Preview: Zelter

Here I am again! Coming to talk to you about another survival crafter. This time we have something a little different. Zelter from G1 Playground is by far the cutest zombie apocalypse I have ever participated in. It is Stardew Valley gone to Hell and, if I am being honest, is something I have wanted to see for a long time. Everyone in that village was just a little too happy.

Zelter is developed by G1 Playground and published by Super.com. It released on Steam Early Access on October 22, 2020.

Much like other titles in the genre, Zelter doesn’t necessarily do anything that hasn’t been done before, but it does piece a few things together in a different way. It separates itself enough from the pack to feel like something new. When it comes to the survival crafter genre, it’s nice not to feel entirely lost from the moment you press start. What Zelter does well is it allows you to feel like you know the basics. There are some trees nearby and I have an axe, I guess I should go cut those down. There are some rocks over there, I probably need stone.

After the first day, it becomes pretty clear there are still some things Zelter isn’t going to give away so easy. It has an already hefty crafting tree that you must explore to discover what’s possible. You have to play each day to figure out if these zombies are going to become more aggressive or just keep shambling around the neighborhood. There is a fair amount of depth for a small game that just launched in early access.

There are a few issues that I hope to see ironed out over the course of Zelter’s development. The controls are a little floaty and non-precise. Your character’s orientation is based upon the placement of your mouse, and sometimes that can cause you to move slower or less efficiently. Aiming of weapons sometimes feels inaccurate. I also sometimes found Zelter completely ignoring my inputs. These are far from the worst issues I have had with early access titles, but they are enough to be frustrating.

Zelter is a fun game and could be refreshing for those bored with games like Stardew Valley or its kin. It is one of the few survival games that doesn’t cater to the hardcore and could even be an introduction for people becoming interested in the genre. It is a title to watch and see if they can pull it off.  


Preview copy provided by Super.com. Screenshots provided by Super.com and Reviewer.