In How to Survive, the player character (chosen among three available ones) is stranded on a zombie-infested island. During the course of the game, the character will visit four islands while trying to survive. The islands are not completely abandoned as there are a few people to meet which provide main and side quests to solve.
In its core, this is an isometric shooter: the player uses a button to aim the weapon in order to kill a lot of zombies. Holding the cursor a bit over the enemy before shooting results in better aim and eventually a critical hit. Movement and aim is controlled individually. However, besides the action there is also a survival element involved: the character has watch thirst, hunger and exhaustion and battle it by eating, drinking and sleeping. Thankfully the backdrop is a tropical island which means the basic means to survive are relatively easy to find. In the night, more powerful roam the island which can be hold at bay by using light.
This is accompanied by a crafting system which allows to combine pretty much everything for useful stuff. For example combining a string and a branch gives a bow, using beard feathers with arrows improves aim or cooking raw meat gives more health back. This way the player can craft items which either help to get other crafting materials or are useful in combat, i.e. armor and weapons. Solving (mostly fetch) quests and killing enemies gives experience points which eventually lead to a level up. Then one of the character's skill trees can be improved - what skills are available depends on the used character.
On October 27, 2013Roam, the company behind the Kickstarter funded project of the same name, accused 505 Games of stealing their game. Roam is also a survival game with zombies and crafting. What ticked Roam off is that 505 Games contacted them for publishing, were declined and shortly after announced How to Survive.
However, the next day they backpedaled and apologized. Monster Island (the working title of How to Survive) was in development long before the kickstarter campaign.