NEO Scavenger is a game where you must survive in the wasteland long enough to figure out who you are. Each turn, you must decide where to go, how to scavenge for supplies, and how to deal with anything and anyone you encounter.
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (1,271 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 15, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"Combines that old Fallout feel of a world gone to hell with the frantic, Day-Z struggle to survive. You'll be thankful just to find a pair of boots."
Read the full review here.

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December 19

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone!

With Christmas right around the corner, we'll be packing up the gifts and goodies, and heading off to see our family soon. So I wanted to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, and hopefully everyone gets a chance to chill out and have some fun.


He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake...

I don't know which is scarier. Dogmen or dogemen :)

Out of Office

Just so folks are aware, I'll be out of the office for two weeks starting this weekend. So between December 20th and January 4th, I may be slow to respond to emails or forum posts.

That said, I'll try to pop by occasionally to see if anything's on fire. And I'll likely be starting on a bug-fix patch as my first task when back. If there is a critical issue, email is the best way to reach me.

GOG.com Twitch Stream

Also, for those of you around the computer tomorrow, GOG.com will be hosting a Twitch stream of NEO Scavenger! They've enlisted Vlad to don a hospital gown and brave the Michigan wastes, so drop by and say "hi!"

http://twitch.tv/GOGcom

The stream starts at 11am PST (7pm GMT), Saturday. I'll unfortunately be driving through snowy mountain passes at that time, but I'll be there in spirit!

Once again, I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, and I'll see you all in 2015!

7 comments Read more

December 15

NEO Scavenger Is Officially Launched!

Hey Folks!

NEO Scavenger has officially launched! After almost four years of development, nearly three of which were in Beta/Early Access, it's finally time for the big v1.0!



NEO Scavenger is my first commercially released game, and is a sort of love letter to the pen and paper role-playing games I grew up playing. In it, the player takes on the role of a character who wakes up in a strange facility where the world has experienced some cataclysm. Using their wits and anything they can scavenge from their surroundings, they explore this strange wasteland, piecing together clues about their past.

It's a hard game, where the player must take care to think of everything from dressing appropriately to disinfecting wounds. The story will not come spoon-fed to you, and the game will not hold your hand. But for those who are persistent and clever, rewards and answers await!



NEO Scavenger is available at many of your favorite online retailers, including:


HUGE Thank You to the NEO Scavenger Community

I want to take a moment to say a heartfelt "thank you" to everyone who has helped me over the past several years. From friends and family to helpful community members, I've always had support and encouragement all around me. Plus, many of you have been providing excellent feedback and suggestions over the years to help make NEO Scavenger what it is today. If you fire up the game, do check out the "Credits" page to see many of the talented individuals who made this all possible.

Thank you!

What Are My Plans for Support, and What's Next?

I answer these and several other questions regarding future plans in more detail here. The short version is that I'll be focusing more on bug fixes and better modding support after launch, as well as looking into potential new projects. And, of course, probably a vacation :)

So please head on over to your website of choice and take a look! There's a free demo if you haven't tried it, to help you decide if it's right for you. And for those who were just waiting for the beta to end, it's finally time!

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Reviews

“one of the best single player turn-based RPGs I’ve played for a long time.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“In many ways, NEO Scavenger feels like the original Fallout”
Indie Game Magazine

“We found ourselves playing for hours and hours”
Gamespot

About This Game

NEO Scavenger is a game where you must survive in the wasteland long enough to figure out who you are. Each turn, you must decide where to go, how to scavenge for supplies, and how to deal with anything and anyone you encounter. And with each passing minute, the pit in your stomach grows, your dehydration worsens, your muscles tire, and your body temperature drops in the cold autumn air. Choose your starting abilities carefully, because they and your wit are the only tools you have in the apocalypse!

