Choose your own adventure-style apps, too, work incredibly well on ye olde touchscreen, and heck, this one has zombies!
Zday has been kicking around on the App Store since early 2012, and is currently available for 0p (usually £1.49) with no in-app purchases in sight. Nice.
In terms of style, it appears to be taking its cue from Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comics, with the illustrated sections being almost entirely black and white.
In typical choose your own adventure fashion, Zday plays out as a series of situations with a variety of choices in each. It’s not always clear what’s best, and as such there’s an element of trial and error.
For example, standing in a house with your neighbour Dave, a group of zombies attacks the front door. You can choose to open the door and fight, wait for the zombies to enter and fight, or bolt out the back door. Running is often the best course of action, incidentally; only fight if you have to.
Choose your own adventure? Good. Zombies? Good. But that doesn’t necessarily mean Zday is heading for a perfect 5/5. Far from it.
For starters, compared to the likes of Sorcery! (which is fantastic, incidentally) and Everlove (which is surprisingly male-friendly), Zday lacks a certain polish. In fact, it’s comparatively crummy, but almost charmingly so.
The smelly charm is evidenced in Zday’s writing, which is frequently ropey. Behold: “You move aggressively toward the rustling in the grass, and to your horror, youy [sic] are greeted by undead children! But they aren’t children, they’re PINT-SIZED ZOMBIES!” Yeah, I think you gave the game away when you said “undead children”, guys.
Similarly: “The car is has been wrecked.” And how about: “Hordes of undead are moving you way.”
The combat in Zday is fairly pants, too, in the sense that you have no control over the outcome, unlike, say, Sorcery! It’s simply a case of choosing to fight and hoping for the best.
On that note, you’ll quite often see words to the effect of: “You are attacked by two soldiers.” “You killed two soldiers.” “You died.” I realise it’s technically possible for everyone to die in any given encounter, but when the subsequent wordage describes you being mercilessly mowed down, well, it stinks, quite frankly.
And one final moan, it’s not possible to wind back the story, so if you die near the end, you have to start from the beginning and play through the whole thing again. Both Sorcery! and Everlove, on the other hand, give you the option to replay individual scenes to experiment with outcomes.
As I said, Zday does have a certain charm, but it ultimately makes me hopeful that some other developer might crank out a top tier zombie-based choose your own adventure in future. In the meantime, Zday serves as an aperitif.
- Choose your own adventure: good
- Zombies: good
- Four different starting points
- Various grammatical and spelling errors
- No control over the combat
- No option to rewind the story
Summary: Zday sounds perfect on paper, but the execution here is lacking. Still, as a free download, it’s worth checking out, just don’t expect to be blown away.
Developer: Mongadillo Studios
Price: free @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.