Currently available in Steam Early Access, Valheim
is something of a hit -- currently nearing the top of Steam's most-played titles. A survival game with a dose of that Nord life, which got our own resident Survival Guru, Joab Gilroy, to ask the big questions. That is, see what it is about the survival genre that calls so many of us -- and where Valheim sits on his patented Triangle of Survival
Which is now officially the way in which the genre will forever be referenced.
The Triangle of Survival posits that survival games can be broken down into three categories; Exploration, Crafting, and Existing. Each survival game — and by now there are a lot of them — falls somewhere in this triangular chart between these three factors. And if you can work out where survival games you like exist, you might be able to identify early on whether you will or will not like another one.
Head Here to Read All About Valheim and the Triangle of Survival
Think of it like one of those charts you might see during a business seminar, except far more practical.
Games that are heavy on Exploration encourage you to branch out from your home base, to look at what else is out there and find something better. A game that is purely exploration might be called a Walking Simulator — that is, all you do is wander around, discovering new things and learning about the world without worrying about staying alive or building anything.
Games focusing on Crafting give you loads of recipes and reasons to build them. You can craft anything from a simple axe all the way up to giant kingdoms, depending on the game you're playing. A game all about crafting would be something incremental, where you progress purely by finding and crafting new recipes.
And finally, games focused on Existence require you to live against the odds. You'll need to manage an array of needs as you attempt to stay alive for just one more day. Battle Royales, being an evolution of the DayZ PvP loop and generally focusing on a last person standing theme, would be games that are purely existence-based. The PUBG to the Firewatch.