One of the most underrated Roguelike RPGs ever made, The UnReal World (UrW) is a captivating, but very difficult, role playing game set sometime in the Iron Age. What sets UrW apart from other Roguelikes - and most other RPGs for that matter - is the unique historical setting and realistic factors. The game is set in a very realistic gameworld, full of elements from Scandinavian mythology and folklore. Instead of standard AD&D character classes, you play as member of one of the ten Scandinavian cultures with authentic occupations, including a fisherman, a hermit, a trapper, or even a tradesman. The gameworld is huge and is randomly generated each time you play, thus ensuring virtually unlimited replayability. |
UrW plays similar to most other Roguelikes, except that instead of a dungeon, you will spend most of your time exploring above-ground lands (similar to Ragnarok). The game features an interesting skill-based system that includes ten real-life skills, ranging from "cookery" to "hideworking". The graphics are crisp and clear, and the interface is easy to learn. In contrast to most RPGs, your task in UrW is basically to survive: there is no kill-the-big-foozle quest to follow, or a damsel in distress waiting to be rescued. It's you against the harsh world in this game. This makes UrW closer to a "survival simulation" such as Wilderness than a traditional RPG, although the game still depend on conventional RPG elements, such as conversation with NPCs, monsters, and the ability to "level up".
Overall, I found UrW an intriguing Roguelike, although one that will not appeal to everyone. If you prefer a quest- or story-oriented RPG, you will probably find UrW a dry and tedious game. On the other hand, if you enjoy realism-based RPGs such as Darklands or RPGs with complex rules such as the Realms of Arkania series, you will probably enjoy UrW. Be warned that it is a VERY difficult game - I found myself dying numerous times before getting a hang of it ;) Two thumbs up, but with some reservations.
Reviewed by: Underdogs