By John Walker on November 27th, 2013 at 10:00 am.
Were you aware that there had been a The Walking Dead All Out Game Jam? 120 teams were, competing in the official event over two weeks, back in September/October. Ten finalists have recently been picked, with the winner chosen by TWD creator Robert Kirkman on the 5th December. Those finalists have gained some decent loot, not least a full Unity Pro license, and a free Greenlight application. So yes, you can expect to see another ten zombie games vying for your attention on there. Blame memetics.
Amongst those finalists were Beavl, with The Narrow Path, that takes an approach that immediately grabs my attention. Yes, you’re killing zombies. But you’re also killing the humans too. And you’re in a minivan.
It’s rather fun. You are the minivan (or perhaps its driver, I suppose), and remotely control an army of monsters that you build from the remains of zombies and humans you kill. Zombies provide the meat, humans provide the cell phones. Then with barbed wire, and various other bits and pieces, you gather the component parts of recipes used to create more monsters. Actually, you don’t gather things – that’s the job of your pet dog (with a cat’s head grafted on its back), whom you also control. Loose your mob on the enemies, send the dog-cat to collect the fallen parts, and then create and release more monsters from the minivan. And repeat. That’s pretty much it, along with various upgrades earned along the way. It’s about seeing how long you can last, how long you can keep the hoards away from your minivan door.
The main issue with the game is the speed. It takes far too long to ramp up to a point where things get challenging, meaning you can spend a good half hour aimlessly picking off enemies while hugely increasing your remote-controlled minions. However, once things finally do ramp up and the crowds of zombs and men start to get much bigger, it gets a lot more interesting. My best is 270 kills, so you have to beat that.