Features

  • Unique Setting - Near-future, post-apocalyptic Michigan with local cryptids and folklore. And something else beneath the surface...
  • Turn-Based Play - Take your time with each turn, and play at your own pace. Save and quit when you want, and resume later.
  • Permadeath - If you die, that's it. NEO Scavenger is balanced around a single difficulty level: permadeath. Your save will be deleted if you die. So choose every action carefully!
  • No Grinding - There is no XP in NEO Scavenger. No levelling-up. Instead, progress comes from learning how to play the game better, and using your strengths to your advantage.
  • Semi-Random - Much of the map is randomized each game, including the location of ruins, creatures, weather, and certain quest branches.
  • Sandbox or Story - Search for clues to your identity, what happened, and who's hunting you. Or simply test your mettle against man and nature alike. Play how you want!
  • Abilities and Flaws - Choose abilities and flaws each time you play. Different combos unlock different abilities and quest branches.
  • Crafting - Extensive crafting system which allows for substitutions of similar items. Make a rifle scope from half a pair of binoculars, or a noise trap from a pill bottle and pebbles.
  • Desperate Combat - Detailed combat with moves like "Tackle," "Lure," "Kick While Down," "Demand Surrender," and "Threaten."
  • Realistic Wounds - Creatures have complex wound simulation, with multiple wound locations, infection, bleeding, and pain management.
  • Realistic Metabolism - Hypothermia, fatigue, thirst, hunger, disease, intoxication, shelter...everything is tracked.
  • Realistic Inventory - Complex inventory system with slots for holding, wearing, containers, and more. Fit items in grid spaces, and manage encumbrance.
  • Hex-Based World Map - Navigate ruins, hills, forests, and plains in a hex-based map. Line-of-sight, elevation, and daylight matters.
  • Tracking - Creatures leave their tracks and spoor on the map, which can be followed by others. Players can also hide their tracks.
  • Hiding - Players can use hiding to avoid being seen while traveling the map, as well as during story encounters.
  • Hunting - Trap small game for food and fur, or track and kill larger prey on the map for butchering.
  • Hacking - Use hacking skills to unlock scavenged laptops, cellphones, smartphones, and tablets. Mine them for paydata, or snoop through personal files.
  • Foraging - Search for edible plants and water, and use special skills to identify what's safe to eat.
  • Haunting Soundtrack - Music composed by Josh Culler, specifically for NEO Scavenger, plays periodically, lending an atmosphere of loneliness and desperation. (Also accessible as mp3s outside game.)
  • Creature AI - Wandering creatures go about their own business, hunting, scavenging, and hoarding. Morale affects their choices, and some will gang-up and cause trouble.
  • Dynamic Weather - Temperature, rainfall, and night/day are based on real-world data for autumn in the area. If you live long enough, you may see snow fall.
  • Detroit - Take refuge from the wasteland in one of mankind's last bastions of safety. Buy supplies, get medical care, and seek clues in a cyberpunk-styled city.
  • Trading Cards - Collect NEO Scavenger trading cards, badges, emoticons, and profile backgrounds!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP (32 bit), Windows Server 2008 (32 bit), Windows Vista® (32 bit), Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit), Windows 8 (32 bit and 64 bit), or Windows Server 2012 (64 bit)
    • Processor: 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor, or Intel Atom 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbooks
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 128MB of graphics memory
    • Hard Drive: 75 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
    • Additional Notes: Please try the free demo to verify that it works for you!
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X v10.6, v10.7, v10.8, or v10.9
    • Processor: Intel Core™ Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 128MB of graphics memory
    • Hard Drive: 75 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
    • Additional Notes: Please try the free demo to verify that it works for you!
    Minimum:
    • OS: Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® (RHEL) 5.6 or later (32 bit and 64 bit), openSUSE® 11.3 or later (32 bit and 64 bit), or Ubuntu 10.04 or later (32 bit and 64 bit)
    • Processor: 2.33GHz or faster x86-compatible processor, or Intel Atom 1.6GHz or faster processor for netbooks
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 128MB of graphics memory
    • Hard Drive: 75 MB available space
    • Sound Card: Any
    • Additional Notes: Please try the free demo to verify that it works for you!
Helpful customer reviews
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
27.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 21
Next to Fallout, the finest Post-Apoc RPG ever made. Memorable and more than a little scary.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
205 of 228 people (90%) found this review helpful
362.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Early Access Review
I had a Strong Melee Hacker, with lockpicking, a crowbar strap, and a box cart. None could stand in my way, not even the Detroit Mercs could withstand my maniacal crowbar swinging techniques. I was immortal. I confidently strode through the Michigan wastes knowing that I could never die. I came across some water in an urban location. I was a bit parched and decided to sate my thirst on the water. I didn't need to boil it, I was immortal! I drank the water, and a few hours later my charcter began to develop severe diarrhea as my skin turned a horrific shade of blue. I checked my supplies, I had no antibiotics, I needed to get to the health clinic. I desperately made my way to Detroit. 3 hexes away from gate 11 my character died from Cholera. I lost everything and died because I was too lazy to boil my water. 10/10 would play again.
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136 of 149 people (91%) found this review helpful
55.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Early Access Review
I don't normally write serious reviews. I'm one of those undesirable pricks that uploads the "11/10 uninstall function works great" review, but NEO Scavenger will be my exception. You have no idea how hard it will be for me to not write "I murdered a naked guy while wearing a clown mask", but I will get through it, for this amazing game.

