Hidden Survivor Review: Explore and Conquer

Hidden Survivor is a mashup of a few different genres, including survival, battle royale, and interactive novel. You play as a schoolgirl in a post-apocalyptic universe. We don’t know exactly what happened, or what the threat is, but things aren’t looking particularly good.

The core loop of gameplay involves heading out on multiplayer deathmatch-style missions in Explore mode and gathering resources. Each player takes on the role of a random object, and has to try and survive long enough to collect items. You collect these automatically, with the resources you collect depending on the object you’re currently hiding in.

But what are you hiding from? Well, other players. At regular intervals, a Reset Potion spawns on the map, which you can drink to return to human form for 40 seconds. During this time, you can beat up other players to steal the items they’ve collected, and boosting your score.

Meanwhile, parts of the map slowly become inaccessible as the time goes by – much like in a battle royale shooter. You’ll know which areas are a threat, as they’re marked in red, and you get fair warning, with areas turning yellow on the minimap before they become dangerous.

Matches last three minutes and the winner is the player that has picked up the most points during a match. You get points from collecting items, hiding from players, and killing other players, so it pays to get involved as much as possible.

When the match is over, you’ll collect all of the items you’ve picked up and can spend them on upgrades for your sanctuary. These allow you to live a more comfortable life, like allowing you to mitigate some of the grind by producing your own resources.

The most crucial of these are easily your food and beverages, as these top up your three parameters of Fullness, Moisture, and Spirit. These diminish over time and if any reach zero, you’ll die and have to take over as another survivor.

You’ll meet these at random between Explore missions and can choose to allow them to stay in your sanctuary or send them away. Each survivor has its own parameters, and you’ll have to maintain all of them, which means that producing your own resources should be your first order of business.

And that’s pretty much Hidden Survivor in a nutshell. It’s a pretty fun experience with a decent core loop that always gives you something to work towards and manages to be challenging without being punishing. While death is permanent, your upgrades persist so it’s mostly just sad when you lose a character, rather than having a huge gameplay impact.

If we had any complaint, it would be with the overall presentation, as it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The sanctuary is displayed as a collection of anime images, and you can tap on highlighted objects to interact with them. However, when you head into Explore mode, it suddenly turns into a bit of a pixelated mess.

It’s not that it looks particularly bad, it just jars with the rest of the experience. Objects look a bit basic when compared to the backgrounds, and the pixelated characters jar with the anime versions while in the sanctuary. It feels like two different games entirely, rather than part of a package.

It could also do with a bit of variety overall. Explore isn’t hugely fun when you don’t manage to get your hands on a Reset Potion, and they don’t drop quite as often as you’d like. This wouldn’t be as big of a problem if there was an alternate mode to play, but right now it’s just Explore or upgrading your sanctuary.

Ultimately, we’d consider Hidden Survivor to be a work in progress, and we’d be interested in seeing how it plays within the coming months. At this point, it is fun with a core loop that encourages you to keep playing, but it could do with a more consistent art style and a few more modes to really take it to the next level.

Check out Hidden Survivor for yourself on Android and iOS by clicking here.

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