated, leaving each new adventure completely different.
- Developer: The Indie Stone
- Metacritic Score: N/A
- Platforms: PC
Project Zomboid is described as an open-world isometric survival horror game. However, I would describe it as one of the best indie gaming experiences you can have. With the recent addition of the multiplayer mode, Project Zomboid has lept from a small but fiercely loyal fanbase into global acclaim, with new gamers becoming increasingly obsessed with the title only recently.
Once again, this game features a rather complicated survival system that can be made easier or harder depending on the traits of your character, allowing new and experienced players to get the challenge they need. One of the best things about this game and its community is the YouTube videos wherein experienced players and content creators stack the deck of traits against themselves and still manage to survive longer than me. Check out one of these videos here.
- Developer: Ubisoft
- Metacritic Score: 76%
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
While most games in this list are classic survival games with intense and challenging survival systems, this game is a lot easier to play and less realistic in almost every aspect. However, that does not mean players of The Forest won’t enjoy it.
Far Cry Primal places the player in a similar jungle environment as The Forest, robbing the player of all modern-day technology and forcing you to survive against the elements and the natives as best you can.
While there are some horror game elements in here, I think Far Cry Primal can be best described as a story-driven action/adventure title that should hit the spot for any fan of The Forest.
- Developer: Hello Games
- Metacritic Score: 61%
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S, PC
If you are looking for an exploration game that truly makes you feel completely alone and isolated at times, then No Man’s Sky is the game for you. The Forest has this way of allowing the player to enjoy the silence around them, and this is what I find when playing No Man’s Sky. There is a certain peace in isolation.
While this is by no means a survival-horror game, players of The Forest will still enjoy survival, base-building, and crafting game mechanics while exploring the infinite expanse of space along the way. When this game launched, we all thought it could be the next best game ever. However, it let us down. Since then, multiple updates have truly brought this game back to life.
- Developer: TT Games
- Metacritic Score: 66%
- Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC
While this one may be a tough sell, please hear me out. While this may not be the next survival horror game you have been waiting for, I do believe that it can fill the void left by The Forest.
This game emphasizes building and crafting and will push the player to explore the world around them. How your story unfolds is up to you, allowing the player to create their own perfect experience and game.
- Developers: Square Enix
- Metacritic Score: 83%
- Platforms: PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Nintendo Switch, IOS, Android
In the same vein as Lego Worlds and No Man’s Sky, I recommend checking out Dragon Quest Builders. While this video game may not provide the sheer horror The Forest was capable of at times, it does allow you to build and explore until your heart’s content.
Once again, there isn’t much in the way of a story here, but you can spend hours and hours exploring the open world and building some amazing things.
- Developer: Stunlock Studios
- Metacritic Score: N/A
- Platforms: PC
This video game has gone slightly under the radar, developing a base of hardened survival game-loving fans along the way.
You begin life as a bloodthirsty vampire whose only goal is to survive. Along the way, as you build your power, you can start rebuilding your castle and former glory.
There is some story and lore here, but not enough to distract from the main building and survival elements.
- Developer: EA Redwood Shores
- Metacritic Score: 86%
- Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox Series X, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 5, PC
With a remaster of the original Dead Space just around the corner, I would be remiss, not to mention this classic. If you enjoyed the spine-tingling horror of The Forest and the clever but simple survival system, this one might be for you.
Dead Space places you in the shoes of engineer Isaac Clarke and forces you to survive against all manners of hellish creatures while trying to get to the bottom of things. Dead Space is a third-person survival-horror game that will delight any fan of the horror genre.
- Developer: Capcom
- Metacritic Score: 83%
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PC
If you are looking for a modern horror-survival tale, then why not go back to the daddy of them all – Resident Evil?
I would gladly recommend many games from this franchise for lovers of The Forest. However, the HD remaster of this classic is sure to impress the horror game aficionado. Starting here at the beginning of it all is perfect for anyone new to the Resident Evil universe. The update to the graphics is just an added bonus.
If we talk about the best alternatives to The Forest, we have to talk about the much-anticipated sequel slated to hit the shelves in the first quarter of 2023 – Sons of The Forest.
While we do not know much about this game and the story we will be presented with, screenshots from pre-release footage show that the overall feel will be pretty similar, with the player surviving against the odds in a similar environment to the first game against cannibals and mutated creatures just like before.
Hopefully, this game will improve upon the original recipe we all loved and update the experience for the current generation of consoles.
While there are a lot of great games out there at the moment that hit on some of the same themes as The Forest, I just felt like some of them didn’t give me the same feeling as The Forest did. However, this does not mean that they aren’t worth at least an honorable mention on this list or some playtime in the future. Take a look:
- Ark: Survival Evolved
- Dying Light franchise
- Days Gone
- Hunt: Showdown
- Don’t Starve
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Does The Forest ever end?
Answer: While the player can continue playing the Forest on one save forever, continually upgrading their base and fighting off cannibals, there are two definitive endings to the game’s main plot. The first of these two endings involves Eric activating the artifact, choosing to kill everyone on the plane so that he can save Timmy through some ritual sacrifice. Alternatively, Eric can shut down the artifact, saving the lives of everyone on the plane but losing his chance to save Timmy.
Question: How many hours of gameplay is The Forest?
Answer: Once again, the player can continue playing The Forest forever, never running out of bases to build or cannibals to kill. However, if you merely wish to complete the main storyline and find out exactly where your son went, you will need to spend an average of 15 hours during your first playthrough to find all the answers.
Question: Why do more and more cannibals keep attacking my base in The Forest?
Answer: There are two possible answers to this question. Firstly, the game operates a system that monitors your stay on the island during this particular save. As the day progresses, the game implements different landmarks based on the days survived. These landmarks continue until day 40. At this point, the player will experience more cannibal attacks and visits from unique mutants. Day 40, particularly, adds in the mutant named John, a worm-type mutant who can spawn daily at random past day 40.
Secondly, the game also monitors how much the player changes or messes with the default structure of the island. The more you build and cut down trees, the more cannibals will be attracted to the player’s location.
While the Sons of The Forest is only around the corner, it is hard to find joy in any game that isn’t giving you the dopamine or adrenaline hit you desire. Therefore, I hope you found something on this list that tickles your fancy, taking up your gaming time until the release of the much-anticipated sequel. Let’s pray it’s good.
With all this being said, I hope to see you again soon, and thank you for reading Ready Game Survive!