Let's start with the basics; you're some random guy (avoiding spoilers) that has just woken from cryogenic sleep during the apocalypse somewhere around the city of Detroit. After a friendly interaction with a lovely creature known as a "Dogman", you step outside to experience the outside world of Michigan... and dang, it's cold. Like, "Oh my God I can't feel my feet and I'm feeling really sleepy" cold. After a few deaths and several hours of learning the basics (don't eat random berries or mushrooms you find unless you know they aren't poisonous, that guy with the broken bottle really wants to eat your leg, and yes, it's cold, put some pants on) you really get into this game.

As others have said, however, an ungodly amount of time can be spent on this game, and it can never be taken back. In a sense, it's like DayZ. You spend 3 hours finding a weapon, finding your friends wherever they are on the map, and end up faffing around until some gruesome death by either a glitching zombie or a player that only speaks Russian. This, I believe, is another selling point of NEO Scavenger. In the beginning, you get used to dying. After a while, however, you end up living longer and longer, until one life lasts you hours of real life time. Everything is peachy until that one night you decide to sleep in a forest and forget to set up a noise trap or hide, and you're stabbed to death by some plague-ridden nutcase in your sleep. After a day or two of angry avoidance of the game, you decide to give it a second chance, innocently, you pour more hours into it, only to die in a similar manner. It's a beautiful circle of life (death)!

With such extensive content already and more updates to come, NEO Scavenger is one of my favorite games of all time. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys hardcore survival games, and/or murdering innocents with his/her bare hands whilst wearing nothing but a Ronald McDonald lookalike mask and a hospital gown. (Damn, I said I wouldn't write that.)
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93 of 97 people (96%) found this review helpful
92.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 16
Extremely recommended. One of the best game I have recently played.
Keep reading, or download the Demo and try it for yourself. Yes, there is a DEMO available.

Gameplay
You see stuff from above like, isometric map perspective: you navigate the lands from one hexagonal tile to another. All the time.
This costs points. When it's rainy or dark, it will cost more points.
When you reach a city hex, you can loot the location. This, also, will costs you points. Sometimes you will find amazing stuff, and sometimes only scraps of paper. But even those could be useful. Actually, when you start to know the game better, every gôddåmn item is useful!
You will find more stuff if you use a crowbar, or have a light source with you. But beware as this will make more noise and attract people towards your location.
Looting can also just hurt yourself... like roof collapse. Shït happens right?
So you loot, equip yourself with what you find, and stroll around. Until some dude approaches and gets to your hex.

Combat
The combat is textual. You won't have the map view anymore. But instead, you'll be presented with an interface showing your dude's and opposition's status, and a list of actions you can execute. Everything you will do, like throwing a punch, will have a narrative text describing what's happening. So it's mostly READING ya hear? No explosions there.
But don't be fooled... you can trip on the ground and fall. While on the ground you can try and grab the hostile down, you can crawl back and try to escape, drop your stuff and run like hell, etc. A lot of realistic possibilities here. It is extremely hard. Your first encounter will probably be your last.

