Developer: Massive Damage, Inc
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

News stations are always making a big deal out of relatively minute things. Remember Monkey Pox? Yeah, I figured, but they were making a huge deal about it at the time. It’s when they tell us to “Please Stay Calm” that I start to worry. That’s a rather significant indication that things have gotten bed. Really bad. Like zombie apocalypse bad.

In this particular instance, things are exactly as bad as a zombie apocalypse. The less wealthy denizens of the world have been left to fend for themselves while their cities and societies start to crumble around them. All they have to help them survive are their smartphones (yay!) and wits. Please Stay Calm is a location-based multiplayer MMO of sorts in which players must scrounge for supplies and battle the living dead throughout various real world locations. They can also establish outposts to collect cash and supplies from around their neighborhood and beyond.

It was Please Stay Calm’s comic bookish art style that initially drew me in, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a rather interesting game underneath it all. Energy, as with most freemium games, is the most important resource for players to manage as it allows them to do pretty much everything. However, the game is balanced pretty well around it and gives them the opportunity to scavenge and/or fight for quite a while before needing to take a break. Having a number of different options for both that take up various amounts of energy (bigger payouts for larger chunks used, obviously) helps immensely in this regard. Between digging through real world spots for supplies and trying to rid a particular location of the walking dead players won’t be searching for stuff to do. Plus it does a surprisingly good job of selling the whole “zombie apocalypse” thing.

I quite honestly enjoy almost everything about Please Stay Calm. Almost. Menu navigation can be a little clunky at times with rather important tasks (outposts, safehouses, items/equipment) I’d have expected to be prominent on the main page being hidden behind a layer or two of interface tapping. It can also be a little troublesome to scavenge or clear a number of locations in quick succession as going back from a particular location’s info screen jumps straight to the main page rather than simply returning to the list of nearby locations directly.

Even with a couple of minor quibbles it’s hard not to enjoy exploring my neighborhood in Please Stay Calm. It feels a lot like playing Urban Dead on my phone, only with graphics and real world locations. And that’s a very, very good thing.

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