Sound familiar? Well, it would if you've ever played Unturned, a mash-up between DayZ and Minecraft. Unturned is a survival game for the PC that you can play absolutely free online (although there is a gold membership option). You and your Minecrafter character look-alike must wander the landscape collecting materials to build a fortress.
Developer: Smartly Dressed Games
Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
You're wandering around your sandbox world, keeping a weather eye out for any signs of trouble. You decide to duck into an abandoned supermarket only to be met with the square face of a zombie. He reaches for you with block-like limbs and lets out a pathetic growl, but you've got your rectangular shotgun with you. One and done, and it's over.
Unturned was developed by a teenager in his bedroom, so the production value isn't that high. Then again, when the creators of Minecraft created their game, how much more access to elaborate game mechanisms did they have? It's still all pixelated. Unturned has a sort of charm to it with its large pixel style and bland faces. It's not like zombies had much expression to begin with.
The game is, most fortunately, multiplayer compatible. There are quite a few servers online where you can hook up with other players for some zombie-killing fun, or you can go it alone if you choose. Players can form teams to fight the zombie hordes or turn against one another, which means that there can indeed be friendly fire using the game's various weapons. Melee weapons (crowbar, ax) are also included.
The game has a level up system where players get XP by killing zombies. Those upgrades can then be spent for new abilities, weapons or building materials. For the more creative sort, there are mods that you can add into the game such as unique weapons you've built and more. Despite the large number of players registered, pretty much any internet connection works because of the game's low system requirements.
Anyone who's a fan of Minecraft will love this game because it's essentially Minecraft plus Zombies. Well, more zombies. Only zombies. The crafting aspect of Unturned makes everything about the game highly customizable, a feature players will be thrilled about because of the endless possibilities. Unturned has all of the regular elements one would find in a zombie survival game. Health, stamina, food and water, all necessary components of life, are to be tended to within a short period of time, lest the player die.
The social network of players who have joined this game has boosted Unturned into the ranks of most played games on Steam, an impressive feat in itself. Whether this is do to the fact that it's basically a clone of Minecraft, we may never know. Similarities aside, the game has plenty of its own components that allow it to stand on its own two feet.