Meet the Saudi Arabian Version of Uncharted

A new game called Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta is eerily similar to Naughty Dog’s treasure hunting franchise.

Erik Norrisby Erik Norris


I don’t need to tell you how influential Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series is. Since the first game’s release in 2007, the Uncharted series has pretty much set the benchmark for graphics, voice acting, story, characters and smooth gameplay in the gaming industry. So it would stand to reason that when developing your own game, you’d hold Uncharted up as the pinnacle of where you want to be. What that doesn’t mean, however, is that you should outright copy the Uncharted formula, SyFy original movie style.

Along the same lines as Transmorphers for Transformers, or Battle of Los Angeles for Battle: Los Angeles, there is Unearthed for Uncharted. Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta is a game being created by Saudi Arabian developer Semaphore, and follows the adventures of fortune hunter Faris Jawad as he travels the world in search of the famed Muslim explorer Ibn Battuta’s treasure. And wouldn’t you know it, just like Sir. Francis Drake, Ibn Battuta was a renowned Islamic scholar and traveler who kept extensive records of his journeys.

If the setup wasn’t enough, have a look at Unearthed’s gameplay. Mind you, it’s nowhere near as fluid and polished as what can be found in Uncharted, but the similarities will immediately jump out at you. For all intents and purpose, Unearthed is Uncharted with a different word following the same prefix.

Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta is set to release on PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Android and PS3 sometime in the near future. What do you think of Semaphore obviously taking a lot of plays from the Naughty Dog playbook? Or, as the saying implies, is imitation, in this case, the sincerest form of flattery?