Project Winter, a game with the tagline of, “Betray your friends in this 8 person multiplayer focused on social deception and survival.”
The tagline alone tells you a lot about what to expect from the game. Up to eight players per game, at least in the base game modes. Your goal is simple if you get a survivor role, fix various stations, call an escape vehicle, and get out before a giant blizzard comes. However, many obstacles are in your way.
If you get a traitor role, your goal is to sabotage, murder, and lie to get everyone else killed. You win if all the survivors, well, don’t survive. It’s a simple idea, but it doesn’t play as simply as you might expect.
On your journey to survival, you will have to overcome many obstacles. You have to monitor your body temperature, your hunger, and your health. If your body temperature or hunger meters get low, your health starts to lower. The only way to recover body heat is to go back to the cabin which works as a base of operations or use a campfire kit that you can loot from bunkers or craft. The only way to raise your hunger meter is to, well, eat food.
Aside from personal attacks, you have to also worry about attacks from the traitor(s), bears, moose, and even wolves that roam the map. Moose, however, are passive unless you attack them.
Sticking with at least one other person is best so that you can open bunkers. These bunkers have boxes in them that hold supplies. Supplies that will help you survive. Many have “scrap” that you need to use to fix various equipment so the survivors can win. Sometimes, the bunkers also hold firearms or other sorts of supplies to help you survive long enough to win.
One of the features of the game that makes things more interesting is the inclusion of a proximity-based voice chat. You can hear people and vice versa as long as they are close enough to you. If you stray too far, nobody will be able to hear you. Around the map, however, you can find radios that will allow communication with whoever has the same colored radio. These can also be crafted with the right supplies.
The game is very fun with friends and is a good game to sink a bunch of time into. Between rounds, you can snowball fight with the lobby and earn some in-game currency by doing so. Speaking of in-game currency, there are two different types.
One is earned at a fairly frequent rate, this is the basic currency. You can earn over 1,000 of them per game and they’re used to buy loot crates. You cannot buy them with real money. The other currency is earned less frequently but is used to buy special cosmetic items. It’s a more premium currency, but you also cannot buy it with real money. A game without microtransactions but with a premium currency, who knew?
Since the survivors have ways of getting cool items during a game in the bunkers, what do the traitors get?
I’m glad you asked, traitors have their own boxes to open. They get traitor drops throughout the game. These look closer to torpedoes than the bunker boxes, but they contain different types of items typically. There are also traitor specific boxes around the world, but be careful when they’re opened because a survivor could be nearby! They can give energy drinks which allow you to stay out in the cold for longer at a time. They can also contain traps such as bear traps and landmines that you can place to injure or slow down survivors.
After the survivors fix the machinery they need to, the traitor(s) can go and sabotage it to slow the survivors’ progress. Even if the traitor(s) die somehow, the survivors could still lose if they don’t escape before the mega blizzard. I won one of my first rounds of the game this way. It wasn’t the way I wanted to win, and I thought I lost until the game was over.
Project Winter is a quirky, and fun survival, deception, crafting game, and I would certainly recommend it to people who enjoy exactly that. My gaming group discovered it after spending many games in Among Us. If you enjoy lying to your gaming buddies for fun, Project Winter is a must-play!