Unturned is a zombie-themed survival horror game developed by Smartly Dressed Games. Fight for survival against the undead, the elements, and other players by scavenging for items and creating your own base.
|Publisher: Smartly Dressed Games
Type: F2P Survival Game
Release Date: July 7, 2014
Pros: +Large community. +Extensive crafting system. +Frequent updates. +Low system requirements.
Cons: -Repetitive gameplay. -Latency issues. -Easy AI. -Known bugs.
Unturned is a post-apocalyptic survival game developed by Nelson Sexton—the sole developer, owner, and founder of Smartly Dressed Games. Unturned blends the scavenging survival gameplay of DayZ with the art style of Roblox to create a unique experience. It is a simple and accessible survival simulator. Stranded on Prince Edward Island (PEI), players can choose to survive alone or join a server and fight zombies together. Zombies are scattered across the island but congregate in cities, guarding valuable loot. They are easy to sneak but but become deadly in large numbers. Players can be just as bloodthirsty as zombies and PvP plays a prominent role in most servers. Along with zombies and players, the elements pose their own hazard. Dehydration, hunger, immunity, blood, and stamina must all be monitored and attended to. An extensive crafting system gives the player the ability to build bases, fortify buildings, and create tools and weapons.
Unturned Key Features:
- Weapon Variety – pistols, crowbars, rifles, and shotguns can be used against players and zombies alike with attachment options.
- Extensive Crafting System – mine boulders and chop down trees to build houses, weapon attachments, and traps to survive.
- Leveling Up System – killing zombies awards experience that can be used to improve survival skills.
- PvP – players can choose to band together as bandits or heroes and fight for limited resources on player-versus-player servers.
- Steam Workshop Support – extensive modding such as custom maps, weapons, and craftable items.
- Low System Requirements – the game is accessible to nearly anyone with a computer and internet connection.
Unturned Featured Video
By Sean Sullivan
In Unturned, players are dropped on Prince Edward Island (PEI) where they must survive the zombie apocalypse. Starting with nothing, players search villages, farms, and islands to find resources before they starve to death or become dehydrated. Trees can be harvested and crafted to make bases that fend off zombies and serve as loot caches. A simple art style masks the unforgivable nature of a zombie-infested world where the undead are the only predictable element. In multiplayer servers, players compete for scarce resources. Shoot first, ask questions later is the guiding tenet and only a few bullets are needed to render your blocky body lifeless. To survive, its best to make friends or bring some along. The solo-player, however, can survive at their own pace in the single-player mode.
Before entering the game, you can personalize your character's appearance from the menu. The crude model can be customized with a small selection of emoticon stylized faces. I chose the “:3” to strike fear into other players. Then, you’re off to the Canadian Island PEI. I started with single-player to get a feel for the world I was about to enter.
The first thing I noticed was how bright this boxy world is. Every object is vibrant and sharply contrasted by surrounding colors, giving every tree, field, and house a distinct look. It's a visual style that is close to cartoons with clouds that look like potatoes. The looped soundtrack of chirping birds and crickets makes the undead world feel alive. Who knew simple could be so beautiful? The Roblox-inspired graphics have a charm that distinguishes itself from other games in the survival genre.
Day One: Still Alive
I spawned outside a small village called Charlottetown. Looking on from a distance, I saw an overabundance of idling zombies—standing around and counting toes. The zombies don't react until you make your presence known. Easy enough, I’ll just sneak in and take the supplies I need. The meters registering my thirst and hunger—located in the bottom left corner—were already depleting and I wanted to make sure I didn’t die from lack of resources.
Pressing “X” you can crouch down to sneak without drawing attention. Furthermore, pressing “Z” will put you into prone, though it's not needed to pass by zombies. Hopping in and out of windows, I managed to find the weapon I would use to send the undead back to death—a golf club.
I had to test my new weapon out. Still crouching, I snuck up behind a zombie and left-clicked to smash. The sound is reminiscent of 2D arcade games; the same satisfying punch clip plays as you make contact and makes you feel like your weapon is penetrating. When I right-clicked, I moved the golf club in a wide swing, a finishing move that does double damage. However, right-clicking also uses stamina. When stamina runs out, you can't run and jump your way to safety. I had to make sure to monitor my stamina gauge while attacking.
Block Man Can Jump
With each zombie kill I gained experience. But for what? Upon pressing “Tab,” I realized that there were stats I could allocate points to. Unturned has incorporated RPG elements in the name of Offense, Defense, and Support skills. I put my skill points into “Overkill,” increasing my melee damage and strength to kill zombies in less hits. Then, I started throwing XP into “Parkour,” a skill that lets you walk, run, and jump faster, longer, and higher. When Parkour is maxed out you can jump over fences; a useful ability for quickly escaping zombie hordes.
The skills tab provides an incentive for killing zombies, beyond eradicating the infection. Experience is not just gained from killing zombies. Chopping down trees and mining also provide XP. Upon death, half of you experience and acquired skills are lost. It makes your life more valuable and provides an additional reason to avoid death. A character with maxed out stats would be abnormally paranoid considering the amount of time needed to acquire the experience.
