UnReal World: Survival Roguelike from Scandanavia

I felt that way when I first played it, but some of the difficulty was plain retarded. It was either a squirrel or a badger that sent me over the edge.

I think he may have rebalanced since I last played, though.

I think I made it two months before I thought a bit too much of myself and thought I could take on a warrior tribesman. Not so much. Looking forward to starting up another one…with more settlemetns. I had found a total of three.

Five years later, I decided to check out this game to see if I wanted to keep it in my backlog. I ended up playing all weekend. It’s one of those nice roguelikes that consumes an entire weekend but no more than that. I did a little save-scumming to see all the late game mechanics, and now I’ve had enough.

I’m impressed with how well the game conveyed the theme and desperation of survival (despite my cheating). When I’m starving, cold, and exhausted, it’s a great feeling to finally get that shelter finished and a fire started. The mechanics have a nice simulationist feel. I like how everything takes time and causes fatigue just like it would in the real world. Cutting down tree trunks, turning them into logs, and putting up a wall in my house is a weeklong project. The hunting minigame is genuinely challenging. I have to sneak close enough to an animal to try to injure it with a spear or arrow just to slow it down enough to catch it when it wears out. Sometimes I even lose the tracks and have to give up!

I think all that works better for me than some of the modern indie survival games. But I’d like to give those another chance now to see how they compare to UnReal World.

My only complaint applies to a lot of hardcore roguelikes: the controls make it difficult to get things done quickly and efficiently. Dwarf Fortress had a similar issue years ago where it wasn’t the learning curve but the interface you have to use even as an advanced player. In UnReal World there are so many keys and different ways to select things that it messed up my flow. I had to stop and think or correct something. I feel like a roguelike has failed if I have to take my hand off the numpad more than a couple times per minute. And obviously, the tank controls and 180 degree view have advantages and disadvantages. It’s very painful to navigate through a forest that way.

And for what it’s worth, the balance seemed fine to me. With the high dodge skill they start you with, the only thing that killed me were the bandit settlements. It’s probably been rebalanced. I actually started playing with a version that was years old. When I switched to the new one, they had improved a lot of the controls and mechanics (such as hauling items).

Press C on the overworld map (F6) to see the cultural areas. Look in there for settlements. Once you build up your resources, it’s pretty easy to run or raft a long way away.

Right now this is on version 3.6.2, but they say they’ll update it after the Steam sale (it’s at a historic low of less than $8 right now) is over. The free version is one version behind (3.6.1), which I would guess means it’ll get an update after the sale, too. I remember picking this up years and years ago but being unable to really make heads or tales of it before I moved on to something else. As far as roguelikes go I think there is probably nothing else quite like it.

I’d even say this isn’t a roguelike concer, but as far as games go.

If you got a couple of hours to spare with a chill dude and his dog, there are two videos he improvised for the Steam launch and really opened up my mind about a lot of things (I was just barely surviving before whatching his two tutorial videos; now I’m barely surviving, but I’ve got places to sleep!).
Here is the first one: