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ZDAY Survival Simulator is a text based adventure game for the 21st century. Game fans of that bygone era will recall games of this sort, where the player’s imagination provides most of the imagery, and the choices that the player makes lead them through the adventure. There are hundreds upon hundreds of zombie-themed games on the app store, but this game does everything differently. This game is more of an interactive story than an arcade game, and there is a sophisticated game engine under the hood that measures player skills and outcomes.
Don’t get the impression that ZDAY looks like some boring text based game, it doesn’t. Matt Haley, one of DC comics most featured cover artists in recent years is brought in to do the game artwork. The backdrops to each screen are beautiful illustrations, which keeps things consistently attractive. Starting out the game places you in your home with no possessions and placed in the middle of a huge zombie infection immediately sets the player into survival mode. To win this game, the most important thing you have to do is survive at any cost.
The game is designed to function more as teaching tool than a game, it allow a player to learn from their mistakes, and to try and improve their score each time. Some game elements such as zombie encounters, items found, and other survivors that the player encounters are randomized so there is very little chance that the player can have the same exact game experience twice. There are hundreds of encounters to experience, and ZDAY allows the player to choose a more advanced start position if they choose to, which will cut down on repetition fatigue.
There is obviously a very smart engine behind this game, as it seems to be carefully measuring and adjusting the player’s chances of survival. At the end of the game a fairly detailed summary of the player’s performance and chances of survival are broken down. I’ve heard people say that they wish it was 99¢, but the way I see it, I enjoy a quality game that is made well and obviously has a lot of work put into it, and I feel like when you find a good one, you shouldn’t complain about a couple of bucks.
ZDAY is available on the App Store for older iPhone and older iPhone 3G and 2G iPod Touch, as well as iPads 1 and 2. Also available on all Android platforms including Kindle Fire and B&N Nook Color.
Title: ZDAY Survival Simulator
Developer: Mongadillo Studios