Disease
Getting hurt, bleeding, being cold, drinking shït water... these will have consequences. Try to disinfect your wounds, patch'em up and don't let 'em getting infected. Be careful of what you eat too... could be POISONOUS you never know muhahah.
Unless you are a doctor, in which case you will have a clear descriptions of your symptoms like, "Cholera 3; final stage; certain death", you won't know what illness you just caught... you will have "stomach cramps", you'll be like "vomiting"...
So just act as in real life: grabs antibiotics, clean every wounds. Don't take any chances. Ever. Why? Because the game has...

Permadeath
Yep. Die and restart the whole game. No save point, and that is intended. You won't bring stuff with you from your last play. Nope, nothing. It's up to YOU to level up. And this is where I disagree on the game mechanics. I am fine with dying and learning. But ya know the beginning of the game starts to be boring once you know it. And redoing the same stuff is just a waste of time. Hence I created a little tool to actually still save and, well, cheat. I advise players to die a lot first, and when you feel you are ready, just use my tool.
But even if you use it to reload an old save, it won't matter much, because...

It's random
The map is randomly generated. But not when you first start the game, nope. It is randomly generated as soon as you discover a tile. So saving the game and loading an old save will still yield something different :D
This is why I am a little "against" the permadeath. Loading an old save is not THAT bad. You will experience a whole different game. I would've liked just... ya know, an auto-save every night or something.
Anyway except for a few spots in the map that will never change, all the rest is random. Random but fair. You won't like be in a desert without cities for miles ever. They are spawned correctly.
Even if you are a new player, you CAN make it. Yes because in the end, it's just logic.
Contrary to Faster Than Light (FTL) where there is NO WAY a new player will make it to the end because the randomization is too... random. In NEO Scavenger, the RNG is just right.

Crafting stuff
As I said all the items there are useful. Somehow. Because you can craft and even "uncraft" stuff. If someone is giving you stuff, or if you finally found something of value... maybe you can try to "reverse engineer" it and discover HOW IT WAS BUILT. How awesome is that uh? Found a bow arrow? But you have no idea how to create one yourself? No problem!
There are also a lot of crafting recipes there. And many different combinations will work. Like you could use your crowbar to roast meat when you don't have a wood stick! Doesn't matter, both categorizes as a kinda "shaft." So it's extremely smart and flexible. If you are lacking you favorite saucepan to boil water... just think a second... can't anything else, more common, be used as a saucepan? Eh, when I found that out, I literally doubled my lifespan. No shït. Think hard.

Narration
It reminds me of Fallout 1 & 2. You had that little description box in the lower left which would describe what was going on. Here it's a bit the same. With random encounters or special places being very well described. There is a lot of dark humor too. If you are not averse to reading you will like it and also find that it's well written.

Story
There is a story. Your first goal will obviously be to survive, and so, to find something to cover your feet :) But after that painful initial phase, you will meet strange people. You will find places of interest. Or you will find new recipes that... use high tech items you had no idea were in the game.
The story is interesting and is closely related to the narrative part of the game: the only way to tell you stuff is through old newspapers and stuff. Those are funny as well...
OX news reporting hoaxes ;)

Audio
Every single one item has its own sound effect. Which is played when you grab the item from you inventory. That's it. But that's HUGE. There is a little music, but it gets a bit repetitive.

Conclusion
If you like Fallout, post-apocalyptic worlds, a good narration, turn by turn mechanics and a pretty realistic game then don't hesitate. It's a masterpiece.
You still unsure? --> try the demo and make your own opinion.
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82 of 90 people (91%) found this review helpful
13.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
Early Access Review
Introduction: How long can you survive the post-apocalyptic wastelands of NEO Scavenger? This may be the ongoing question asked of the player by it's developers yet, I guaruntee you will be asking youself this each time you load Neo Scavenger regardless of your experience with it's unforgiving world. Even in it's early access state Neo Scavenger accomplishes what many other developers desperately attempt to attain yet fail to accompllish, an incredibly solid title built in a believable and atmospheric world, all the while laughing in it's large budget competitiors faces because there is yet more to come.

