Steam Challenge: 7 Days to Die

-Welcome to this series where I resolve to play my Steam games backlog! Here are my discoveries!-

Game: 7 Days to Die
Time Played: 20.3 hours (More forthcoming!)

This was a totally unexpected purchase during the final hours of the Steam Sale. My sister has been searching for a solid co-op zombie survival game for quite a while that we can all get together and enjoy. This was her pick, and man, we’ve all been sucked into figuring out this world and how to come out on top!

I know there’s a lot of these survival games coming out lately. However, I have no interest in DayZ, Rust or any other game that puts kill on sight PVP gameplay in before regular survival, building and… you know… actual zombies. We investigated our options, chose this game, and couldn’t be more pleased.

What Is It?

My sister’s got a gun…

It’s a zombie survival, first person shooter, voxel-based building/crafting game. Basically, smash Minecraft and DayZ together and you’ll have a good idea what this game is like. It’s currently in alpha, is a really solid game already, and has lots of great features forthcoming that make me excited to see where this game is going.

The thing that pleases me most is the ability to host my own server and control the server settings. I can change the difficulty of the game, how much loot drops, how often loot respawns, how long day and night cycles are, if I want fast or feral zombies, and if I prefer to play a PVE, no player kill environment. There’s so many options that I’ve tailored the game to our needs, and can tweak it to make it more difficult later if we decide we want the challenge! If we wanted to do nothing but build, I could turn off all zombies and we could build to our hearts’ content.

There are different types of zombies – from walkers, crawlers, spitters and dogs. They also get faster, harder to kill and hit harder at night (if you leave that setting on).

But what really sets the game apart is the voxel-based mechanics. Zombies can dig, bust through windows, tear down walls, and do anything the have to in order to reach you. Because the game is fully destructible and physics based, that means zombies can literally rip a house down under your feet! And they do… trust me, they do…

Boiling water at the campfire.

Crafting is a huge part of this game. While you can make it by on what you scavenge, learning what to break down into components and how to craft or cook base items into better things will improve your quality of life quite a bit. You can mine for ore and resources, chop wood, hunt game, build walls, dig a mine, create traps, cook your own food, craft your own weapons… it’s intuitive, but vast and fun to explore and learn.

Every day we’ve played, we come to the board with a new plan, new wiki research and new ideas on how to survive. Each discovery is rewarding, leading you to feel you’re getting a better grip on how to make it against the hordes. Just be careful. Don’t get too comfortable. You never know when and where they’re going to spawn.

I see myself putting a whole lot of hours into this game. The crafting is a huge pull that places a fun layer of complexity and world-building over top of the standard survival game. It’s extremely customizable, and has a bright development road ahead of it. You can find several PVE only servers out there, including the official Reddit server.