There is nothing like a mid-week zombie apocalypse to sharpen the senses and keep you on your toes for the days ahead. There’s just something about the sudden fall of modern society and resulting the rise of the generic moaning, groaning, likely-incontinent (this never gets discussed in the films) species of the generic undead that is second only to the smell of the mixture of Napthemic and Palmitic acid in the morning. That’s Napalm. I’m referring to Napalm.
Firstly, I’d like to take a moment of appreciation for the classic WASD direction controls. I often cast damning judgement on a game that doesn’t follow this classic control configuration, looking down upon actual arrow-labelled direction controls more than I probably need to. This is how I feel however, and having a confusing or arbitrary set of controls feels like a slowly-raised middle finger to the face; it angers me, insults me and makes me wonder why I didn’t see it coming in the first place. Conversely, playing with WASD controls is intuitive, easy, makes sense and just feels right, much like the fit of a well-made glove or one-size-fits-all gentleman’s hat.
Secondly, I’d like to extend my above appreciation of the simplicity of the gameplay itself. Not only are you not showered with pages of instructions and diagrams that look like the installation guide to a New York City skyscraper, you are instantly thrust into the game in order to fend for yourself. Now this feels much like the moment in a real zombie apocalypse where you realise you won’t need to bother going into work tomorrow because you’ll be fending off the peckish and persistent dead people trying to eat your spleen without any seasoning, but in this case you’re offered slightly more guidance. You use the mouse to guide your character’s fist as you walk, and holding down mouse button 1 lets you kick. I feel silly having to explain something as simple as that, but I feel like I haven’t highlighted enough the fact that this makes the game instantly more enjoyable.
You find yourself working your way down the floors of the building, fighting zombies more difficult and numerous every time you succeed. Your health (in this case, stamina) is quantified by your standard depletion bar which decreases in length when you are attacked and increases when you give your character a little bit of well-deserved rest. Kicking also takes it down a notch, so take a leaf out of Jean Claude Van Damme’s recent career book and don’t kick too much, and don’t be ashamed to star in a moderately-funny Coors Light commercial for financial gain; after all, those adverts were pretty funny and he looks well rested now that he has toned down his relentless practice of martial arts.
I found the game immediately enjoyable, instinctive in its gameplay, unassuming in its presentation and just the right mixture of violence and merriment. If you’re feeling a little queasy or you play the game to the point of boredom, you can change it up a bit by enabling ‘candy’ mode, which replaces the usual gore with tiny pieces of candy. I think I speak for everyone when I declare that one a win. Of course, in real life (or the post-apocalyptic world of an active imagination) the end of the world as we know it wouldn’t be all that funny.
Having your face eaten isn’t something you can casually walk off, and what little stamina you had at that point would probably be used to crawl around on the floor in your last moments looking for parts of what used to be a moderately attractive jaw line which is now being used to redecorate the floor beneath you. This doesn’t mean the game is any less enjoyable to play; all games need a health bar system, and this one allows you to make mistakes and learn from them without getting too frustrated. It’s only an internet game after all. If you want more realistic action I suggest you look into paying more than no money for your games. In fact, I recommend you pay some money, as this will probably guarantee you a little more long-term playability and extras such as 3D and actually owning the game that you’re complaining about. Stop complaining. It’s a flash game; what else did you expect for free?