Overview: Neo Scavenger is a post apocolypic turn based survival strategy game that honors such classics as Fallout and Wasteland while retaining an identity all it's own. Set in an incredibly atmospheric world, the protagonist has recently emerged from a cryo chamber without a memory as to how he got there, who he is or what state the world is in. Within seconds he recieves the answer to the latter in a very unwelcoming way.

You soon realize that you will desperately need to scavenge this unhospitable world if you intend on your survival and will have to leave your moral bindings behind if you're to be successful. While traveling you will be encountered by an assortment of undesirables that intend on their own as well and will achieve this at any cost, whether it be thievery, murder or deception. To assure your own instead, you will need to do the same.

During your journey, you'll be presented with decisions that must be made and many times without prior knowledge of what may occurr based on your actions. You will pre-emptively strike what you deem to be

Gameplay: As stated above Neo Scavenger is a turn based survival strategy game with a wide range of varying elements that will affect each new journey you begin. You will be presented with an attribute screen where you must carefully select each according to your playstyle. Each will directly affect what skills you have available in given situations that will come about so, one must choose wiseley.

Once your travels begin you will need to manage multiple aspects in regards to your health such as hydration, hunger, restfulness, health/illness, injuries, environment temperatures, weather and more. The decisions you make will directly affect the protagonist accordingly so, one must manage these elements with confidence or otherwise you'll be swiftly presented with a message that you will assuredly see quite often, the death screen. This will come often and without warning aside from your available character management system. With that being said make sure you obsess about the details because, it's all that stands in the way of you and the grim reaper.

Aside from illness, fatigue, hunger and the like, you will of coarse encounter a variety of enemies along your journey that also as stated above intend on your demise. Combat is performed via a turn based system which, issues you an incredible assortment of options depending on your original skill/attribute selection which, I must reaffirm must be choen wisely! The options presented during combat range from hide, melee, , kick downed opponent, headbutt, sneak, ranged, retreat, offer/demand surrender, offer/accept cease fire, attempt to talk and countless other available options that are once again available depending on you attribute selection.

Do I need to remind you to choose them wisely once again? I do? O.k check it out, this one's gonna hit home a bit more....Unless you carefully choose your attributes, you may within seconds contract any one of the following unpleasant status illnesses or diseases:

Blindness, Blisters, Blue Rot, Cholera, Coughing Blood, Crippled Limb, Defoliant Exposure, Diarrhea, Gastroenteritis, Heat Stroke, Hypothermia, Hypovolemic Shock, Poisoned, Sepsis, Shock, Vomiting

Sound fun? No? Then choose wisely my friends, trust me.


You will without a doubt die and die often, yet during each playthrough you will obtain more knowledge in regards to how to survive and future strategies that come of it.

Graphics: The graphics of Neo Scavenger serve their purpose. They are in no way revolutionary and aren't intended to be, nor needed to be whatsoever. Yet if there were one weakness of Neo Scavanger this would be it. As mentioned above the graphics serve their purpose but, that in no way means that the options available should be so barron. The options available are as basic as it gets and are as folows:

Full screen, windowed, 16:9, 4:3, frame rate limiter, filter and stretch.

Pretty uneventful to say the least and due to the graphics engine's limitations they do not scale. So expect the presentation to be a bit lackluster. Yet, once again they serve their purpose and it will not ruin your experience whatsoever. So take this section with a grain of salt because, if you're in the market for a game in this genre, graphics are the least of your worries.

Sound: The music and sound effects although they may not present themselves often are perfectly crafted to create a tense and fitting atmosphere. Given the situation, the music will accompany and heighten your feeling of desperation within this incredibly depressing world. With each fade in the music will most definitely add an element that most other games cannot match. Considering so, the developers deserve an award for knowing when less is more and Neo Scavenger is a perfect example of that. The echoing sounds of the barron wilderness accompany the simplistic soundtrack design and add to a believable experience.

Story: The story although seemingly simplistic and unoriginal at first is where Neo Scavenger will surprise you at every turn and leave you wanting to know more about our most unlucky protagonist. Although at first sight it may seem minimalistic, you will be proven wrong as you progress further into this world of chaos he so sadly awoke to. The story contained in Neo Scavenger will most assuredly be a driving force behind your desire to continue multiple play sessions to discover more about what happened to this once populated land. As you can see by my vagueness, I am doing my best to protect any insight as to specific story elements which, should serve as a hint that it's most definitely there and is most definitely worthwhile. Trust me when I say, there will be many more than one occasion that will leave you in awe and in horror.

