Choice of Zombies
Game written by Heather Albano and Richard Jackson
CoZ is an interactive novel that can be played for free on your pc or purchased on the Kindle through Amazon for $2.99. I had purchased the game for two reasons: 1)I needed something small I could pick up & drop at will when I didn't feel like reading 2) I love interactive novels.
CoZ starts with the protagonist(you) waking up, ready to start the day. As you gaze out your window with a cup of coffee in hand, you notice something odd. A zombie chewing on human body parts in your front lawn. From here on everything you do will impact how you reach the end of the game. Just before you leave, you'll get to choose between 4 different professions and what your name is. You then get the choice of deciding between 5 different hobbies. You also get to choose whether your male or female (the only change in story is that almost EVERY character you meet will have their genders changed to your gender. Justin to Jennifer etc). You finally get to decide what your "weakness" is, which will have 2-4 options depending on what combination you decide to go with. Your past career (which has now been changed to zombiepocalypse survivor) and hobbies (which now includes killing zombies) affect your stats, making it more or less likely that you will succeed when certain actions are given to you.
The story of Choice of Zombies was actually somewhat entertaining. You are given some interesting dialouge options, and there are a few surprise plot twists. You also might learn a thing or two about yourself when deciding between things like helping the human trapped in a tree surrounded by zombies or choosing whether or not to risk your life helping a friend over a large wall. While these options are always available, I couldn't help thinking "This game is about my survival, and some of these 'save your friend' options will just get me killed". Many times you are given
death rather than reward. You are able to see the stats of your character at any time, which may help you when deciding between diplomatic or aggresive options. While the choices you make can give the illusion of a great depth in the story, it follows a fairly copy-paste layout.
I believe I died between 10-20 times before beating the game. As far as I can gather, there are only a few ways of beating the game, with fairly similar outcomes. At some points, regardless of how you play out the beginning, the middle and sometimes end portion of the game can make you feel as though you were in the same situation as last time you played. There are a few areas that reuse the same dialougue, which takes away from the experience a bit, especially if you play a dozen times in a row. The difference in people that you meet is welcome, and there is no shortage of people in the game who you will want to beat for their ignorance.
Overall Choice of Zombies was worth the $2.99 I paid on the kindle. The beauty was being able to exit the game at any time and pick up where I left off. I should also mention the beautiful transition between human and zombie, some final choices you are able to make, depending on where and when you die. I definitely recommend buying it if you have a kindle, or at least playing the free version at choiceofgames.com
Concept: Another zombie survival game with a few interesting twists.
Entertainment: The writing is great, and your choices are engaging.
Replay: Each time you play, you're likely to get a different experience.