Every once in awhile, almost everyone needs the opportunity to shoot something. It’s my favorite thing about video games: The opportunity to be horribly violent and release pent-up frustrations and know that the only thing that really got hurt was my time budget. That’s after I enjoy relaxing games such as the DominoQQ online too.
And one of my favorite time wasters and stress relieves is Dead Awaken, the best zombie game available online.
The premise is pretty simple. It’s four months after something, the game designer never says what, but what good zombie flick ever did, has unleashed the undead on humanity. The player has the option of playing a human hunting down those vile brain eaters or a vile brain eater looking for his next meal.
The objective? Well, that’s kind of a matter of personal choice. Game designer Dan Wash has added several different features to make the game appeal to as many different people as possible. There is a zombie slots feature to use in game money in a slot machine to get more in game money.
There is “Keep Away”, a flash game with a lone person running from zombies in a small confined area until they get caught, similar to so many of the most basic games we played as children. The more zombie you elude, the better the rewards.
And the rewards? More heads and increases in your guts rating, but we’ll get back to that later.
Dan has created an entire city for the entrepreneurial zombie or human to explore, complete with a county fairgrounds where characters can compete head to head. The city also features a few places that are integral to the game: the graveyard, the gym, the pawnshop, the pharmacy and the mall.
The graveyard is the only source of food for both zombies and humans. Zombies find things in the graves that people were buried with, like a stray cat or rats hiding in the shoe; humans find things that the gravediggers dropped, like a can of red bull or a burrito. Food gives the players extra stamina, which is used to as turns in the game. Robbing graves is also one of the ways players can collect cash. The money is used to buy armor and weapons or a nice place to hide.
At the gym, or the abandoned playground if you are a zombie, characters can improve their skills and statistics. At the pawnshop for humans and in the pawnshop alley for zombies, characters can buy weapons and armor. And at the pharmacy, they sell transplants for the humans and missing parts for the zombies, to restore your health.
At the mall, you can explore alone and fight your evil counterparts in hopes of gaining money and heads or you can attack other players of similar level to your own. Both humans and zombies collect heads as the other legal tender in the game. Heads are used to trade for stat and skill increases or can be sold at the swap-o-rama.
Another fun feature of the game is the ability of players to organize into mobs or hordes and cooperate with other players in a sort of team on team game. Mobs attack one another and gain experience just like players in an effort to become the best in the game.
The game also features two sets of message boards, one for each of the mobs accessible only by its mob members and a general message board at the Dead Awaken pub. The message boards feature everything from rules updates and game tips for new players to an on-going thread of Dead Awaken fiction.
Like many online games, Dead Awaken is support through “donations” to the owner and by advertising revenue. Players who donate are given monthly bonuses, like additional turns, but the game is enormously fun and playable with or without the donor packs.
Personally, I play just for the stress relief of killing hundreds of humans every day and knowing at the end that I’m not guilty of anything other than killing time.