NEO Scavenger Update Adds Nasal Allergy, Feeble Crawl

Adam has previously scavenged through the lovely, horrible, turn-based NEO Scavenger, killing a blind man in order to steal one of his shoes in the process. The game has changed a lot since the start of the year though, and one of the largest updates launched last week, introducing new encounters, weapons, recipes locations, a nasal allergy, and a load of bug fixes.

The full changelist is too long and detailed to included, but here’s a representative sampling:

Added code to ignore talisman when surrendering in combat.
Added UVD items in 4 varieties, plus scratched.
Added recipe to break UVDs and cases into plastic shards.
Added swamp and forest crash site scavenge locations.
Added nasal allergy condition.
Added nasal allergy as accident to urban and brutish scavenging.
Added new rubble camp type.
Added new scavenge locale for Great Black Swamp.
Added code to auto-advance combat turns if player is asleep for more than 2 consecutive turns.
Added a new battle move to crawl away from battle if crippled and opponent is unconscious.
Added defoliant and exposure condition.

And so on. NEO Scavenger is a game that favours breadth over depth, which means it’s i) surprisingly accessible to play despite its hard, turn-based, roguelike-y, sim-y roots and ii) enormously varied, as decisions you make in the first five minutes can produce dramatically different experiences. It’s hugely compelling to, for example, pick the Botany skill and the Insomniac trait at the start of the game and then see how those help and hurt your ability to survive in the wilderness.

It also makes each new patch to the game a more exciting prospect, as new features aren’t necessarily extending some unreachable endgame, but giving you more options. Eg, the ability to crawl away from fights when you’re paralysed but your opponent is unconscious. It’s a wonderful machine for producing horrible anecdotes.

Intrigued? There’s a demo for the game available so you can see whether you might like to branch your life in its direction. $10/£6.20 nets you the standard build with a Steam key.


  1. WiggumEsquilax says:

    “Added code to ignore talisman when surrendering in combat.”

    And it’s about damned time. Surrendering had previously been impossible, and yet game balance was mercilessly predicated towards surrendering being occasionally mandatory.
    Might give the game another go.

  2. slerbal says:

    I picked this up a while back (to support what looked like a very interesting game), but I am being good and sitting on my hands until it comes out of Early Access. Good to see it is coming along nicely :)

  3. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    I played the demo a great deal some time ago. I was quite impressed with everything in the game.

  4. Press X to Gary Busey says:

    I tried the demo during my summer vacation. I instantly fell in love with it and spent waaaaay to much time indoors all summer. Perhaps I can justify it with the decreased risk of melanoma. Great game.

  5. sdfv says:

    This game was really fun for about 10 hours until I ran out of content a few months ago. You need to make sure you pick melee, botany, and trapping unless you like dying repeatedly, though. I wonder if I should try this patch or wait a few more months for a bigger bite of more stuff to do.

    • Press X to Gary Busey says:

      Melee is a good starting choice when learning the game but it’s super risky.
      I prefer ranged for better accuracy, good for the sling at the start and you can make bows, arrows and hardened/broad spears.
      Plus the ability to identify firearms and ammo makes it easier to save the right stuff for tougher enemies.
      Just kill most enemies while they are busy charging at you.

      • Greggh says:

        That killer where(?)wolf becomes a mighty fine coat after I pummel it with my fists. No need to pick flowers afterwards, you silly…

    • drvoke says:

      Basically, these three skills plus mechanic (now that vehicles are more rare) are this game’s easy mode. To make it a joke, you can also pick the metabolism handicap to give yourself a slot for the tough perk and you’re basically invincible to most natural causes of death except Blue Rot.

      Fuck Blue Rot.

      Taking the insomniac handicap to give yourself a slot for the medic trait is also helpful in the beginning, but loses its utility once you reach DMC and figure out how to make money.

      I have never found a long term practical use for hacking or electrical. One is only helpful for things you don’t need by the time you get access to the DMC when you can power them reliably, the other is useful only once in the game, I think.

      I have enjoyed the game, but will likely put it away until 1.0 now to see if this starting build doesn’t remain the hands down game winner. I’d like all combinations of skills to be dangerous in exciting and different ways by release time, but we’ll see.

  6. Phasma Felis says:

    I haven’t played the game, but I want to tell the dude in the picture that his multitool will take up less funny-face-backpack space if he closes it up before putting it away.