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Have You Played: Miasmata?

If only they'd called it 'Guerilla Botany' instead. So much easier to remember/spell.

Miasmata never enjoyed the degree of attention that many contemporaneous survival games have, which perhaps has something to do with the absence of zombies. Or perhaps because it's primarily about collecting flowers. Or perhaps because its lone, indefatigable foe looks like a cat in fancy dress. Both for and despite those reasons, this is an uncommonly ambitious - and anxious - survival adventure.

"It’s a game about being in a believable place then having to survive in it on wits, compass and herbal remedies alone," I wrote two years ago, and even in these survival-rich times that still seems like a rare thing.

The lack of any assistance is more vital to Miasmata than its mysterious monster is - venturing outwards without any certainty that you'll be able to navigate back successfully is a huge source of menace. You'll need your eyes and your memory to establish where you are in relation to anywhere else, but even if you can do that you're laid low by the constant need to concoct medicines to hold back the disease that's ravaging your body. Don't forget to drink, either. You're stalked by death from without and death from within.

Flowers are your salvation. A flash of white, yellow or pink out there in the wilderness can feel like the clouds parting and the hand of God reaching down from the skies to you.

A game about running from death. Survival.

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Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


Ancient co-founder of RPS. Long gone. Now mostly writes for rather than about video games.