Arctico was previously an Early Access survival game called Eternal Winter, but it ditched all the bleak inevitability of starving to death in the snow in favor of becoming a relaxing exploration game. Whereas in Eternal Winter you might have had to butcher your huskies for food, in Arctico you can pet them, and if they don’t get fed they simply grow tired and slow down. Rather than being another brutal game of staring at a hunger meter, it became a cosy game of building an Arctic research base between meditative journeys by sled, kayak, or glider.
Last year, Andy Kelly played a then-current version and said, “There’s something very appealing about Arctico’s wintry terrain and use of colour. It’s a pretty game, but clearly still in development, with some clunky, robotic animations. Still, it’s a compelling place to explore. You’ll see the outline of something on the horizon, ride over with your dogs, and find something interesting: the abandoned camp of previous explorers, perhaps, where you’ll find excerpts from their diaries and items to scavenge.”
Arctico is currently available on Steam Early Access. According to the latest trailer, it’ll be departing Early Access in February of 2022. Said trailer also shows off activities like kayak-fishing, plant-growing, star-gazing, and a whole lot of chill sledding across the snow with four huskies who I’m sure are all very good dogs.