When most people talk about how game design is more accessible than ever before, they're generally talking about how easy it is for a professional to put together their own game. It's surprising even in this era to know that a game - and a popular one at that - has been lovingly put together by a teenager. For all of its faults, Unturned is a true freshman effort by a new designer who was only sixteen when the game left early access, and it's all the more impressive for what it manages to accomplish.[read more below]
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Don't judge a book by its cover.
When most people talk about how game design is more accessible than ever before, they're generally talking about how easy it is for a professional to put together their own game. It's surprising even in this era to know that a game - and a popular one at that - has been lovingly put together by a teenager. For all of its faults, Unturned is a true freshman effort by a new designer who was only sixteen when the game left early access, and it's all the more impressive for what it manages to accomplish.
There's nothing all that original about Unturned. There are plenty of zombie survival games out there, and all of those games lift from one another fairly liberally. You could say that Unturned is just the latest in a long line of similar zombie-alike's, and that'd be fair. There's also, however, something to be said for making the kind of game that people want to play.
There's no way to avoid saying that Unturned is DayZ by way of Roblox.
There's nothing new here, really, just a compilation of greatest hits from a dozen other survival games mixed with the cartoonish art style of kid-friendly games like Roblox and Minecraft. It's not a particularly original work, but it's one that resonates with the player base.
It's an ugly game, no doubt about it. The graphical presentation is probably where the developer's age shows the most, both in its unfinished nature and in the fact that it apes popular youth-oriented games like Roblox. There's a real feeling that the graphics look as poorly as they do because of real limitations. One would expect that the graphics would be the first thing to get a face-lift if any real money went into the game.
The audio's a little better, but only a little. There's no score here that's going to get in your head, nor is there any particularly great incidental music. Everything on this front feels like it was stretching the creator's ability to produce.
Unturned is a survival game with zombies, so it's going to draw many comparisons to games like Rust or DayZ. The amazing thing about the game, though, is how deep those comparisons go. There's a lot of surprisingly sophisticated stuff going on below the hood from destructible objects to bullet drop. It doesn't look great, but everything feels right in a way that's hard to quantify.
This game is an excellent example of how to rip off other games well.
Graphics aside, there's never a moment where you'll feel the need to point out how one game or another does a particular mechanic better than this one. Truly interesting and playable, the actual game-play parts of this game are amazing.
In the end, Unturned manages to accomplish all of its goals very well. If you can get past the game's looks, you'll be gifted with a fun experience that's well worth the time you take to download the game. It's imperfect and a bit raw, but it represents a fantastic talent in the making.
Unturned is an ugly zombie-survival game with a lot of promise.
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What are your favorite things about Unturned? What needs improvement?
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