This chilly survival sim comes from the creators of an ambitious WoW mod, and it looks tense

The Pale Beyond
(Image credit: Bellular Studios)

This survival management indie is one to look out for if you like to live your virtual life on a knife edge. 

Developed by Bellular Studios, The Pale Beyond puts you among The Temperance crew. You're searching for a ship that disappeared five years ago while sailing through the Pale Passage on an expedition to find the absolute magnetic South. Alas, things don't go according to plan as the ship becomes trapped in ice, and the captain is nowhere to be found. Miles from home and in a sorry state, you become the group's reluctant leader. 

Keeping everyone (including 12 sled dogs) happy, healthy, and safe is essential, but with limited supplies, that's easier said than done, and some tough choices must be made. "As the expedition unfolds and the Polar Winter approaches, every decision you make will have a meaningful impact on the story as you navigate your way across the ice," reads the game's Steam page.

It's all a precarious balancing act where no decision feels right. You'll need to work hard to keep your crewmates on your side and not rock the boat too much, or you'll quickly find a mutiny on your hands.

The Pale Beyond is the first game from Bellular Studios, a team of eight based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, whose founders Michael Bell and Thomas Hislop, created the World of Warcraft narrative mod, WowTales. It's certainly an impressive-looking debut title from the small studio, mixing Frostpunk's struggle for survival in sub-zero temperatures with a hesitant leader trying to keep everyone happy, much like in Brave At Night's brilliant kingdom management game Yes, Your Grace.

Fortunately, you don't have to wait to see if you can keep your cool under pressure as the game is sailing onto PC today, February 24.

See what other indie gems are on the way in our guide to upcoming indie games.

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.