This could be the most important thing you read today, unless you’re planning to operate dangerous machinery and haven’t peeked at the instructions yet. Actually, forget that, this is still more important. That is providing you’re the sort of handsome individual who enjoys survival sims, hex-based RPGs, post-apocalyptic scavenging and turn-based everything. If you like any of those delicacies, I have just the thing for you. It’s called NEO Scavenger, you can try the demo in your browser here or read on to discover more.
Not much more though because I want you to go and play it for yourself. It’s a game where you have to nourish your body to survive and to find food you’ll have to travel across an overland map, discovering sights and encounters. You’ll dig through the remnants of society to find a pair of shoes and beat mutants to death with your bare hands until you can find a better means of defense. There are recipes to put together and skills that are simple to use but change the experience massively.
Currently, the game’s in beta and access to that is available to any who preorder, which also allows voting for new features. There are three preorder tiers, the cheapest of which is $10 and all of which will provide access to the finished game.
When I’m not gazing into the past and admiring the beauty of such times, I often shout at people who aren’t making survival sims. I still remember the first time I saw a magazine article about Robinson’s Requiem, I grew faint thinking of the possibilities of a world in which wounds weren’t healed by touching a medikit. Then I played it and grew even fainter when I had to amputate bits of myself that I’d injected with poison.
The Unreal World gives me my survival fix and it’s a wonderful game, but who among us hasn’t wished that Fallout forced us to live like dogs, fighting over bones in the sand of a ruined civilisation? There’s something appealing about the need to fulfill basic functions, perhaps simply because it’s so far removed from the roleplaying fascination with constantly saving the world.
Blue Bottle Games are led by Daniel Fedor, a former Bioware dev who has set out into the indie wilds. Judging by this early evidence, they’ve got a very bright future indeed.