Replay Value: The replay value found in Neo Scavanger is second to none and I am by no means stretching my imagination out of bounds to come to that conclusion. The very fundamentals of Neo Scavanger are built to lure the player back into it's world of dessolation, no matter how many times they've played before. With each play through, you will gain knowledge as to how your next session could possibly last longer and you will most definitely feel an urge to apply it for a "better" outcome. What will give you an even more increasing desire to launch it again is that, even after you believe you have mastered it's many facets of gameplay.....you will die and die you will, often and mercilessly. Yet regardless, you will most assuredly return once again to the world of Neo Scavenger and enjoy every gut wrenching second.

Final (Early Access BETA) Review Score: 8.3/10
Although still in Early Access form, I in no way feel it to be a hinderance to come to a determination that Neo Scavenger should find a place in the library of any gamer looking for a title that will surpass their expectations and leave them in shock that they haven't played it before. The developers at Blue Bottle Games have poured an incredible amount of love and attention into their world of solitude and despair which, I guaruntee will leave you feeling the same. If you're in the market for a survival game, give Neo Scavenger a chance!
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304 of 432 people (70%) found this review helpful
8.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Early Access Review
someone was playing fallout and thought "what if my guy got gonorrhea" and then this game was born
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49 of 54 people (91%) found this review helpful
32.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 27
Early Access Review
NEO Scavenger is a turn-based, roguelike scavenging game. I like it a lot, because it's gritty, fairly in-depth and more realistic than almost every other survival game.

NEO Scavenger first asks you to choose your perks/flaws: Botanist, Strong, Myopia, etc. There are no XP and levels, so, mostly, what you see is what you get. After selecting your starting skills, you are thrown into the game barefoot and with only a hospital gown.

Your first order of business is finding the basics of survival: shoes (one left and one right!), warm clothes, a lighter, a crowbar for scavenging, a sleeping bag, tools to obtain clean food and water and something to carry all this stuff around. In fact, the very first treasures you'll scavenge are probably disposable plastic grocery bags. They're very fragile, but they're tiny, weigh nothing and will serve as your first backpack. Those bad boys are little life savers, you have to love them! We should probably produce and dump more plastic bags all over the place for fututre survivors, right now. What do you think of that, environmentalists?

From then on, you'll also need to find all the other things you need to survive: clean rags for wounds, alcohol for disinfection, antibiotics, painkillers, a firearm with ammo, gloves, a gasmask for polluted areas, crafting tools, binoculars, noisemakers to warn you of intruders during the night, etc. One of the game's main qualities is that the list of things needed to survive effectively is very, very long, but you can also make do with just the essentials.

Contemporary technology is surprisingly useless. A found computer might have no battery, then a found battery might have no charge in it, then a charged battery will reveal the computer is password-locked, then you'll hack it (if you picked that skill)... only to discover the computer only contains pictures of cats. On the other hand, a cheap plastic bottle filled with safe drinking water is always a useful commodity. Is that social commentary or what?

Weapons are also imporant, but not nearly as much as in most survival games. It's possible to completely avoid all combat with a peace-loving build.

Speaking of which, combat is a strange numberless affair, where you choose broad actions (run forward/back, take cover, trip enemy, threaten). The only numeric value is range, which is enormously important depending on your fighting style. What you do get are surprisingly graphic descriptions of your situation: "You have passed out from unbearable pain" or "You have died from acute bleeding to the lungs". Ouch. As in real life, he who strikes first usually wins. It's also possible to win a fight and die from your injuries not long afterwards. All in all, fights are terrying (as they should be), the results are sometimes unpredictable and fighting fair is always a stupid idea. Did I mention you can be killed in your sleep (and vice-versa)?

