Zombies in PEI?! Reviewing Unturned

Have you ever wondered how a zombie apocalypse would play out in PEI? Well, the answer you are seeking can be found in Unturned, a free-to-play sandbox survival game based in the Cradle of Confederation. The game offers a single-player mode, though I would highly recommend playing with friends on a hosted server or joining an open server because surviving the zombie apocalypse alone just isn’t as fun.

Zombie hoard at sunset.

Zombie hoard at sunset.

When you start playing, you’ll find your character naked in a random location on the island; then the long journey to find your non-zombie comrades among the undead hordes begins. There are a few elements in this game that help speed up this process. Firstly, there are a number of cars you can find which boost your travel time and have the added bonus of loud engines to alert fellow players of your presence. There are also a number of landmarks that make meeting up a little easier—so far, my group of friends has a good track record for managing to meet up at the aircraft control tower in the zombie-infested airport. Then it’s up to your group to scavenge for supplies: weapons, food, clothes et cetera. These supplies make it possible to create a home base equipped with sleeping bags or cots, which serve as future respawn points if one happens to be eaten by zombies.

Pondering the nature of respawn points.

Pondering the nature of respawn points.

The thing that makes Unturned really special is the attention to little details. For example, the cars you can find will eventually run out of gas, making it imperative to find a gas can and a town with a gas station to refuel.  It is also important to find canteens that can be used at the well so that there is a steady supply of drinking water. Though the graphics of the game are simple, the elements of survival are complicated and involve more forethought than “shoot the zombies”. The zombie killing is still an important aspect of the game, however, both for entertainment and to gain experience so that levels can be put into things such as endurance or marksmanship.

Out for a gas run.

Out for a gas run.

There is also the crafting side of the game that allows you to farm, make bandages using cloth and clothing, and create building supplies to build your own custom safe house. I personally like to be situated near a farm, but being situated near the water to watch the reflection of the moon can offer some poignant moments of philosophizing over the zombie apocalypse.

 

4 zombies out of 5

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-Steph

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Introducing Steph Chaves, Plus a Review of Five Nights at Freddy’s (Just in Time for Halloween!)

Hello, Geeks.

On this spookiest of days, it is my pleasure to introduce you to our newest writer, Steph Chaves. She’s a lit geek who loves anime and a host of other nerdy things, and she’s starting her position at Geek Collateral off with a post about Five Nights at Freddy’s, a creepy Steam game perfect for Halloween. Take it away, Steph:

Five Nights at Freddy’s
review by Steph Chaves

Five nights at Freddys screenshot 3

Alone in the dark.

You know that feeling you get when you’re watching a horror movie and that eerie violin music starts playing? Have you ever wished a video game could make you feel that horrible anxiety the entire play-through? Well, then you might just want to try Five Nights at Freddy’s, a point-and-click survival game that retails for $5.49 on Steam (http://store.steampowered.com/app/319510/ ). There are also cell phone adaptations available for both Android and iPhones, though I have yet to play the game on either platform.

The concept of the game is fairly simple: you are the overnight security guard at a Chuck E. Cheese-esque family restaurant called Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, but there’s a catch: the animatronics have a tendency to walk around at night. Worse still, if the animatronics see a human, they think of them as a robot not in costume and therefore “forcefully shove” them into a spare outfit, killing the non-robotic human in the process. So the player has to monitor the security cameras, the lights beside each entrance of the security room, and the door to ensure none of the murderous mascots get inside. Unfortunately, you only have a limited amount of battery life.

Five nights at Freddys screenshot 1

And suddenly, you aren’t alone.

