Each week in Play in Process, Richard Clark shares what he’s been playing and why it means something to him.

Zombie games are incredibly played out. That’s the unarguable statement that resulted in me putting off trying even the demo of Atom Zombie Smasher for so long. Now I’m making up for lost time.

Atom Zombie Smasher ($15 for PC/Mac – Free demo available) is a fast-paced strategy game where you’re forced to hold off a zombie invasion long enough to evacuate as many citizens as possible. If you’re really lucky, you’ll destroy all the zombies in one location and claim the territory, Risk style. Most of the time, though, all is lost. The game is filled with variety. You’re given different sets of tools to use against the zombies every round, and your job is to make the most of them. All of this is viewed from a top-down view. Everyone is a dot.

Theoretically it’s an incredibly clinical interface. Wouldn’t viewing these human beings and their pursuers as dots just make the whole thing even more impersonal? Yeah, I thought so too. So I was shocked to be filled with tension and near-horror as I watched my precious yellow dots making their way toward the Evac-helicopter, only to be overwhelmed by purple dots. The yellow dots change to purple, and all is lost.

Their screams, their faces, and their families were all just in my head. But they were just as much a part of this game as anything else. I had to get them out of there.


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