By Adam Smith on June 25th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.
Sometimes I spend my days in the company of mythical creatures, devious kings and diplomats from distant stars. Other times it’s just zombies from dawn until dusk, broken up by the occasional yet-living survivor to exchange words and supplies with. Today is shaping up to be one of those days, with the last half hour having been spent watching videos of Zombox, a sandbox game with crafting, barricading and horticulture. It’s not available yet but the informative development footage has me imagining grotesquely under-appreciated freeware game Survival Crisis Z, except with more of everything. There’s also a bit where an NPC says ‘buzz off!’ in response to being clobbered with a baseball bat.
Here’s the latest video, which shows NPCs burning, blowing up and having curt conversations. Oh, and being eaten by zombies of course.
This could turn out to be very interesting, with plenty to see and do, including farming, driving, recruiting, crafting and fortifying. Despite all of that it also looks quite simple rather than sprawling and worryingly incomplete. My biggest worry is that everything seems very slow, even to me, a man with the reflexes of a puddle of porridge. It’s not just the relaxed pace at which people flee from explosives and hordes of cannibalistic corpses, it’s the lengthy chipping away at hit points and the time it takes to destroy scenery, as shown in this next video.
I think it’s brilliant that walls can be constructed out of broken chunks of furniture and scenery, but I also find it weird that it takes a few clicks of the mouse to cobble them together and place them, but laborious thumping of mighty hit bars to break bits off in the first place. Obviously it couldn’t happen instantaneously or entire buildings would collapse every time a bullet missed a zombie and pinged off a windowsill, but it’d be grand if there was a quicker way to dismantle objects when not under pressure.
That said, my immediate complaint about almost everything zombie-related is that there’s no way to board up doors and windows, cowering in the dark with a dwindling supply of food as the world outside, like pop, eats itself. Being able to do that, while also having the option of growing vegetables in planters would make me very happy indeed.
EDIT: the developer responds in the comments section!
The construction mallet has repair and destroy mode….destroy mode will take down props quite easily (and since the creation of the destruction video that you posted, destroy mode has been buffed quite a bit). So, for those who don’t want to wait the time it would take to break down a wall with a paperclip or shoe, there’s another option.
Also, doors can be boarded up!
Loads more videos showing features and progress can be seen at developer Tyson Ibele’s Youtube channel. There are also animations at the official website showing the dinky but deadly vehicles in action, as well as much more NPC and crafting variety.