Survival in games

An obscure game almost nobody has heard about is Unreal World RPG. I find that terribly odd. The game has been in active development for almost 20 years now, moving through the ages as the little survival RPG that nobody heard about, until I caught wind of it last year. Now, I’ve always been a fan of survival-based RPGs. There is a strong lack of them on the market, even now, after so many years.

Closest to that goal, in my mind, came Minecraft. That is the main reason I stopped playing Minecraft, actually – I expected something different of it. I loved being a hermit for the first few hours of the game, building myself a little castle, farm and whatnot, but then suddenly I didn’t feel like I was struggling to survive anymore. Night wasn’t the harrowing experience I made myself think to be, zombies were as harmless as in other games (I’m looking at you, Left 4 Dead), creepers were mere annoyances and everything seemed almost too easy. I stopped playing, and only did for brief bursts since multiplayer came out so I would play with friends and test out new version features.

Then came Terraria – the story with this game is eerily similar, although a bit more involved. I hosted a terraria server from the get-go, playing with some friends from over the sea. Survival was now a team effort, and the fact that the game also featured more in-depth progression meant more time spent trying to one-up the other people I was playing with. While survival in itself was secondary, as there were no real death penalties implemented in the game yet save for losing a bit of coin, I still enjoyed myself quite a bit. Again, I dropped off, only logging on to say hi to the friends I played with and trying out the new things. I enjoy that. In any game – feels like a game is evolving. Re-Logic is doing an amazing job taking care of their game.

Going a bit further back, I heard about the little fantasy world simulator called Dwarf Fortress. Notoriously hard to master the controls of, the game was a bit of a wrestling match between me and the keyboard, but once I learned to get by, it was exceedingly fun. DF is structured around two modes, both taking place in a world generated before you can start playing. One of these modes is Fortress Mode, in which you embark with 7 dwarves in an attempt to build an outpost as a testament of the might of the empire. This mode works more as some sort of real time strategy game, allowing you to give indirect orders to your minions.

The other mode, Adventure Mode, works as a roguelike RPG. Now, that is the mode I like more, and while it is quite interesting right now, it’s not as fleshed out as the RTS side. You cannot dig, you cannot build, you can’t do any of the things you can order your dwarves to do in Fortress Mode. That makes it less of an adventure survival RPG and more of a hack and slashy one, although an extremely graphic (if you use your imagination, the graphics are ASCII or basic at best with a tileset) and detailed one.

Here is where Unreal World comes in. It’s a realistic roguelike RPG with basic graphics and semi-intuitive controls, but it is based on survival in the harsh iron age Finland, a country where winters are as harsh if not worse than the bears you might encounter on your travels. Even when you are well off, this game can throw you a punch from nowhere so hard it will get your mind reeling. It’s pretty much always your fault though. While random number generators are a factor in the game, it’s mainly your fault if it acts against you. Try to climb a tree while over-encumbered and you are bound to break a leg on your way down. Meet a bear without proper equipment and you might end up in meaty ribbons.

There is always something to be worried about, and you always have to provide for yourself. Winter is coming, and you have to prepare for it. You ought to give the game a try, you can find it over here.

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