There's also crafting, there's always crafting. Except here it's realistic. You're not going to craft an assault rifle with rocks in NEO Scavenger. In fact, a good ol'fire is probably the number one recipe. Sorry, no fire by friction if you haven't chosen the Trapper skill at character creation. Making fire without an external source is really not that easy without training. Another essential crafting recipe is: Fire + Water + Receptacle = Boiled (sterile) Water. Don't tell me it's boring until, weakened by diarrhea from drinking dodgy water, you are punched to death by a hobo. By the way, the game doesn't tell you what makes you sick: you only know you messed up somewhere when symptoms start showing up.

The game leaves the player with three general survival strategies: use nature's gifts to provide for your needs, scavenge cities for pre-apocalypse technology or... murder every survivor in sight for the contents of their shopping bags, RAWR!

The game has a main storyline, but as of right now it's pretty short. And did I tell you THIS GAME HAS NO ZOMBIES? Yay!

The game has two main flaws. First, the game could do a better job helping you find points of interest. The map is very large and it's not obvious where the important areas are. The second is almost a praise: I want more of it! I want more items, more weapons, more unique areas, more special encounters, more animals. MOAR! The possibilites of common household items having ingenious survival uses is almost endless. Variety in this game is good, but not great, but things are still being added to the game (and there are mods).

While I recommend NEO Scavenger, it is in Early-Access at 99% complete, so it might be worth waiting a bit if you want the best first experience possible. Yet even right now, it's still a pretty great game and an impressive achievement as the work of a single man.

In conclusion, I'll quote Rock, Paper, Shotgun's Graham Smith which sums up the game's worth pretty well:
"NEO Scavenger is the only survival game that feels like it has anything to do with survival."
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70 of 90 people (78%) found this review helpful
24.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 15
Early Access Review
I spend most of my time walking around with only one shoe on, carrying crinkled shopping bags full of cloth, litter and empty plastic bottles. One time I found a full bottle of whiskey and nearly died of excitement.

I am a hobo.

And this is my story.
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42 of 53 people (79%) found this review helpful
22.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 16
Beating another human being to death for their shoes has never been so fun.
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19 of 19 people (100%) found this review helpful
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 16
From my time playing the early access version:

I thought this was just going to be some weird little thing i'd play once and throw in the backlog forever. Two and a half hours later I'm crawling after a concussed blind man who stabbed me in the head with an arrow. I have to get up before him so I can kick him unconscious and dump his pockets onto the ground. He has a beef jerky that I eat immediately. I bandage up my head, pop some painkillers and shuffle my bleeding, bruised, hypothermic self back into the woods in search of water.

This game is awesome.
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28 of 36 people (78%) found this review helpful
112.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 15
Having followed this game during the end tail of its beta development, I am pleased to say that it's been as much fun in day one as it was on release. It's not without its frustrations, but these frustrations are part of the rogue-like mechanic (why can't I find a pair of boots, dammit! ...also, I died again).

Also, the game is moddable. So if there's something you want to tweak (within the constraints of the engine), you can learn to do so or see if someone else did so already.

There is still a lot about this game I haven't discovered, as I still need to range outside of the "just survive" part and delve into the mysteries hinted at here and there. But overall, it's been an enjoyable ride. If you didn't pick this up in a Humble Bundle or during Beta, now's a good time to do so!
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28 of 36 people (78%) found this review helpful
15.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
Early Access Review
I see lights off in the distance. I make my way toward them, starving and shivering. I learn to light a fire to keep warm and then attract a monster which proceeds to chew my face off.

I start over.

I head toward the lights again, this time I have a spear and can eat berries to stay hydrated and full. I drink some water which makes me crap my pants. I die in a pool of poo.

I start over

I do all the above but make a point of boiling my water. I finally make it to the city, eat a meal that I cannot possibly pay for and do a runner.

