Games: A while ago, I covered the Seattle Indie Expo (you can read about it here, in case you missed it) and I was blown away by the quality of the games being shown. Every one looked fantastic, but one that really caught my attention was Containment: the Zombie Puzzler.
Bootsnake Games, the good people of that studio were kind enough to invite me and several other members of PNWJournos down to their offices for an up-close-and-personal session with the title. Our verdict after two hours? Loved it. (By the way, there's a great trailer for the game on the Bootsnake site, BUT the graphics look much better now -- that's an earlier version shown.)
If you haven't heard the details yet, Containment is a brilliant new puzzler with a very unique slant: in addition to being an unusual match-type game, it's also about surviving the zombie apocalypse.
Here's how it works...
Each board in Containment takes place in a particular environment. Rather than having a standard static playfield, matches happen in the street, near gas stations, between wrecked cars, and a number of other locations.
|on the roof...|
This by itself would be more than enough for the average puzzle game, but Bootsnake has really gone above and beyond in adding elements that make the game stand out.
For example, each group of characters award special power-up items when they're used to make a match. Kill some zombies with the Police, and players can call in a sniper to eliminate any one zombie from the board. Eliminate the undead with the Anarchists and Molotov Cocktails are produced, exploding with flame and burning in a random pattern.
|...and down below.|
Another way that the game reinforces the concept of being "in" a world is at zombies will often wander into the playfield from other parts of the level. If the current puzzle is set in the street, the undead can come from any direction that a path is open. They also sometimes drop into the playfield from the rooftops above, and if zombies are left on the board for too long, they’ll attack nearby characters and turn them undead as well. Having to contend with several real-time elements in addition to the concentration that’s needed to match correct characters on the board gives the game to feel that much more intense than the average puzzler. It's almost like combat.
Although details are not final, Containment: the Zombie Puzzler is slated for release before the end of 2011 on iPad, Mac and PC, and will cost approximately $5. Players taking the plunge can expect a story-based campaign running for approximately 6 hours, including several different locations to play through and a number of boss-class zombie battles to survive. There will also be a more traditional "survival" mode for those who just want to puzzle without going through the campaign again.
|at the renfaire!|
If you read all the way to the bottom of this preview? You should be too.