Five nights at Freddys screenshot 2 The best part of the game is the high tension when you’re looking around your small room waiting for, and hoping to prevent, impending doom. As the title of the game dictates, there are five nights, or levels, that you have to survive, with each successive night increasing in difficulty. There is also a sixth night that is unlocked after (if) you survive the original five. Once the sixth night has been accomplished, “Custom Night” is unlocked, where the player can adjust the difficulty levels of the AI. Each night has the same excruciating anxiety. The mood is set by the grainy camera, how the animatronics glitch on camera, the odd laughter that can be heard outside the halls, and the surprise of finding an animatronic standing right outside your door when you check the lights. All of this adds up to a great horror game that uses jump scares more effectively than most horror movies. Each of the animatronics (there are four, plus one spooky extra) is incredibly unnerving to look at, even when they aren’t hunting for human exoskeletons. For bonus creep factor, you can google theories surrounding the plot for Five Night at Freddy’s (let’s just say there’s a likely reason for the foul-smelling odour emanating from the animatronic suits).

If you end up really enjoying the game, you should know that a sequel has been greenlit for the Steam community and a trailer is already out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVPONdZBh6s&list=FLqXmwAB5nOAPNu2YzLE6oNw

Five murderous animatronics out of five

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Play Rust Better — Advice for Casual Rust Players.

If you’ve been playing Rust lately and you’re not one of the top players on your server, you may be getting a bit frustrated. The chat box seems to fill up with players who are really frustrated with the game. If you’re wondering “What’s the point of Rust? What’s the goal?”, read on and I’ll give you one (or more).

Run around aimlessly for a while to try and get your bearings of the game if you haven’t been playing for a while. Then when you’re ready, start building yourself a little base of operations and really playing the game.

Stone Node in Rust.

Stone nodes look like this and give stones, sulphur ore and metal ore.

1. Find an area with a few trees and some non-aggressive animals (pig or deer) nearby. Avoid areas with really big buildings nearby. Lay down a building of your own. I’d avoid using wood to build a shelter and just find one of the empty ones lying around. Put a wooden door on it and drop a storage crate inside. Also, if you have the cloth, lay a sleeping bag down real quick, so you re-spawn in your base (Sleeping bags and beds are your re-spawn point, don’t you know.). Since wooden doors are breakable, try not to stray too far from your base.

2. Keep near your base and gather wood from trees and wood piles, and stone and metal ore from stone nodes. Drop off the resources every few minutes in case someone comes along and kills you. I try to prioritize building a foundation, pillars, walls and a doorway, but if you happen to find an open foundation, even better. Build a house with a metal door as soon as possible. Avoid building windows even on higher floors because aggressive players will build staircases just to climb in and raid you. Focus on getting the 200 metal fragments needed for a metal door.

Bow hunting red animals in Rust.

Red wolves die in 2 arrows and the big red bears should go with 3 arrows.

Blueprint and Research Kit items in Rust

Blueprints (Left) and research kits (right) are your goals right away.

3. Chase an animal down with a rock or stone hatchet, if you haven’t already. Animals are not only your primary source of food; they also give you cloth, which you need to make your first ranged weapon: the hunting bow.

4. Make a hunting bow with cloth and wood, and a few arrows (around 20). Now, hunt some red animals — they drop backpacks — and read up on some blueprints. This is your main priority for now. Run back to your base when you get a few nice items and drop them off in case you get killed. Study all the blueprints you find on the spot.

Player Quatr0 took me out in no time flat with his M4.

Player Quatr0 took me out in no time flat with his M4.

6. Avoid people wearing a lot of clothing: like this friendly fella I met while he was playing with a few of his friends. If you play Rust already, you probably know almost every player is hyper-aggressive. If you get killed, do it all over again, but now with more crafting skills. (Quatr0 agreed to let me show his username.)

7. Once your run home with your new gear, and maybe a few research kits, drag the research kit onto an item you want to learn how to craft, like these sweet leather pants I found.

Craft LeatherPants in Rust

Sweet! Time to rock ‘n’ roll.

Since you’re building a skillset (craft recipes), dying and losing gear becomes less of an issue. The constant cycle of death and loss is taxing and is the biggest complaint people have about Rust. Even bases can be blown up, and you can be killed in your sleep (while logged out). This is actually what I like most about it: nothing is safe.