Unturned – Review
Follow Genre: Survival game
Developer: Smartly Dressed Games
Publisher: Smartly Dressed Games, 505 Games
Platform: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S
Tested on: PS4

Unturned – Review

Site Score
Good: Big sandbox world to explore
Bad: Bad enemy AI, Graphics and sound are lacking
User Score
(8 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.5/10 (8 votes cast)

Unturned is a bit of a complicated matter. Released on PC back in 2017, it’s an open-world zombie survival game developed by Smartly Dressed Games and put on Steam as a free-to-play title. This year it finally came to consoles, making its debut on PlayStation and Xbox thanks to a partnership with 505 Games. The console version of Unturned is not free, but there are some notable differences from the PC version.


Set after the end of the world, Unturned does not have a very defined storyline to follow. Instead, the game is progressed by exploration and your own imagination. There are a few NPCs who will gladly send you on a quest or two, but they’re pretty simple (usually of the ‘fetch a thing for me’ variety) and there’s little plot to be found, besides the things you come up with yourself to set as goals.


Unturned has taken the Minecraft aesthetic and ran with it. It’s a rather simple look, defined by squares everywhere and with little attention to detail. The lighting effects are quite nice, but beyond that, the overall graphics are basic. This isn’t a bad thing; however, the interfaces look incredibly bulky too. Rumor has it the game was made by a 16-year-old, which would account for the crude look and smells of a first attempt at design. The massive empty areas around towns where there isn’t a single building or interactable object to be found and zombies mysteriously don’t spawn are a chore to trek through.


The sound suffers from a similar fate, feeling very amateurishly put together at times. The music is unimpressive, falls away entirely at some points, and even the menacing zombie noises are standard stuff. Obviously not every game has to have amazing sound design, but combined with the simplistic graphics and some gameplay faults we’ll get into in a second, it only adds to the rough feel of the game.


Unturned is a zombie survival game with pretty basic mechanics. You can customize your character at the start, including choosing a ‘class’ (read: one of the several professions to choose from) which will determine some of your starting skills. After that, you pick one of the available worlds to be dropped in at random and start running around like an idiot. Literally, since there is little in way of a tutorial to show you the ropes. Thankfully the game isn’t too hard, so long as you manage to survive.

Survival means taking care of your own needs first. Food can be found all around you if you know where to look. Be it foraging for wild fruits or veggies, farming them yourself, hunting for meat, or taking to the water to fish. Speaking of water, you’ll need to stay hydrated to keep alive. Lastly, a sturdy shelter will keep you safe from the elements. You can either build one from scratch or fortify an abandoned house for your needs. To do all this you will need to get crafty, literally. Like any survival game, Unturned comes with an extensive crafting menu that will allow you to improvise great tools, weapons, and other stuff just from raw resources. Everything you do will gain you experience, which in turn can be used to upgrade your skills.

Weapons will be important when you start facing zombies. They roam around and while it’s not too hard to sneak by them unnoticed if you crouch carefully, it’s great to have a backup. Killing the zombies is hard in terms of how much health they have, but easy in the sense that the AI in this game is stupid at best, so it’s not hard to evade them or get them stuck in corners. And if you do need to get away, you can always start running. You only have limited stamina, but the game has vehicles in it as well, so if you’re lucky, you’ll be flying your plane over zombies in no time.

While all this might sound appealing – and parts of it certainly are – there is a big ‘but’. As mentioned above, Unturned released on Steam for free long ago. As a result, the online multiplayer servers are much more populated, and the game has a dedicated modding community that adds tons of content. The console version will cost you a pretty penny, and the most you’ll get in return is a local co-op. The servers are much less active and modding is not immediately in sight. Overall this feels like a pretty big drawback, on top of the already lacking other elements.


Unturned can be fun for a while, but it hardly is the best survival game out there. It’s not even the best zombie survival game on the current market. As a free-to-play on Steam, it’s definitely worth checking out, but the console version simply doesn’t add enough to be worth it.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.5/10 (8 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: -1 (from 1 vote)
Unturned - Review, 5.5 out of 10 based on 8 ratings

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