Wednesday, April 20, 2016

March of the Living Gameplay Review

I'm playing March of the Living, a zombie survival roguelike by Machine 22 and Creaky Corpse.

A randomly generated world (which could look better on the map, as paths routinely overlap and lead to confusion) full of zombies must be traversed. Cities and objective locations, in addition to simply reaching the end, drive the journey forward. Most locations involve a text-based decision event (which repeat themselves after several playthroughs) or a zombie invasion. Health, fatigue, and hunger must be maintained: rest will recover fatigue (safer to do in cities) while food replenishes hunger. Ammunition for weapons (pistol, shotgun, rifle) is in short supply, and a very limited inventory means tough choices in which loot to keep. Useful scavenged items are rare, and are usually accompanied by a zombie attack that depletes ammunition and health to alarming levels. Long-term survival relies more on luck (randomly finding the right items) than skill or strategy. Pausable combat begins when the zombies arrive; each enemy can be chosen as the current target and given an engagement type (body shot, head shot, melee attack, shove backwards). Characters can also move to avoid getting bitten, and getting surrounded is a death sentence. March of the Living is an occasionally enjoyable but repetitive combination of FTL and Oregon Trail, highlighted by high difficulty and randomized (though recycled) encounters.