Picked this up on a lark, as I am heavily into survival games lately. I was hesitant due to the low res, pixel graphics, but man am I glad I took a chance on this!
What stands out immediately is choice and consequence. You can't have it all. You have to build a character with weaknesses, and weaknesses can just be not having some of the skills you might like to have, or it can be actual weaknesses to give you points to get more benefits.
You might take Fragile for example, making you take more damage than normal if you get hit, and you might do this because you really want the points it gives you to take Trapping so you can make fire right away at the start of the game.
You might take Strong so you can carry more and Melee so you can close combat better, but this might mean you don't get Ranged skil and therefore cannot make arrows, and have limited range skill with guns and other range weapons.
Anyway, you make your choices and take your shot. Into the game you go and immediately your character choices effect your first encounter, in terms of whether you survive, escape, get hurt or kick the ♥♥♥ of the first opponent.
You survived the fight (maybe) and now you gotta get fire, you gotta get a weapon, you need clothing, you need shelter, you need a supply of food and water, and you need to get these things without attracting too much attention from the local wildlife. How you do this is up to you and there is little to no help from the game. You gotta figure it out, and fast, cause you are getting cold and soon you'll be needing somewhere to sleep.
RnG can help you or hurt you here, and at first I was like, well you need some good rolls to start, but later you learn it's more about playing smart, and persistently scavenging until you get what you want.
You have to be concerned about the noise you make, the tracks you leave, and even your scent, as you get through those nail biting first turns until you finally get to the point where you are not struggling and can start to carve your way through the world.
Now you start to get pleasantly surprised because you find there is depth in the game. Depth in the combat system, depth in the crafting system, and it's challenging because you are gonna die if you are not careful. You might kill that wolf, but you took a scratch that is gonna get infected because you didn't find or craft any clean bandages, and haven't managed to find something to act as a dis-infectant. Left untreated this may progress to septis, and ultimately death.
On the other hand, if you are not careful in combat, being tactical, the wolf just may kill you outright.
Items decay, so in the long game you need to be able to get a backup supply... and then you start to find that there is actually a story here... WHAT YOU SAY?!?!?!?!
I thought I was just enjoying a really great survival game, and BAM... all of a sudden I ran into some story elements and again realize this modest little game is actually filled with depth and fun, and a reason to keep playing, try to live longer, try to figure out just why and how you came to be here, and what you can do to go beyond surviving.
There is a reputation system, and good versus evil behaviour. You can save the damsel in distress or throw in your lot with the bandits. It can be dark, really dark. You don't just kill stuff... you murder it... you rip people apart in scenarios where it's either you or them... fight or die... and sometimes you win just to find out later, you lost.
If you give Neo Scavanger half a chance, you'll find a real gem here. A game which has been clearly and cleverly thought out to provide many hours of entertainment. I'm about 168 hours in as I write this, and still haven't seen 60% of the map. Lots and lots of fun to be had for a bargain basement price! Seriously.. if you like survival, buy this!