Let’s take a quick look at this up and coming new indie game on Steam, Harsh. It is an open world single player survival game with an RPG twist. Like other survival games you must scrounge up materials to make clothes, tools, a place to call home, and more.  

Harsh has an additional component of being based in a fantasy RPG style world. This means you not only get axes and spears through leveling, but you can learn magic as well!

Open World Survival RPG set in a high fantasy environment. Craft items and fortresses, wield spells and magical equipment as you face everything from undead to intelligent factions whose reaction towards you is based on your treatment of them.

Find more gamplay on Harsh’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe0D9gagYEoXobECp8SYdPg

Harsh Early Access Alpha Version

Harsh becomes available on January 25th on Steam. Here is where to find it.


Keep in mind that Harsh is an early alpha version with just a portion of the planned content currently in game. This alpha version tackles the in-game mechanics of battle, survival, crafting and more. The developer says there is tons more content coming on top of what is already in the game.

The Harsh World

Harsh Making Axe

You start washed up on a small island between two others. One is quite small but the third is large with plenty to explore. Click M to pull up a map of the area to keep your bearings.

This is a survival game, so air, food, and water are a must. Air is easy to come by. Water can be found in the rivers and in ocean. Food can be gained by cooking meat from the animals you kill. Shelter is important, but you will want to get a fire as soon as possible.

Keep an eye on your food bar. One you are out, you will start to lose HP. This also goes for your air bar when swimming.

To gather the needed materials for survival run around and pick up cordage from plants, rocks on the ground or smash (attack) boulders, and wood (kill a tree!). This will get you all the materials that you need to get going making food, tools, weapons, and clothes. When you make items to place such as a fire or a hut, place the item by hitting B.

Exploring Harsh

Harsh Corpse Run

Once you have the basic tools, clothes and a decent stash of food you can head out to explore the wider island. I won’t go into much detail here but know that if you die, your corpse will be left on the island marked with a big red X. You will have to run to it and loot it to get back your gear. If you want to be extra careful, make a set of gear and leave it at your main camp in case you die. That way you have some gear you can equip/wear when you go hunting for your corpse. Initially you will respawn on the beach where you started. However, you can move this point by making a shrine and placing it. Make sure to use it once it is placed to set your new respawn point!

Leveling Up in Harsh

In Harsh you get XP just by living. So, your XP bar slowly goes up while you are alive. You can accelerate your leveling by killing creatures, but this is a double-edged sword. The reason is that the creatures dynamically spawn based on your level. If you level up, so do they. You shouldn’t focus on leveling as much as getting all the items you need to survive and comfortably explore.

Harsh on Unreal

Harsh is built on the new Unreal engine which gives it the potential to be a great looking game. Since Epic is working hard to polish the Unreal engine you can assume that this game will become further polished in this area as well.

If you like survival games or fantasy RPGs Harsh may be just what you are looking for in a mashup. It’s early alpha but this game shows a lot of potential. With a solid foundation in vision and mechanics paired with the newest Unreal Engine I’m looking forward to the adventures Harsh will take us on.