Project Zomboid is a fantastic, post-apocalyptic, zombie survival horror game that was first released on Steam in 2011 and continues to evolve to this day.
The aim of the game is to make the most of the resources at your disposal, to live for as long as possible, and to keep the undead masses at bay.
At its heart, Project Zomboid is what you would call a “sandbox” game. Meaning: you can play the game in an open-ended manner, within whatever rules you have chosen, in the many and varied options open to you.
By default, the game offers “proper zombies” – and, by ‘proper’, that means: with fairly acute senses, and the ability to get to you, depending on your visibility and the noises that you make. You can tweak the settings to however you want them – make the zombies harder or lesser, depending on how you want to play. You can play with gore on or off (or high, which is what I normally do). You can use vehicles to drive around in (much fun). You can build fences and outposts. You can forage, cook, collect water, farm your own food, and all manner of other cool things. You can use radios and TVs to try to find allies. You can play single-player or multiplayer. You can even play ‘Challenge’ scenarios that focus the sandbox concept into short, sharp, shock-style storyline type experiences.
In fact: Project Zomboid is a feature-laden joy to play, and – because the game is undergoing a long-term ‘Early Access’ development plan – it is constantly evolving, with regular updates to everything from the graphics to character skills and traits, to every single feature in the game. Every time I dive in to play I see new features being added. Like, recently, I even saw vehicle maintenance added. The level of detail is really quite astounding.
As a zombie film fanatic myself, I can recommend Project Zomboid wholeheartedly – it has a great atmosphere (the music in particular is amazing), is very easy to play, is very well-written, is ace to grab, and is unique in the way it is evolving – both via developer The Indie Stone’s constant hard work (they are small team – not a large company – and the plan has always been to build it up over time), and through the efforts of community modding.
If you like survival horror games you’d be mad to miss out on Project Zomboid, and – for the price (a mere £9.99) – you do get a lot of game for your money. You get a lot of fun. Just don’t moan that it’s in ‘Early Access’ – that is the crux of the idea behind the development of the game! In my mind: only idiots complain about PZ being “unfinished”. And don’t moan if your ‘treasured’ character dies either. In Project Zomboid: death is inevitable!
Anyway: here are just a few of my favourite Project Zomboid grabs. Enjoy.
Mmmm. Can I make use of this huge wood resource? Probably. But how?
Creeping around in the dark, in this warehouse – somewhere in Knox County.
Managing your resources is important. Tracking what you’ve got is not easy – you have to be organised.
The car dashboard shown at the bottom of the screen here is an early version. You’ll see it change (and improve) in a couple of screenshots time.
Should I watch out for trains? Probably not.
Weather plays a big part in the game. If you stay out in the rain too long you’re going to get cold, and maybe sick. But you can use it to collect drinking water,
Dismantling existing house furniture, for wood, nails and other items, is fairly important.
Barricading windows and doors in a must. Just make sure you allow yourself at least one entry, or exit.
A huge ‘herd’ of zombies surround my car in the shopping mall car park. I have to point out, though, that this is probably the result of a bug in a test branch of the game. These things are always being ironed-out (and this grab *was* taken a long time ago).
Dammit! Zombies have gotten in to my home base! Time for a clear-out…
You can insert coloured lightbulbs into lamps and make the light go different colours. How’s that for a nice little touch?
Found a working radio in the kitchen of this house. At this late stage of the zombie apocalypse, though, all I’m getting is static. Earlier on in the game you will hear actual broadcasts.
Starting the engine of a vehicle will immediately draw zombies to the noise. Best get the flock out of there sharpish! Notice the upgraded vehicle dashboard too.
I like to keep multiple vehicles at my base, in case I need to leave the area quickly.
Bashing heads with a crowbar. The fact that the crowbar looks like a baseball bat is actually an in-joke from the developers, and not an oversight, as some people like to claim.
I might need to wipe my feet as I exit this shop.
I seem to have driven into the wrong street here… Hold on! This is the street my base is on! Where did this lot come from?! What am I going to do now?!
I’m using the car horn to try to lure them away from my base. It’s not going well… It’s just attracting more of the buggers.
Coffin Joe: doing a bit of night time foraging in the woods. Not the wisest of moves, but needs must.
Zeds in the dark. And I’m driving through them.
The dynamic lighting in Project Zomboid is excellent. It really helps create a spooky atmosphere.
The circular icons on the right of the screen mean (from top to bottom): I’m breathing heavily; I’m extremely tired; I’m hungry; I’m very scared; and I’m also thirsty and could murder a cup of tea.
“Right. Who’s first?!”
Deaded. Death is inevitable in Project Zomboid. The only question is: how will you die?
Building a fence – with added doors – around my base, and also doing a bit of farming on the sidewalk.
I’ve realised that the shorter fencing is no good, so I’m now upgrading it all to the taller fencing. Takes more resources, though.
A small group of zombies have interrupted my fence-building. Time for some head-bashing…
Desperately trying to finish my tall fence – around my base – at night. Zombies could come out of the darkness at any time. You’ve got to be vigilant.
Am quite proud of my ‘zombie carpet’ on the road here.
I think it’s time to abandon this base and make a new one.
Crafting Molotov Cocktails. The crafting system in Project Zomboid is quite ingenious.
Vehicles degrade over time, and in relation to how you use them. The more zombies you crash in to, the more beat up the front of your car is going to become. You can always go and find a new one.
You can shout at zombies to get their attention. Not as stupid as it sounds, and you can use it to your advantage by trying to lure them away from somewhere you’re trying to get to.
Battering zombies inside the school assembly hall.
Time to explore the inside of Giga Mart…
All George A. Romero fans will be drawn to the mall… As you would expect: it is crawling with zombies.
This is my latest masterpiece. It is called “Zombie Brains On Floor Tiles”.
Driving around the mall car park, looking for somewhere safe to exit my car.
Clearing out the shopping mall is a bit of a test.
The rotting corpses can spread disease and make you sick, so a clever survivor will find some way of removing them.
The risks associated with visiting the shopping mall: overwhelming zombie numbers!