Switch version tested
Review code provided
Scheming Through the Zombie Apocalypse: The Beginning is not about ripping through hoards of zombies or finding the cure to an outbreak. Instead it’s about scavenging to survive, and well, convincing other people to do all the work. This is a short point and click adventure that takes a humorous approach to the end of the world.
The game opens with Hank, a retired salesman rabbit, and his dog neighbor Larry camping out in an apartment until they are forced to leave to find supplies. This sets up the bulk of the gameplay, one person is sent in to raid a store while another keeps watch for zombies from a safe vantage point. Essentially you’ll want to grab as many items as possible within the inventory limits presents. This means deciding on what items to leave behind and what’s worth keeping. This will always lead to a dangerous scenario where you can decide to take the risk for better items or be happy with what you have. These items aren’t for surviving, but for maximizing a point system. So if toilet paper is worth 1 point and a book is worth 15, well goodbye toilet paper.
Eventually you’ll try to convince other people to scavenge, with a promise they get a bulk of the cut. You’ll use dialogue choices to try to maximize what you get out of the deal, and at the end of each raid you choose which items you’ll take vs what you give the patsy. This is originally a point and click computer game, and the UI still reflects this. You’ll need to click each item one by one, no option to collect everything. Choosing incorrect choices usually leads to getting fewer items in the end.
Between searching for supplies, you can choose to trade or gamble your items. It’s easy to take advantage of the trading system as it’s a simple point system, but it’s usually a waste of time gambling as it’s a double or nothing deal based on chance. If you’re like me, you’ll want to gamble and end up just losing a ton of items. Not sure the odds of winning, but it wasn’t too kind to me.
The voice acting is the best part of the game. The dialogue is entertaining, relying heavily on swearing, pop culture references, and obvious jokes about the anthropomorphic animals you interact with. The gameplay is repetitive, but the dialogue moves the story along. The game has the art style of Rocko’s Modern Life, humor of South Park, and gameplay inspiration from TellTale’s The Walking Dead.
A short first episodic installment that’s less about zombies, and more about screwing people over to survive. Relatively repetitive with an awful UI, the game remains entertaining through clever dialogue packed full of humor. With great characters and dark humor, it’s worth picking up as long as you know going in gameplay is void.
TBG Score: 7/10
Platform: Steam, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 20/09/2019
No. of Players: 1
Developer: Entertainment Forge
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Download link: eShop