The Zombie Apocalypse… again.

The year is 1993. “Zombies ate my Neighbors” forays into the world of video games, with beautifully rendered 16-bit monstrosities. Society has descended into chaos and it is up to you to rescue babies, cheerleaders and elderly people, and somehow carry them back to safety.

20 years later, zombies are still alive and well (okay, undead and well). Plants vs. Zombies wins GOTY, Nazi zombies are taking over CoD, games like Dead Space bend the definition of zombies completely, creating terrifying and awesome experiences for everyone. Zombies are IN.

But what if you really had to survive the zombie apocalypse? What if everyone you knew was dead? What if your sole goal in this new hell was to live from day to day, clothe and feed yourself, and stave off disease and insanity?

Well, that’s a grim thought.

Fortunately, there’s a game that lets you do just that. May I present to you…

Oh god. ASCII art. And you thought the apocalypse was bad.

Oh god. ASCII art. And you thought the apocalypse was bad.

Cataclysm: DDA is the newest roguelike to grace the market with its evil, evil presence. This baby has it all: procedurally generated cities (complete with zombies, of course), permadeath, turn-based combat and TONS of other goodies that embed it solidly in the roguelike genre. It’s gleefully unforgiving. It enjoys killing you. Even Dwarf Fortress looks at it and says, “Damn, dude, you’re sick. Sick.”

I hope I’ve impressed upon you that this game is HARD. It makes as real as possible the many issues of surviving a zombie apocalypse: what are you going to do for food? What are you going to do for clean water? How will you protect yourself? How realistic is it that you’ll actually have any of the skills you really need to survive: making clothes, survival skills, trapping skills, ability with guns, the ability to understand and mess with electronics and vehicles. A working car or emergency radio is a godsend, but if it’s going to be, it’s up to the browbeaten player, fighting for his or her life while trying to get one more step ahead of the horde.

I hope I’ve impressed upon you that this game is also FUN. It is incredibly in-depth, it’s got a taste of artistry, and it will take many, many tries and sleepless nights before you see even a fraction of what the game has to offer you. Once you’ve conquered the outskirts of a town, the center of the city awaits, with special zombies in higher concentrations (with much greater reward, of course). If you can succeed in raiding there, there are science labs, military bunkers, depthless mines and alien horrors that this new world has unleashed for you to explore (and hopefully survive).

I can’t really say that I think this game is for everyone. I enjoyed the heck out of Dwarf Fortress where other people have been disgusted by its complexity and difficulty. I can only say this: try it out. You may find that it’s easier to get by with than DF. It comes with its own graphics pack. The wiki is very helpful. You can always try again if you die. The game’s free, after all! Don’t you think it’s worth diving into the apocalypse?

It’s time to go see what you’re made of. It’s time to see if you could really do it if the world ended. It’s time to try and survive the Dark Days Ahead.


P.S. Don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe! If you do end up downloading it, send us screenshots of what it looks like when you die! We’ll make sure it gets seen, either here or on Facebook! Thanks for reading!

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Isaac Smith is a lifelong gamer and musician. He is deep into the indie game scene, and is a dabbling programmer who enjoys making games and writing music for them. As a writer, he began at Another Gamer's Blog, a blog dedicated to the discussion of video games, their history, construction, social impact and artistic merit. He does much of the same at his new home, here at Last Token Gaming!

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