10/10

Would run again.
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22 of 26 people (85%) found this review helpful
60.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
Early Access Review
How I LOVE this game!
It has the extensiveness of a great exploration and scavenging game, but it actually has a -goal-, including stories, quests and npc's but without revealing everything in the first 5 minutes of playing. In fact, after almost 18 hours of playing I get the feeling I'm only scratching the surface of finding out what's really going on - who I am and what I am supposed to be doing. The guidance you get is intuitive but directions are given sparingly. There are loads of stats kept, you get an idea of that when you die - everything you achieved is being summed up, giving you hints of events that have been set in motion.
Gonna start another round right NOW
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20 of 24 people (83%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 15
Quite frankly, one of the best inventory-management/suruvival games I've ever played. It'll scratch that OCD itch once you learn the quirks and nuances of gameplay. To top it off, it's highly replayable. This is due to the high rate of death/failure, until you learn just how the world and its random events and distributions work.
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16 of 18 people (89%) found this review helpful
23.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
Early Access Review
NEO Scavenger has that "special game" feeling. By that I mean, a game where the possibilities seem limitless, and you're carried away into a new world on adventure. The last game to do this for me was Crusader Kings 2.

It is also an example of classic "simple to learn, hard to master" design. Most of the systems (combat, crafting, movement, line of sight etc.) are very straightforward, and easy to grasp. But put them all together, and almost everything you do is a meaningful choice that will continue to affect you throughout the game.

Also, my favourite contemporary novel is The Road, by Cormac Mccarthy, and this is as close as you are going to get to experiencing that chill when someone asks: "What are you eating?"
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17 of 21 people (81%) found this review helpful
71.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
Early Access Review
In the 1st 24 hours of buying this I added it to my favourites list. It's one of those games, if you're not playing it, you're thinking about playing it, you lay in bed wanting to get to sleep faster so you can wake up sooner and play it for longer.
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52 of 85 people (61%) found this review helpful
52.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
Early Access Review
Hunting Rifle with strap and scope: $500
Pair of mismatch shoes: $60
Bottle of Wolverine Black: $200

Being beaten to death in your sleep by hobo who wants to steal your stuff and eat you: Priceless

11/10
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23 of 33 people (70%) found this review helpful
26.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
Early Access Review
Some bandits force me into a limo with a woman giving birth... Since I had the medical skill I saved her newborn child from dying and in return I got a pat on the back..... 10/10


But in all seriousness this is a pretty damn good survival game. Worth the 10 bucks.
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18 of 25 people (72%) found this review helpful
58.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
Early Access Review
Hands-down one of the best single player survival games. Never underestimate a hobo with a sauce pan.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
15.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 17
This is a truly excellent game, and I'm glad to see it's getting some press, although not as much as it deserves.

I knew nothing about this game going in. I got it as part of a Humble Bundle and figured it was worth a try. I think I played it for about 5 hours straight that first time. It's probably the greatest random find I've had.

You have various perks and handicaps that you select to build your character, so you can choose to have excellent vision and mechanical skill but be a weak, feeble insomniac. After you create your character, you wake up in a hospital, with no idea what's going on and why the world has gone to hell around you. Immediately, you have to deal with a dogman who's charging down the hallway towards you. Your traits will affect how you can deal with it.

Afterwards, you venture into the outside world. It is bleak and largely empty. You'll set off, with nothing but the hospital gown on your back. You can forage for food and water, but you should really make sure that the food's fresh. Do you know what berries are poisonous? Can you trust that water? Explore a little further and you'll see some ruined buildings. Scavenge in them and you might find some actual clothes to keep you warm, maybe some preserved foodstuffs or a cell phone. Be careful, though, and try not to make too much noise.

You see someone on the horizon. You wonder whether they can explain what happened, but then you notice the rough spear that they're wielding. They charge at you, and you try to run. You can't get away fast enough, so you try to fight them off with a broken bottle you've picked up. You take the spear in the shoulder, and you stagger with the pain, but you get in an incredibly lucky thrust with the bottle and your opponent goes down. You shred some of your clothes and wrap the makeshift bandages around your wounds, but it's too late--infection has taken hold. In your last conscious moments you watch night fall, and you see a glow in the distance. It may be an illusion created by your feverish mind, but it almost looks like city lights...

Each playthrough is memorable in this game, even the ones where you freeze to death the first night. If you survive in this strange new world, you can find people and locations that will help you find out background about this world. There is a story here, but you have to go searching for it. Even if you don't find all the backstory, you still have a tale of desperate survival that's incredibly compelling. I heartily recommend the game to anyone who's interested in survival games.
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