I begin most of these reviews with a joke, personal anecdote, or a hypothetical question, but with a game like Zombie Town Story by HeroCraft Ltd., I don’t even know where to start. This game is such an amalgamation of genres it’s very hard to describe in a short review, so I’ll just try to cover them individually.
First, you have the map, allowing you to choose where you want to go and what sort of event you want to do. This is also where you can rest or eat food as your character will need both of these things in order to survive. Selecting an event on the map leads to one of the many different types of gameplay, and traveling there will consume energy and cause hunger.
There are scavenger missions where you’ll be taken to a helix puzzle grid in an interesting take on the match-3 formula. You’re given items one at a time that you have to place on the map. Matching three fuses them together into the next upgrade. Three cans of food leads to a set, three sets leads to a box, that sort of thing. Your goal is often to get a certain amount of finished sets.
Next, what would a zombie game be without zombies? You can battle the undead for more rewards and ways to try and stay alive. The best way I can describe the battles are turn-based tower defense. Each turn you have a number of action points. You can attack, move back one step, or forward one step. Different weapons have different ranges so there are times when its advantageous to move closer to the oncoming zombies. Zombies are only killed if you manage to get a critical hit against them, so it’s pretty luck based at times.
There’s also a sense of narrative to the game, and going into events can unlock choices, which can lead to fights or getting items. I like that players are given choices that can have an impact on what happens. This game does a good job of making sure any failures that pop up are a result of their own actions.
Zombie Town Story feels like it’s trying to do too much. Resource management, match three puzzles, turn-based strategy combat, decision-based narratives, and sadly I don’t feel like it handles any of these aspects particularly well. The game just feels like it spread itself too thin, and I can’t really point out any one aspect of the gameplay I think it handles particularly well.
I don’t personally recommend Zombie Town Story. The gaming market is fairly oversaturated with zombie games, and I feel like each aspect of the gameplay has been handled better by other titles. I can applaud the efforts it makes, but I think there’s a bit too much on its plate for me to enjoy it.