You read that title correctly, Ark is getting an officially licensed spinoff title that is a Minecraft clone featuring many of the things you know and love about Ark featured in the game, called PixArk.
Minecraft is a dime a dozen these days, everyone knows what it is, and many of them have even played it. It’s popular for many reasons, not least of which of how the game is randomly generated, and you can do just about anything within the world if you have the imagination and time to create it.
The game gives you almost no direction, and with that, almost no rules. Sure, there are basic game “laws”, such as fire burns, you can’t break diamonds with your fists, you can’t fly, you need shelter and food, etcetera and so on. However, the freedom with which the game allows, and how you can create anything your heart desires resonates with people. Since Minecraft exploded via crowdfunding and early access, (almost single-handedly making those two things a popular way of making games today), we have seen a multitude of copycats.
It makes sense, of course, every good idea is going to be copied, expanded on, and morphed along as the idea picks up. It’s popular, and everyone wants a piece of the pie. The most successful clones have been; Terraria (a side-scrolling take on the formula), Roblox (a much less limited version of the voxel based game), Lego Worlds (yep, even Lego wanted in on it), Dragon Quest Builders (a story driven based copy that’s really good), and many more. The number of copies ranges in the hundreds across all platforms, and it’s a genre that isn’t going anywhere.
Just the other day it was announced dinosaur survival game Ark: Survival Evolved would also be getting a voxel based Minecraft clone titled PixArk. Releasing on the PC and Xbox via Early Access in March, with digital and physical versions to follow on all platforms (which includes PS4 and Switch) sometime down the line. It makes you wonder, do we really need another clone? And does a game like Ark really need to be altered in this way?
Well, survival games have also exploded in the same time, as Minecraft also had a hand in making them popular. However, games like Ark, Conan: Exiles, Rust, The Forest and so on are a slightly different type of game. They typically don’t allow you to alter the terrain and put you in tougher situations than Minecraft with a heavy emphasis on surviving at first, then building up your base and exploring the world. PixArk takes what you know and love about Ark: Survival Evolved and puts the voxel based Minecraft like world editing in your hands as well.
Check out the announcement trailer below:
This is what you can expect to see in PixArk:
- Single player and online multiplayer
- The ability to collect and craft items and build bases
- Over 100 dinosaurs and other creatures to tame, train and ride
- Character progression and customization
- Procedurally generated worlds, with no two worlds ever being the same
- Creative Mode which allows players to construct whatever they can imagine
- More than eight unique biomes to explore, including deserts, jungles, caves and more
- Procedurally generated quest system to keep players actively engaged in their worlds
It’s that last bit that has me interested, because it’s something that almost every survival game, or Minecraft clone is missing. And it’s what I loved so much about Dragon Quest Builders… it gave you a purpose along with allowing for creativity. Quests, even if they’re minor, keep people engaged, and allows them to break up the monotony of; Survive, Gather, Build, rinse and repeat. Yes, the genre is about making the experience, but almost all quickly fall back into this formula and quickly get stale. PvP is an entirely different beast, but it does require a particular taste, so that point is hit or miss because you could either love it and get hundreds of hours out of the game, or hate it and never play a PvP server.
The good thing is, PixArk seems to be combining the two different types of survival games into one, and letting you play the way you want. I love the genre, and have many games within it because they all have something about them that makes them unique. Some do it better than others, but Ark is one of the best known, and most played survival games out there, and for it to be expanding the franchise in such a way has me excited.
I am a little apprehensive, but also hopeful because of just how well the developers have taken care of Ark. They constantly update it with new features and updates, and listen to their playerbase. Although, Snail Games is heading up this project it remains to be seen if they can keep up with fan demands like Studio WildCard has with Ark.
You can check out some screenshots of the game below, and learn more about the game here.
What do you guys think? Is PixArk something that interests you? Do we need yet another Minecraft clone, and can PixArk do it “better”, or will this one fly under the radar like so many others? Let us know what you think in the comments below.