Weekly Browser is now “browser BLAST.” Now, back to your regularly scheduled zombies.
Today, I’ll be reviewing an awesome (and pretty old) browser game made by none other than the awesome Kevan! I strongly recommend you take a look around his site, he’s made some awesome stuff!
The game is known as Urban Dead. It’s a completely text-based game of zombie survival. Or survivor murder. That much is up to you. Players create a character, and begin the game as either a survivor or a zombie. Every 30 minutes recharges one action point, up to a total of 50, which are used to do nearly anything in the game. The game is a GIANT grid, divided into neighborhoods and squares. Throughout the world are many different buildings, from multi-square forts, malls, and other smaller buildings such as fire departments. Players can enter these buildings and scavenge for materials and weapons, and then work together to barricade the buildings to prevent zombies from entering.
The game is pretty fun, and you can tell a lot of time went into balancing it. Survivors who are killed can stand up for a large action point cost and become a zombie. Don’t despair too much, though, as zombies can be turned back into humans by scientists with awesome syringes. The game is pretty fun, particularly if you use the wiki and join other groups of players to work together. A HUGE part of the game is how the two different groups work together to deal with the others. The wiki has many instructions and plans worked on by many players, such as how much to barricade each building. A building that is too barricaded will be impossible for survivors to enter, but not enough and zombies can get in. It’s possible with a certain skill to hop between buildings, skipping all barricades, however.
Speaking of the social aspect of the game, there are many intricacies of the game that keep it interesting. Although most survivors are helpful to other survivors, you’re bound to come across the dreaded Player Killers, who will murder you for the fun of it. Each of the neighborhoods also has plans on the wiki for barricades, entrance points for the aforementioned Free Running skill users to get into highly barricaded buildings, and other cool little things that keep you interested. The ideas created by the survivors to keep themselves alive, and the ideas by the zeds to help drive humanity to extinction both keep the game awesome and stops it from getting boring too quickly.
The main issue I have with the game is the difficulty of starting as a new character. You’ll find yourself outmatched a lot until you can grind up the XP (earned by hitting and killing people of the opposite team, or half XP for your own team) to get some skills, and scavenging some malls for good weapons. Despite that, the game is still awesome and has a great deal of fun to be had.
I strongly recommend you check it out, and look at Kevan’s other awesome creations, like the zombie attack simulator, the Dvorak card game system, and the Ludocity pervasive games wiki. He’s definitely one of my favorite developers/designers!