Unsavory: Pandemic Edition

2.8
5 reviews
100+
Downloads
Content rating
Everyone
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About this game

In the year 2020, to say that life in the United States has been upended by a global pandemic is a bit of an understatement. Everyone has dealt with challenges in their own way. Living in the middle of a crisis, news and events get blurred together. As a game studio, we wanted to use this opportunity to look at the life of a low wage worker in tandem with the timeline of the pandemic.

To do this, we repurposed our game Unsavory, originally released in 2013. In the original game, you played as an employee of a fictitious fast food restaurant during the H1N1 outbreak, trying to survive a month on a budget suggested to workers at McDonalds’ from a consulting group at Visa. For the new release, we included letters from 4 sources that provide a timeline of where the country was at in terms of dealing with the pandemic of 2020. The first source is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The second source is news from media outlets. The third source is tweets from the President of the United States. The last source is from the employer, Rocket Taco. The last source is completely fictitious but tries to capture the mood of a business dealing with uncertainty and trying to survive.

We left the monthly billing system in place, but the game jumps from February to October in order to play through the pandemic. We are working on allowing the billing to be more functional to give an idea of how tight finances can be for low wage workers.

This is a game, with serious content. It’s an exploration and documentation of a great time of uncertainty. We hope that players will find this to be an experience that can provide a point of reflection. Both for our own unique circumstances and challenges, but also an opportunity to build compassion for fellow human beings with a different set of circumstances and challenges.

So go forth and make tacos for minimum wage. When you get sick, try to hide it so that you can keep your job as long as possible to make ends meet.
Updated on
Nov 13, 2020

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2.8
5 reviews
Adam Miller
December 23, 2020
It's fun..but the paycheck never goes into your account.. neither does the stimulus check. Update: I wish there were more things to buy, or do. Besides that it's really fun! Good job!
1 person found this review helpful
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NERDLab @ UM
October 31, 2020
Eek, we will push out an update to fix that!
Jade Janney
November 2, 2020
Was very interested in the game but no matter how long i play im not getting any money. The game says money is added to my paycheck but it never comes. No punishment for sick days, no way to pay bills.
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NERDLab @ UM
November 13, 2020
Hi Jade, thanks for the feedback. We released this edition without changing the old bill system, so there were discrepancies of going from playing a virtual month, to skipping throughout 2020. The new version being rolled out now addresses all of this (paid daily, paying bills, going into debt, etc).
Beloit Cody
November 1, 2020
What a load of political BS!!!!! U mentioned the riots where they wore mask lmao wow one out of the 1000 that happened. Nothing about the mask less thugs who riot and burn ! I hope you're game doesn't succeed... EDIT THEY TRY AND SAY THEY ARE FACTS BUT THEY AINT STAY AWAY FROM THIS LIBERAL HACK GAME!!!!!!!!!
1 person found this review helpful
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NERDLab @ UM
November 1, 2020
Thanks for the comment. We're trying to express the general sentiment of working a low income job in the midst the pandemic. All the letters are either direct quotes/tweets or paraphrasing stories from the news that reflect a period of time during the pandemic. It's a game, so we tried to balance that with a playful experience. So, it's not BS.

What's new

Bills are now paid as you progress through months. In the original 2020 release, we left the billing system in place but didn't make it count towards game progress as the original game was month specific instead of this version that's progressing throughout the year.

Now, the timeline reflects when a new month has started. If you haven't paid the bills, they will be automatically deducted from your bank account. If you don't have the money, you will go into debt.