The fundamental reason it makes it here is that it manages to recreate the experience of playing Fallout! Can you believe that ?
Principally, the "scavenger" life of the post-disasteri loner -- I can't be the only one that enjoyed the random encounters in favour of the actual plot development back in the day ? In any case, they took that concept and ran with it, rather than the 90% BDSM-Storyline / 10% randomness Fallout featured, they're more a 33% Storyline / 67% randomness, which I believe is much closer to the ideal mix. And when I say "ran with it" I actually mean it, there's actual recycle/craft trees that are quite convincing. It's one thing to run into the desert looking for the only possible thing to look for (ammo), it's quite another when you've just discovered [bought, for quest-coins] a new kind of table and you're off to the wastes to scare up a grosse of plastic somehow (seen any buckets recently ? how about toothbrushes ? bottles are also good). I for instance am looking for fabric to upgrade my pants (you get more pockets, which hold boosts!), so I can't tell you how happy I am to see some [long dead] cheerleader's abandoned pompoms on an unkempt college football field. Yes, they have that.
Not even secondly, the exceptional atmosphere. The darkness, the music, the lumbering zombies, the excellent tiling art... Thing's a pleasure to look at, to be part of. What more can be said ?
Definitely not thirdly, the level of polish is very much reminescent of Bethesda's best days. There's no bugs, there's no imbalances, there's no problems. They even understand that ancient Eulora point that seems to be spreading among the field -- that gains must be small! No 10% attack or 300% life, what the hell is this. Instead, 0.5% crit, +1 hp, that sort of thing.
And now, some illustration :
Above is meii, looting a canoe! The graphics are great enough that if a table holds some papers, you can actually see them on the table, and if a rack contains a vase you can see the vase atop it and so on. The guy on the right, with the skulls, is a miniboss (the way minibosses work here is that they spawn upon killing a mook, sorta like an upgrade -- and I suspect this is actually the correct way to do it).
Below I'm looting the treasure goblin, which is implemented as a sort of map boss. Also, I suspect, the right thing.
Above, me in camp. The bicycle to the left is the symbolic means of map jumping ; the fire on the right is where you replenish your stamina. (An interesting twist about that -- the maximum food and drink you can hold is 100 ; if you eat in excess of that while at a camp site, you get more stamina for it. Since stamina's eaten up every time you pick things up, crafting excellent quality food becomes a key ingredient to successful scavenging.) Admire also my Exceptional quality Travel Bag (equipped).
Below, my list of stored materials. As you can see there's plastics and paper and screws and medicinal herbs and all sorts of various things. I'm in the process of recycling a baseball bat, which will produce some wood.
Above, me in front of my scavenger's log cabin on the Zombie Fronteer. There's a tank for fuel (which I built) and three for water (two of which I built) and a general purpose storage thing, plus a research table -- which, amusingly, wants a lot of vegetables, and some eggs, (and a little chocolate) to discover a thing. Clustered to the bottom right, the weapon table and the sewing table -- where one upgrades her pants!
Below, I definitely recommend trying this thing out.———