Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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ZDAY Survival Simulator is all about surviving a zombie apocalypse. It sounds predictable. After all, there are hundreds of zombie games already out there. ZDAY Survival Simulator does things a little differently though as it's a text adventure akin to the Fighting Fantasy games and books of old. In the 1980s, the likes of Ian Livingstone revolutionized reading and gaming through such interactive storytelling. For fans of that era, it's immediately great to see such a concept expanded upon on iOS.
ZDAY Survival Simulator does a pretty good job of it too. Ensuring that players won't be bored by a purely text based interface, the backdrops to each 'page' are illustrated by Matt Haley, famous for his DC Comics work, which keeps things consistently attractive. Starting out the game with no possessions and placed in the middle of a huge zombie infection immediately sets the player into survival mode. This game isn't about being heroic (although opportunities do arise), it's all about getting by and living for as long as possible.
There's a risk of ZDAY Survival Simulator repeating itself during multiple sessions but that only really becomes apparant in the early sequences. The first few minutes of each game is a little repetitive with the same questions coming up but after that, subtle variations keep things fresh.
It's unfortunate that there's no way of using items that are collected such as flashlights or even riot shields, they simply bump up the survival percentage that dictates the player's chances. Clearly there's a pretty smart game engine going on behind the scenes as each decision is assessed ultimately leading to a detailed results screen explaining just what the player's strengths are.
The inability to choose to use items is a little annoying but otherwise ZDAY Survival Simulator is a very solid title. For those of a certain age who loved adventure game books, it's the perfect app to play and one that players will find themselves returning to. Not least because they'll have to be pretty skilled to 'win'!