What happens when you cross ARK: Survival Evolved with the blocky-style of Minecraft? Snail Games, the owner of Studio Wildcard, revealed PixARK Thursday to answer that question and provide yet another spin on the open-world survival title. Xbox One and Steam PC gamers will get the first taste this March, but PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch owners won’t be left out.
PixARK is coming to Steam Early Access and the Xbox Game Preview program this March. The goal is to officially release the sandbox adventure game by the end of 2018 and add the PS4 and Nintendo Switch as additional platforms.
It is a voxel-based building, crafting, and adventure title that should seem immediately familiar to any veteran of ARK: Survival Evolved and Minecraft. Some might say it more closely resembles Trion Worlds’ Trove, however.
Snail Games USA is the developer behind PixARK and has already included many of the creatures and much of the equipment from ARK: Survival Evolved in the game, plus some that are not. The debut trailer and screenshots show Raptors, Brontosaurus, Triceratops, the T-Rex, and non-traditional ARK creatures like a panda and cyclops. The studio plans to have over 100 creatures to tame, train, and ride on procedurally generated maps with different biomes above ground, underground, and underwater.
Meanwhile, there appear to be familiar crafting elements to construct bases, plant farms, or make weapons and armor. There also appear to be some more magical elements as some characters can be seen wielding staffs.
Interestingly, this is the yet another proposed spin-off for ARK: Survival Evolved. The VR-based ARK Park was announced to be released in 2017 for the HTC Vive from Snail Games but is still listed as “coming soon.” Meanwhile, the battle royale title, ARK: Survival of the Fittest was shelved while Studio Wildcard focused on releasing the primary game. The developer also toyed with ARK: Primal Survival to allow play as a dinosaur before it was eventually shelved as well.
The good news with PixARK is that Snail Games states the core game is fully functional with support for local single-player and online multiplayer on both official and private servers. The developer plans to test and iterate on some of the “experimental technology and features” during early access period on PC and Xbox One.