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a game by IonFX
Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 5/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 9.3/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Action Adventure Games, Best Indie Games, Survival Games, Quest Games, Underwater Games, Games Like The Forest, Games Like Outlast, Games Like Subnautica, Games Like Stranded Deep

With an interesting twist on the survival genre, Miasmata delivers the usual tropical island-faring exploration with the added variable of the protagonist being beset by an incurable illness and, your ultimate survival goal—find the cure. While it isn’t the first game to afflict the player with a debilitating sickness, Far Cry 2 and malaria comes to mind, it is one of the first where you actually play as a scientist (or rather, unfortunate victim with a scientific background) on a mission to rid themselves of that sickness. As the sickness is inseparably tied to gameplay and encourages story progression—this unique idea to the survival genre brings with it some truly immersive mechanics, as well as some annoyingly detrimental drawbacks.

The Odds are Against You

The story of Miasmata has the protagonist waking up on a deserted tropical island already afflicted with the mysterious disease and tasked with finding as cure—as the island seems to have the plants and fungi necessary to develop one. From there, the protagonist must survive extremely difficult terrain, maintain water supply, and avoid the monstrous predator that traverses the island—not necessarily in search of the protagonist, but protective of its own territory. In that way, it feels remarkably similar to the Alien in Alien: Isolation—as you don’t necessarily have the tools to destroy it—only to impede it, hide, or escape.

Innovative Exploration

That being said, the disease brings with it an added set of variables to the typical exploration process. As it affects the character’s endurance—the protagonist will often need to walk, slow down, avoid swimming for too long, and take medicine to stifle the adverse symptoms. With that in mind, much like the Farcry 2 mechanics, they can become rather tedious to deal with. The point is made through multiple gameplay drawbacks, yet the game continues to make the point. One amazing standout feature of Miasmata is in its map triangulation. In order to find your place in the world, it is necessary to seek out landmarks and get your bearings. The entire ordeal functions as a puzzle-like mini-game, and is a great precursor or option that future survival/open world games should try to implement.

Inconsistent Beauty

The strangest thing about Miasmata lies it its inconsistencies of both graphics and design. While the game, at times, can be truly stunning with a great god-ray lighting implementation and stunning water reflections—it is also riddled with very bland textures and some truly stiff animations. Additionally, when it comes to design, there are strange, dissonant choices. You need water to survive, but never food. You are a scientist that can craft syringes and medicine, but not a backpack to hold them. While these are small gripes, they add up, and make other inconsistencies shine as if under a spotlight.

Autonomy in Survival

Miasmata offers a wonderful new idea to the survival genre and could easily be seen as an inspiration to more modern releases like The Forest. And, though it can be bogged down by inconsistent graphics and mechanics, it still has something new to show those that appreciate a truly immersive experience.


While it comes across as somewhat dated, the fact that it was designed by two people is impressive and goes to show reason for the singular artistic, often symbolic intent of the project and its story as a whole.


  • Map triangulation
  • Ever present predator
  • Original concept and scientific crafting


  • Protagonist sickness adds tedium
  • Inconsistent graphics and mechanics
  • Shoddy animations
  • Limited variety in gameplay

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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