Perhaps the best known edutainment game of all time would be the 1970’s classic Oregon Trail. Well at least if you’re American, otherwise you’ve probably never heard of it. So how do you make an American history game about pioneers travel beyond the American border? Easy add Zombies.
You follow the same route from East to West across the United States though this time seeking the last refuge of humanity against the zombie hoards. Loading up a station wagon and gathering four of your closest and best prepared zombie fighters you spend your points in the load out screen and set out. Now unfortunately I don’t know any professional zombie hunters so I’m stuck with a Warhammer nerd, a blacksmith, a cosplayer and an inflatable auto-pilot. Not that this makes much difference as you get the same character models no matter what and while I can see why a cheap game like this wouldn’t offer too much in the way of character customization. However I think it would have been nice if you’re going to offer to name the party members to get a choice of models.
Anyway, you set off on a set route heading from city to city with each offering a safe haven rest place along with optional quests and a chance to trade for supplies. Now the quests boil down to about four basic things with you either holding a point at the bottom of the screen, heading from left to right over multiple screens, scampering around one hoping to last until the time ran out and taking out pop up targets in a large buildings windows. The set up for each of these quests vary but it is little more than window dressing.
Each of these will give you some money to spend to repair the wagon or as said purchase bullets and food. This will come in handy for simply making it to the next city over as you will not only often have to stop for more food and down time to let your characters heal but also to sometimes push your way through a large hoard or fight off mad max bikers. This will change up a bit the more you push through but let’s not spoil what the apocalypse has to offer.
The controls are fairly simple though a bit odd perhaps as a holdover of the ios tablet version prior. You will of course be shooting a fair bit and to do that you put your mouse over the target trying to line up the short dotted line extending from your gun and drag backwards toward your own character. This isn’t bad per say just a bit weird to get used to.
Odds are good that not all of your party members will make it and at times I will say the game is a bit too liberal in handing out the dysentery and even worse the zombie bites. Both of which can be left but both ending more or less the same way. The only difference between the two is literally having to put those infected down Mice and Men style. Not that the game lets such a good screen go to waste with some party members being taken hostage and you having to attempt to shoot down the attacker without hitting the human meat shield in front.
In the end this kind of reuse runs throughout the game and that along with the low quality graphics explain the low price of four quid though I can possibly see this still being too high for some people.
Though I should note that you do get an additional game where you get to race the station wagon over impossibly shaped terrain hitting as many zombies as possible. Why this is included I don’t know. But don’t look a gift necromorph in the mouth.
The game if £3.99 or your regional equivalent on Steam