Saturday, April 30, 2011

Outbreak! Zombie Apocalypse


This time I'll be writing about some what different kind of a game. Outbreak! Zombie Apocalypse is a free real world location based game for Android. The idea of the game is that there are two sides, survivors and zombies, who battle against each other. When you register and log in the first time you will become either a survivor or a zombie. After that I bet you might guess what happens, but still let me tell you a little more.

Looks like a peaceful neighbourhood.
The game is very simple. You install the software and register your account. After that you are ready to begin. The game happens in real world, so you won't be able to play this sitting home on your couch. The game pinpoints your location by using your phone's gps and shows 50 nearest players, zombies are red and survivors green. When your character is put on the map you can look up the nearest enemy and try to attack him. Attacking happens by just touching the players marker on the map. To be able to attack certain player he must be inside your attack range. The range for level one player is 500 meters (which is a little too much if you ask me). So if there is no enemy inside your range when you go to the map screen, you must go where there are some. Meaning you personally must travel to that location. When you log out from the game your character's location is saved on the map. This means that even when you are not playing the game yourself your character is still visible to other players and can be attacked.

Playing the game is pretty much the same whether you are a zombie or a survivor, but there are some small differences. If your character is born as a zombie your mission in the game is to infect the survivors. This happens by attacking them. If the attack is successful the survivor will be mutated into a zombie. If you become a survivor your mission will be to survive. You can attack zombies but you won't be able to kill them. If your attack succeeds you will only stun the zombie. The power of the stun depends on the attacker's level. On the first level it's only 15 minutes. As I didn't survive to the second level I don't know for how long the zombies will be stunned then. Attacking and leveling up also earns you some achievements, but as I haven't leveled up yet I haven't seen any.

He's been stunned longer than 15 minutes I think.

So attacking is easy but how about defending yourself then? As I said before your character is always visible on the map so you are in constant danger of being attacked. For a zombie there really isn't any way to defend yourself. Although as you can't die maybe there even shouldn't be one. Of course you can always defend yourself by physically running away. When a zombie is stunned it can't be attacked second time before that player has logged in again, which (in my opinion) is good because it helps to prevent easy grinding. At first there wasn't any way for survivors either to defend themselves, but in the last update became the ability to fortify. Fortifying your location means that you can't be infected by one zombie, but instead it takes four of them. So you ain't completely safe but still quite safe I would say. Fortify is good but not perfect. You can fortify yourself in only one location in any seven day period. This basically means that you can't leave that place to go hunt for zombies in a whole week. In my opinion that's too long time. There is one more way to defend yourself as a survivor. Just keep your eyes on the map 24/7 and try to stun the zombies that come too near. Sounds tempting doesn't it.

You log in by scanning your thumbprint.
As the game is in development here are some points I would like to see. First I'd help the survivors a bit. Make the stuns longer for the first level. 15 minutes ain't shit for defence. The zombie can just smoke a cigarette and try to infect you then. I would also like to change the fortify a bit. It could be done two or three times a week. This would keep your defence up but also let you go hunting more often. Secondly I would like to have more in-game data available. Now the game only shows your name, level and if you're clean or infected. The website has worldwide leaderboard but I want more. For example it would be nice to see your attack history, who you've attacked when and where or who has attacked you. Also maybe a list of recent fights in your neighbourhood, like in the last 24 hours or 7 days or something like that.

The game also needs more players. At the moment there are about 14200 users registered, 5200 zombies and 9000 survivors. Those numbers show that there should be much more survivors than zombies but at least in my city (probably in most bigger residential areas) there are hardly any left. When I first logged in there were three other survivors near me, but after few days I woke up and noticed that like the other three I had also been blessed with the desire for some sweet sweet braaaaaaaaaaaains. Must have been some secret zombie operation going on that night! Yesterday there were two survivors, but as I write this now there' none. That's half thanks to me though! I believe that most of the new players will be born as a survivor, but still it needs more balance somehow.

I'm pretty sure that something like this will be a huge hit in the future. Mobile phones are becoming so powerful that soon you'll be able to do anything anywhere anytime, if you can't already. While Outbreak! Zombie Apocalypse still is pretty simple it's on the right tracks and you never know what it'll be like in the future, it surely has the potential. The game also helps you to get some much needed exercise. Last Sunday I walked about 30 minutes to attack the only survivor in my area only to find that he had fortified himself. Damn! Like I would have made that trip without this game, yeah sure.

If you became interested Outbreak! Zombie Apocalypse can be downloaded for free from the Android Market, or you can just scan the code on the left. As the game is free it has a small ad at the bottom of the screen (doesn't bother me). You'll need Android 2.0.1 or better to play.







The hunt is on!

28 comments:

  1. This is awesome! almost makes me want to buy an android.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, I was talking to a friend only recently about this sort of game, I didnt realise one actually existed!
    Once they work out some kinks I may invest in an android =P

    ReplyDelete
  3. That's an interesting spin on the zombie genre. I might have to give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
  4. That is a really crazy game considering its based on actual movement. For a second I thought it was connected to other people playing it. That would be wonderful for stalkers xD

    ReplyDelete
  5. Haha, I think since the advent of Crazy Birds, portable gaming has REALLY taken off.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Er I'm sorry...angry birds* sorry I don't actually play the game.

    ReplyDelete
  7. so much work but looks fun

    ReplyDelete
  8. really cool but wouldnt really take the time to play this

    ReplyDelete
  9. Aw man! I don't have an android anymore since I just recently got an iPhone 4!! Now I think I will have to use my aunt's android.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I should tell some kids at my university about this game - they play this 'humans vs zombies' thing all the time.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wish I had a phone good enough to play it!

    ReplyDelete
  12. This is utterly brilliant! It genuinely makes me want an Android phone. I love that the game happens in the real world. Such a novel concept in gaming.

    ReplyDelete
  13. ive always wished for one of these

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ive not seen this on the android market, going to install this later on and give it a try.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This looks really awesome, but I'm afraid that were I live, there may not be many players, or none.

    ReplyDelete
  16. all the people love the zombies, i'm not :(

    ReplyDelete
  17. Sounds like a great idea. I'll have to try it out some time.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This looks like an interesting game, and as I am getting myself an android; i will get this game... does it work outside of the US?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Wow looks amazing, gotta get this game.

    ReplyDelete
  20. @Icepax_Nmir
    I'd guess it works anywhere where your phone's gps works. At least in Finland it works great.

    ReplyDelete
  21. hahaa thats a great idea for a smartphone game!

    ReplyDelete