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The Surviving Mars devs are making a survival sim about marooned astronauts

Stranded: Alien Dawn goes into early access in October

Stranded: Alien Dawn is a new sci-fi survival sim coming from the developers of Surviving Mars, Haemimont Games, announced at today’s Gamescom Opening Night Live event. It’s set on a planet that’s a teensy bit greener than the red one near us, and heads into early access on Steam in October. Tap your instruments before checking out the sort-of-but-not-really live action reveal trailer below.

Stranded: Alien Dawn is a planetary survival sim from the developers of Surviving Mars.

You’ll need to shepherd a group of spaceship crash survivors to help them keep ticking over on a brave new world. This isn’t Subnautica though – you’ll have a whole colony to look after, effectively, rather than just one roving astronaut. Judging by the trailer, you’ll be surrounded by alien lifeforms and have only basic technology such as stone and wooden tools to work with, at least initially. That’s a big fall in living standards from easily accessible interstellar travel.

To keep your people alive and healthy you'll have to manage their needs, and construct defences for the buildings you set up for them to live in. There'll be weather and enviromental dangers to contend with, too. Your astronauts will gather, plant, hunt and harvest alien plants and animals, and you can always salvage materials from fallen spacecraft if you can find them.

Alec enjoyed the sustained fear of city building on an inhospitable planet in his Surviving Mars review back in 2018. “There's this unspoken suspension of disbelief in any city-building game that some offscreen authority has chosen you as the most qualified entity for the job,” he said, “that you must have some fantastic off-screen career which informed this. In an earth-bound town management game, the nuts and bolts of laying down rows of houses and waterpipes is straightforward enough that this fantasy is broadly undisputed, but it gets more complex in Surviving Mars.”

Stranded: Alien Dawn is crashing into early access in October on Steam. Let’s hope it makes things get complex.

For more Gamescom coverage, be sure to check out our Gamescom 2022 hub for all the latest news, impressions from the show floor and more.

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CJ Wheeler avatar

CJ Wheeler

Former News Reporter

CJ used to write about steam locomotives but now covers Steam instead. Likes visual novels, most things with dungeons and/or crawling, and any shooter with a suitably chunky shotgun. He’s from Yorkshire, which means he’s legally obliged to enjoy a cup of tea and a nice sit down.