Scheming Through the Zombie Apocalypse (PC) Review
Very funny and inventive dialogue
Charming art style
Excellent voice acting
Animations are a little stiff
Inconsequential inventory system
A Keen Scheme
Let’s not front, we all have a contingency plan for the zombie apocalypse. Even the most disinterested individual who is forced to sit through another episode of The Walking Dead has at least put a little bit of thought into their survival strategy.
For some reason, zombies have captured the imagination of the general public since they first shambled onto the silver screen. Maybe we’re enamored with the idea of life after death, or perhaps the collapse of society as we know it tickles us on an ancestral level. Either way, the allure of the zombie apocalypse is not lost on Entertainment Forge, the developers of Scheming Through the Zombie Apocalypse.
This title is, at its core, a point-and-click adventure game that places a major emphasis on story. There is a lot of dialogue. Like, a lot. The great news, though, is that as of the last major update there is full voice acting for all the characters. Not just full voice acting, but roundly excellent voice acting. Each character is brought to life in a way that elevates this game far and away above your average point-and-click title.
This is helped, of course, by the superb script. It has the perfect amount of humor woven into its tale of an old rabbit, Hank, and his canine companion, Larry, as they swindle and survive in a world full of zombies. Both men are crass and crude, and even a teennsy bit racist in Hank’s case, and the player is given ample opportunity to inject their own comedic flair into the story, thanks to the dialogue choices that are sprinkled liberally through the game.
Soon into the story, the two decide that scavenging for supplies on their own is a dangerous undertaking, and it would be better for all involved if they farmed out the job to another animal. It’s up to the player to negotiate a percentage of the loot, which can be used to try to barter your way in to the scavengers guild and survive the apocalypse.
The loot and inventory system is very limited in scope, with each item having two values ascribed to it: its value to the guild, and its value to others. This comes into play when deciding what percentage of loot to keep or give to whichever naive animal has decided to trust you and face danger. Short of that and the guild, there is not much use for the items, which diminishes their value somewhat. It’s cool to see the different supplies that can be scavenged, but the arbitrary values they have renders their differences almost unimportant in the long run.
Despite this, the loot, characters, and backgrounds are all presented in a bright, vibrant animation style that is reminiscent of a show on Cartoon Network or something of the like. The movement of the characters is a bit basic, but the sound effects that accompany the scenes mostly make up for that. The other sticking point is that the characters aren’t animated to talk along with the voice-overs, but that is a little more understandable, as the original build of the game didn’t have voice-overs in the first place.
The music was a lot of fun, when it was present. During long sequences of dialogue, there is no music playing, which further emphasizes the focus on story that the developers have. When there was music playing, it was bright and inviting, like music for a cartoon should be. All in all, it was a strong effort from a presentation standpoint.
It seems gamers these days don’t have the patience for a game that requires them to read, and read quite a bit, too. Developers Entertainment Forge are here to show them that dialogue-heavy adventure games still have their place in a gamer’s library. Anyone interested in a story-driven experience that is chock-full of humor and wit, all performed by a very talented group of voice actors, and with an art style that will have them searching Netflix desperately for childhood cartoons, or even one of Netflix’s own surprisingly raunchy cartoons, will find a lot to love in this title.
Pick up Scheming Through the Zombie Apocalypse now on Steam for the low, low price of $4.99. Don’t forget to place your bets on who lives and who dies (my money’s always on the zombies), and get yourself geared up for the second episode, which is coming soon!