Once you have scavenged some items and begun training as a formidable survivor it's time to build a base. I ran up to a tree and chipped at it with a pickaxe for a good minute before learning that only an axe, fire axe, or chainsaw can be used to cut down trees. Once properly equipped it takes about 11 hits to fully chop down a tree. Once destroyed, trees leave behind some logs and sticks. Logs can only be used to make boards so its not a bad idea to just craft them immediately to free up bag space.
Like in many crafting systems, building a base is a matter of transmuting a large quantity of items into smaller and more refined usable materials. In Unturned, you start with logs, then create boards, then create wooden plates, then wooden frames or platforms. From there you can make walls, pillars, and ramps to construct your base. It is a simple process that seems like more work on paper than it is in practice. Once you have the necessary supplies gathered, the UI displays what you can and cannot build or what additional supplies are needed to finish a craft. Just collect and click. Then, equip the item from your inventory to place it.
In addition to buildings, players can construct traps such as wooden spikes, barbed wire, tripmines, and landmines to protect your fortress. Clothing, such as a doctor's coat and pink shirt, can also be created if you have the right amount of cloth. If you find moldy food, don't eat it or you'll soon be dead from infection. Combine moldy food with purification tablets to make it as fresh as the day it was picked.
"Wait, I'm Friendly!"
PvP servers are unforgiving, with players shooting unarmed newbies without warning. I was strolling through town in search of a golf club—to spatter my new-found police vest with zombie brains—when a shotgun and mustache wielding cowboy player said, “I’m going to shoot you in the face.” Quickest life I had in the game.
Shoot on sight is the guiding principle for most players. So be wary of anyone with a gun out. Even players without any items are as bloodthirsty as zombies. By default "Left Alt" is bound to voice chat. Sometimes opening communication is enough to forge peace. Unfortunately, most players are not diplomatically inclined. I spawned in the same spot as another player. He immediately went for my throat. As with many survival games the PvP aspect can be overwhelming and dissuade newbies from continuing to play. Nevertheless, there are PvE servers where players can band together to survive, although shooting zombies is never as rewarding as taking out a Bandit.
Shoot to Kill
Unturned has a solid arrangement of guns and weapons to choose from to ruin another player's day. Beyond the fire axe and colt pistol you can find a magnum, Mosen rifle, sniper rifles, and submachine guns. For the most part, you're unlikely to find assault rifles in villages. They can regularly be found in the O’Leary military base, along with military knives. Each weapon has its own stats such as recoil, damage, and effective range as well as attachments. Attachments include suppressors, grips, lasers, scopes, and sights. They can be equipped by pressing “T” while your firearm is out.
I struggled to find any great weapons on a PvP server but exploring the map paid off. I stumbled into Scoprion 7’s facility. While wandering around, I saw an alien looking item on the ground. It was the Shadowstalker—a railgun. Fun fact, it is the only fictional item in Unturned. Leaving the indoor shooting range and armed with only one rail for firing, I had to test it out. Lining up my scope I honed in on an unfortunate zombie and pulled the trigger. He was instantly obliterated. If only I had saved it for the mustache player who gunned me down earlier.
While Unturned is free-to-play, players can choose to pay five dollars and upgrade to Gold mode. In gold mode, loot tables are altered to increase spawns, special cosmetics become available, and experience gain is doubled. However, gold-mode players cannot play on normal servers, only on gold-mode servers. As a result, paying the five dollars does not equate to a pay-to-win strategy, as the benefits are isolated.
Final Verdict: Great
Unturned is a great zombie survival simulator for anyone who is eager to test the genre. An accessible UI combined with simple, charming graphics makes it easy to jump into for nearly anyone with a computer and internet connection. The map is large and includes a variety of area types to make each zone feel unique. Zombies are a bit too easy to sneak around but can become an issue when you have attracted a horde. PvP servers are intense, with few players showing much remorse. They suffer from lag that makes the game unplayable at times as hit registration fails completely. Nevertheless, it is great fun when there are no issues. Also, the title screen—and death screen—music is great. John 00 Fleming's Tears From Heaven is a brilliant piano piece that encapsulates the epic nature of a survival game set in a post-apocalyptic world. Crafting is simple and a large number of items can be created to keep you entertained. Unturned is a great game for players looking for a quirky zombie survival game that is easy to play. Grab some friends and try to survive on Prince Edward Island.
Operating System: Windows XP or Mac OS X
RAM: 4 GB RAM
Hard Disk Space: 256 MB available space
Unturned is Mac OS X compatible
Unturned Music & Soundtrack
Unturned Additional Information
Developer: Smartly Dressed Games
Publisher: Smartly Dressed Games
Game Engine: Unity
Game Director: Nelson Sexton
Composer: John 00 Fleming
Launch Date: July 7, 2014
Steam Greenlight Date: May 28, 2014
Steam Release Date: July 7, 2014
Development History / Background:
Unturned was developed by seventeen-year old Canadian resident Nelson Sexton. He began developing games through the website Roblox, an MMO that allows players to create their own virtual world. Sexton's first attempt at releasing the game through Steam Greenlight failed. But the second listing—labeled Unturned 2—was successful and rated #3 of all Greenlight games. Sexton founded Smartly Dressed Games which is currently devoted to Unturned. He releases frequent updates for Unturned, constantly improving upon the game. Unturned has consistently been one of the most played games on Steam since August 1, 2014.