Zombies have infested the world but this time the zombies aren’t humans, they’re animals. However, this isn’t your standard bullet to the brain zombie game. Scheming Through The Zombie Apocalypse: The Beginning is a dark humoured point and click story-driven adventure.
In Entertainment Forge’s newest game, you play as Hank – an old rabbit – and a drug-dealing pooch named Larry as they are trying to find a new place to live.
What’s This Indie Game All About?
Zombies have somehow infested the world and your dynamic duo couldn’t care less. That, at least, until four months later when you run out of supplies; meaning poor Hank and Larry must go out scavenging in a dangerous world. They hear about a safe place that has running water and electricity and, only thinking about creature comforts, Hank and Larry decide that is where they want to live.
But the two find out it won’t be easy to do so. They must scavenge items of worth to trade in the hopes of gaining entry. Once they learn this, they go around the city in search of high value goods to offer up to the person in charge.
Straight away, you are introduced to a darker kind of humour than you’d normally get in most indie games. The protagonists joke about drugs, make bets on death and Hank doesn’t seem to care much about his fellow animals’ lives. Plus, there is a lot of swearing; though none of this bothered me. On the contrary, it made the game feel more unique and made you realise that sometimes you don’t need to take everything so seriously.
The player doesn’t have too much impact on what happens in the world. You will occasionally make a choice about what to say or do, but decisions are far and few between and the story is very linear; Sincerely, this wasn’t a problem for me.
I should also let you know there is a lot of dialog. If you don’t want to read loads of text, the developers recently announced that they will be incorporating full voice acting. However, the date is TBC. You can find the announcement here. I think adding voices for the animals is such a good idea, as it did become a little tiresome reading multitudes of text after a while.
Is There Fighting?
Well, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that non-zombified animals fight each other over petty reasons. But also, you don’t fight zombies, to be honest you barely see them. Of course, I’m not saying you won’t fight zombies at some point, I’ve only played the first chapter, so I can’t say that you won’t. For now there are points where you need to make some decisions pertaining to zombies, but at no point do you run at one head on with a bat. Leave that to someone else.
I did actually like that there was no fighting considering how it’s a story driven game. It would drastically change the feel of Scheming Through The Zombie Apocalypse: The Beginning if they added that to the game. Most of the time you are sitting in a van, so you could easily drive away if it got too dangerous.
I’m predicting you won’t see too many zombies in the following game.
Trading, Gambling and Scavenging
Every so often, you will go to a nearby camp and there will be a few characters with whom you can interact . There is no money in Scheming Through The Zombie Apocalypse and world items are the games currency. When trading, you’ll need to give the other person items of equal value. Items are valued in two ways: Guild value and others value.
I generally choose the items with a higher guild value, considering that’s who you want to please. I thought it was great that depending on the animal, certain items had a higher value to them. For example, carrots were worth more to rabbits. Those little touches showed just how much detail the developers put into their game.
Anyone up for a game of dice? Oh, you don’t know what that is? Yeah, me neither. Luckily, there’s a tutorial for that. You roll three dice and – if the total number is more than ten – you lose; simple as that. I got weirdly addicted to this game, often putting up lots of my gear.
Luckily for me, I won most of the time. This was a handy feature and it greatly helped me to get more gear, like the carrots I told you about. You can win great stuff that can be worth double to the right person. I get the feeling trading will be a larger part of the game and will require careful thought in the future. You will likely have to predict what you will need and what’s worth getting rid of.
Lastly, scavenging. I won’t speak much about that aspect, as it’s a big part of the story. We find out straight away that we need to scavenge to be allowed into the safe haven. This is fairly easy and leads to some hilarious conversations between Hank and Larry. If you want to know more, you’ll have to discover it yourself!
Like most other games, you do have a limit to the amount items you can carry from each location; although, there isn’t an overall weight limit considering you have a van. There is location specific carry weight, though, meaning some areas may only allow you to take 25 items and others less. You will need to choose carefully!
Quirky But Worthy
Before I’m done, I do want to talk a bit about their lockpicking feature. To be honest, I didn’t like it. I felt it wasn’t necessary to the game. It’s possible they wanted to make us feel like we were doing more, but if that’s the case, they should of let us click on the door to open it. It’s pretty basic and I don’t believe added anything to the game, besides time.
Despite that, I really enjoyed Scheming Through The Zombie Apocalypse: The Beginning. I thought the story was pretty funny, they added a lot of little details to the world (check out your surroundings as you play) and it left me intrigued as to what will happen next.
This is a short t’s a short game. It took me approximately 1 hour 20 minutes and it didn’t feel it was a waste of time. After my review, I would definitely play the second chapter as I’m super curious what trouble Hank and Larry will get themselves into.
Scheming Through The Zombie Apocalypse: The Beginning is currently available on Steam.