- Release Date: 2010
- Publisher: Digital Chocolate
- Developer: Digital Chocolate
- Genre: Social Game
Zombie Lane is a new Facebook game by Digital Chocolate, which publishes games such as MMA Pro Fighter Millionaire City, Island God and many others.
The whole world is endangered by the doomsday, your neighborhood has been rampaged severely, reducing almost to ruins and waves of zombies are carrying out rounds of raids on you and your neighbors mercilessly. You must step ahead brave and join hands with your friends to protect your home.
Equip yourself with powerful weapons, such as shovel and shotgun, devote your whole energy to smash the zombies and repel their invasions, and rebuild your community to its original peace and glory! As you progress, you can unlock new weapons as well as confront with more ferocious zombie legions. How fun it is!
In Zombie Lane, your purpose is to survive from a horde of Zombies, help save innocent people from being surrounded by Zombies. With some weapons, you can easily defeat those zombies and pick their drooped items and Gold. Meanwhile you will be assigned with missions to complete. The mission guide is pretty clear.
Suppose that a zombie-featured Monstermind piles on with small-sized FrontierVille, what would that look like? Zombie Lane may be one possibility. Please don’t haste to label it as another game lack of innovation and identity of its own. Just like a uniquely-flavored dish made out common ingredients, the game is not original in the selected element but one-of-a-kind in the final core play. Give it a try and you will remember it as it is.
Zombie Lane puts us in a small patch of zombie-plagued land that was once our home. It is now laid waste: bottles and gabage litter around, rubble piles on in stocks, scattered fences tilt and split, and the only house just hits bottom. And in our properity, zombies still linger and wander around, continuing to do damage to the fences and the house. It’s our task to kill zombies, clear up the mess and restore our home.
The first task in it is to grab a shovel to bat to death the zombies harassing Rod, the security guard and the first quest-issuing NPC. The game is basically quest-driven: one task leads to another unlocking more playable activities and upgrading character levels; and all are coherently connected to hold tight to the main storyline. Imagine this: we even need to complete quests so as to unlock our Spouse and our dog.
All interwoven into one story, various quests turn their own turn to show up, keeping us occupied with different fun. We will kill zombies, clear away rubbles, repair and upgrade the house(and craft weapons in it), plant crops and fruit trees to harvest food, hire friends for help and pay visits to neighbors, etc. Nothing new, huh? Sounds quite like FrontierVille, except the zombie part? Definitely no! Its originality and novelty come from concrete gameplay.
Zombies are designed into different images, matching 9 different classes including salesman, janitor, waitress and construction worker and so on. Correspondingly, there are nine Collections, each made up five different objects useful in the very profession. We can collect these items by killing zombies. If five pieces are complete, the collection can be traded for coins. Yet more importantly, these collected materials are needed in some quests to propel the storyline forward. For instance, to rescue the Farmer (who is needed to unlock the crop-planting gameplay) from a super powerful zombie with 8 Health, we need a pair of Fire Mitts, a crafted weapon out of the boxing gloves from the supermart zombie and motor oil from the salesman zombie. And if we want to upgrade the house for more crafted items, we need certain amounts of Blueprint by killing construction zombies.
Zombies also vary in Health indicting the number of strokes needed to kill. Similarly, weapons are with different Damage. Thus, to kill different types, we need to choose the most suitable weapon. To kill janitor zombies, weak with only 1 health, we can equip a shovel, the basic melee type with 1 damage; and to tackle down heavy hitters like Waitress, Plumber or Gas-Station zombies, we need at least a 2-damage weapon, say, the ranged shotgun. Overall 12 types of weapon, melee and ranged, are offered in the Market with some level-locked. And we have more choices, due to the crafting possibility mentioned above.
Not that zombies are defenseless only to be killed. Zombies wandering around in our property never cease to ‘slap’, slapping the structures to destroy and even slapping us to stun. Animation is good enough that I even got surprised when I first saw my own character slapped to see stars by several zombies. When we get near enough, especially under siege of a horde, zombies can stun us, paralyzing us to perform any act. But they don’t do real damage; and we can simply run away to get rid of them anyway. Moreover, if we choose the ranged weapons, we can kill zombies from a distance so as to better protect us.
Enough about zombie-killing? We can turn to the clearing and building part. All action is click-based, clicking certain times to clear away rubble or garbage and clicking the house to repair, upgrade and craft items in it. Clicking is no fun, and the interest comes from varied materials turning up now and then, which can be used to build and craft. Still lack one roof tile to build the house? Try your luck by killing a zombie or removing a stone pile. Eager to reunite with the locked Spouse and pet character? Work harder to quicken the restoration of the house by finishing more quests. And as we level up, we can add more buildings such as a dog house, a garage (we can even have an old car) and tool shed, as well as many a decoration to our home.
Besides, once the NPC Farmer is rescued during earlier quest, we unlock the crop-planting gameplay. To grow and harvest is the common rule. Yet we also need to watch out, for zombies are there. So we not only need to clear land so as to grow, but also to grow plants within protective fences. The initial fences at home are broken but still useful once repaired. And we can move them at will to better protect the house and plants. If not useful, the simple change per se still works: it can stun zombies at least if not for other use. Additional fences of different types are also available in the market.
Like most Facebook games, all actions require Energy. 30 points of energy run out quickly, since there are so many to do. Just consider this: to upgrade the house entails 10 pieces of blueprint, which in turn necessitates killing ten 4-health construction zombies; so 30 points cannot even get one quest done. Quests are interesting, only if we have enough energy.
Although energy is got sometimes in the form of quest rewards, it is gained mainly through three ways: slow auto-refill, one point every five minutes; friends’ occasional send; and quick gain at the cost of Food (hard-earned via planting) or for real money. Needless to say, money is most efficient.
Work is much and energy is limited. Why not ask for friends’ help? We can hire friends to clear obstacles, harvest crops or kill zombies, which saves our energy but costs coins. During the tutorial-like quest in the beginning, I hired the NPC Rob to kill one zombie, which costs me 200 coins. Yet leading each other a hand is not always needed buying. We can also pay visit to friends’ homes to conduct five free actions every day, receiving energy, coins and material for crafting as rewards.
Background music is horrifying at one moment and hilarious in another, quite suitable to go with the storyline. And level-up is fairly quick that two-hour’s play takes me to Lv. 8. Not deep enough to know every aspect about the game, but enough to entertain me. And I noticed there was a Donwtown road sign placed at the border of the home stead, and I wondered whether there would any further gameplay related to it in successive updates. Personally, I enjoyed it.
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