Zafe­house Di­aries 2

Please stop re­plac­ing esses with zeds, thank you

PCPOWERPLAY - - Contents -

Devel­oper Screwfly Stu­dioS pub­lisher Screwfly Stu­dioS price $ 6.99 AvAil­Able At Steam zafe­house2.com

An­thony, Juan, Lisa, Joshua and Karen made it to Lump­kin Springs. The frag­ile group con­sists of a po­lice of­fi­cer, a nurse, a priest, a sales­per­son and a car­pen­ter. Karen isn’t ad­just­ing well to the group. Hope­fully, Joshua can hold things to­gether.”

This is my in­tro­duc­tion to Zafe­house Di­aries 2, a mostly text-based zom­bie sur­vival sim set in generic sub­ur­bia where Laven­der St meets Cin­na­mon St and there’s still a bank in the mid­dle of town. There are five sand­box mis­sions of in­creas­ing dif­fi­culty and when you start each it pro­ce­du­rally gen­er­ates the lay­out of the town, the items and en­e­mies you’ll find in each house, and the five sur­vivors who com­pose your group.

Joshua is the sales­per­son, it turns out. He’s also “un­com­fort­able around women,” ap­par­ently. I’ve al­ready picked him as the weak link in the group. He is one of two char­ac­ters who doesn’t start the game equipped with a weapon so I task him with searching the (s)afe­house.

Karen is the car­pen­ter, of course, and she has noth­ing but red lines to the rest of the group on the re­la­tion­ship chart. We’ve only just be­gun the mis­sion and al­ready she thinks she’s a su­per­star. I click on her stats and note she’s got five stars for the bar­ri­cade skill. I put her to work dis­man­tling mi­crowaves and ket­tles, the ini­tial step of con­struct­ing a sturdy fortress, as any five-star car­pen­ter would know.

An­thony and Lisa get along, pos­si­bly be­cause they’re the old­est in the group. And pos­si­bly be­cause they both own pis­tols. Nei­ther of them like Karen, for rea­sons that aren’t im­me­di­ately ap­par­ent, though they seem sad at the lack of ket­tles in the house. An­thony

I put her to work dis­man­tling mi­crowaves, the ini­tial step of con­struct­ing a sturdy fortress

doesn’t like Juan ei­ther, but Juan has a shot­gun so he’s not go­ing to voice his dis­ap­proval too loudly.

From the town map I in­struct An­thony, Lisa and Juan to in­ves­ti­gate the houses along Cin­na­mon St. They re­port back each time, in­form­ing me of the num­ber of zom­bies they spot­ted in­side each abode and whether it con­tained any use­ful sal­vage. 49 Cin­na­mon St looks the best bet. Ac­cord­ing to An­thony’s “very con­fi­dent” re­port, there’s food and med­i­cal sup­plies in­side and only a hand­ful of zom­bies.

With the place now scouted, the three of them breach the house. An­thony en­tered via the bed­room win­dow while Lisa and Juan took the bath­room. I hear some scuf­fling noises and blood spat­ters across the pages of the di­ary as a pre­lude to the full re­port.

“The fight­ing took place through­out the house. They killed eight zom­bies. Lisa and Juan were in­jured in the fight.”

Lisa’s in­juries were worse. Lac­er­a­tions to her chest, stom­ach and legs. Juan’s okay to search the house and I get An­thony to pa­trol in case any more zom­bies turn up. They grab the food, some painkillers, ban­dages, some ri­fles rounds and a ma­chete, rest for a few hours and then head back.

An­thony, Lisa and Juan re­turned to the (s)afe­house. Joshua qui­etly waited for the right mo­ment and let them in­side. He’s still hold­ing things to­gether. DAVID WILDGOOSE

These five sur­vivors won’t be sur­viv­ing much longer.

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