By: Derek Yu

On: July 2nd, 2007


I achieved a certain kind of zen playing Schiffbruch (“Shipwreck”) late at night. There’s something about the way the game captures the feeling of just having to survive from day to day that is very compelling. There’s no story behind why you were on the ship when it crashed, or any explanation about who you are or who you were with. All you know is that you’re stranded on an island (randomly generated with each game), that you left the wreck with nothing, and that you are dying with every step.

Some of you will probably say that this is a boring, repetitive game that requires too much trial-and-error and plain ol’ luck, and I’m not going to argue with you. After being rescued once I don’t feel any need to come back to it. But while I was playing I was so invested in the little home I’d created on the island that when it came time to leave it I was almost sad.

Link: Creator’s Homepage (which runs in a little Java applet, which is why I didn’t use it for the main link)

(Source: Soldat Movies, Image Source: Zizala?)

  • haowan

    You call this rescue!?


  • Lorne T Whiting

    JACK! YOU FOOL! Your ideas are disturbing to my demeanor.

  • nullerator

    I remember playing this game years ago. Not sure if the other comments are implying that it is a clone of Lost in Blue, but if anything it’s the other way around, as this game is ancient.

    It was pretty good fun, too.

  • haowan

    Nah, I wasn’t implying that. I wasn’t implying anything, in fact.

  • Radix

    I fucking love survival games, and there aren’t enough of them. Schiffbruch is one of the better ones. I have mixed feelings about the probability-based rescue system. You can achieve bugger all and eventually be rescued just by surviving, or you can stick your neck out a bit to improve your odds dramatically at the cost of making survival more difficult. Which sounds ideal in theory, except that your odds go up much too quickly (because it’s probability-based, even a small improvement translates into a drastically shorter stay on the island) which ruins any possibility of replay value after you get past the small learning curve.

    Skip Schiffbruch 3D. It would be a good game if it didn’t suck.

    Man, I was so excited when Lost in Blue 2 came out of nowhere. Then I aquired it and was unkind to a child after discovering it was basically a LiB1 map hack. And LiB1 wasn’t all that great to begin with.

    I have really vague memories of playing some survival game on the school library macintoshes as a preteen. Don’t recall much, besides that you could hunt things and that it felt like an OS pack-in (not that I know shit from mac games of 1990) with little 16×16 or possibly 8×8 tile graphics. Can anyone identify it?

  • Rosse

    If you like survival games, here’s a 3d version of the game:

    It’s in german as well. If you can’t find the download link, here are the english versions:

    Stranded 1:

    Stranded 2:

  • Radix

    Odd, for some reason when I said Schiffbruch 3D I meant Stranded 1. I’ve even got an old zip in one of my downloads folders by that name. Yet google only returns one (irrelevant) result. I have no idea where I got it from or why it was called that. I wonder if there’s some relation, since they do share some elements.

    Anyway, it’s not very good. I haven’t tried the sequel though.

  • Frozen Fenix

    Where the fuck do you find materials, I can only find these rocks that do shit.

  • Shabadage

    Survival Kids probably predates this game (It was a GB game that was the predecessor to Lost in Blue). But still, this game is fun.

  • Isador21

    Old! I have this on a 2002 game compilation CD … wait… 2001 maybe??

  • Jared

    Good stuff even though it’s old, and thanks for linking to me, Derek.

    Stranded 2 is awesome, a massive improvement on the original. Currently I’m floating on a raft in the middle of the ocean with a volleyball named Wilson. Yes, Wilson makes a cameo appearance in the game :D

  • rinkuhero

    There’s also “Wrecked” by MDickie.

  • PoV

    Neat. I used to love this C64 game based on the Swiss Family Robinson’s books. Similar idea, just more text, and you’d run the risk of being eaten by animals (snakes, lions, tigers, bears). Twas actually quite fun, though hard.

  • Derek

    Ah, Jared, I didn’t realize Soldat Movies was your site! Awesome, I love it! :D

    I’ll try Stranded 2 next. I played Wrecked and it scared me. You can punch trees to death in that game and eat human meat. Survival games are awesome, though.

  • moi

    There were a couple of silmaril survival games for Amiga and ST with the same theme.
    Anyway I don’t like shiffenbrush because you can’t see where you’re going and in reality I would be looking for the river by going toward the mountain.

  • Karzon

    Re: Frozen Fenix The materials you find depends on where you search. Trees, grass, etc. You can combine them to make tools.

    I think for a couple, the ORDER you combine them (click A on B or click B on A) matters.

    Played it a couple of years ago. I never quite finished it.

  • negative zero

    man this is old school. what i don’t get with most survival games is how quickly and unrealistically your hunger/fatigue/whatever meters diminish. isn’t the average human able to go without food for about a week or two? Notrium’s a good example.

  • MedO

    I’ve got this game here already, and IIRC I got it not long after it was released. The archive is dated 1999, and the files inside as well.

  • OrR

    I love Schiffbruch. Great simple game. :) Now I’m addicted to Lost in Blue, though. Finally have to get further in the second part…

  • haowan

    I must have missed the memo that stated that every game posted to TIGS must be new release.

  • k

    You’re forgetting UnReal World

    Best survival game ever.

  • Radix

    Not so much. It’s only a survival game in the sense that most roguelikes are survival games. Though it does have a lot of that sort of thing (scavenging and preparing items to make things) it’s not really the main focus except by extension of the setting. You’re more likely to die from being raped by a red guy than from the elements, for example.

    Regardless, a pretty fun game apart from its habit of crashing and ruining your character files… though it’s being sold so I hope there’s been some fixes since I last tried it.

  • MedO

    I played through it now (for the first time too, it didn’t work well back then on my old 486 ;))

    The game is good fun, but I think it has little replay value. Later in the game, playing becomes fairly mechanical, as nothing unexpected ever happens, and your options are relatively limited. Also, survival becomes trivial after the first few days. But the mood of the game is nice, and figuring stuff out feels good, too.

    Conclusion: Fun, once.