Sandbox survival sim The Long Dark hits Early Access

It was this time last year that Hinterland Games launched a Kickstarter campaign for survival sandbox The Long Dark . A year isn't long in game development, but the studio has already managed to release an Early Access edition of the game, and it's available right now . While all the usual work in progress warnings have been sounded, the studio also describes it as "very stable and highly playable".

Better still, it looks like the game will only stay in Early Access for "2 to 3 months", meaning there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The Early Access content features a survival sandbox mode, while a story mode is promised for the complete edition of the game. The sandbox mode has spent months in alpha, with Hinterland claiming that "most of our players are getting dozens of hours of gameplay".

While the Early Access edition is available for US$19.99, that's likely to change. "Please note that the game's price will likely increase when we launch the full release version, to reflect improvements and the growth of content during Early Access," the Steam listing reads. "The current price reflects the unfinished state of the game.”

PC Gamer's Andy Kelly enjoyed the alpha. "With a focus on atmosphere and environmental survival, it stands out in an increasingly crowded genre, and I can't wait to explore more of this deadly, snowbound wilderness," he wrote back in July . Or you could read our interview with creator Raphael van Lierop .

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.