Play in Process: Saving Dots from Dots

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.

About Richard Clark

Richard H. Clark is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Christ and Pop Culture. He has a Master of Arts in Theology and the Arts from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He lives in Louisville, Ky. He is also the managing editor of Gamechurch and a freelance writer for Unwinnable, Paste, and other outlets.
E-mail: clarkrichardh [at] gmail [dot] com.
Twitter: @deadyetliving

  • Seth T. Hahne

    their screams were in my head but they were real

    i promise

    stab stab stab

  • Wendy

    How come I can’t “like” the above comment? Boo.

  • Richard Clark

    I think you just did.

  • Drew Dixon

    I just watched the video–3 player cooperative play is intriguing.

  • Richard Clark

    Well it’s hotseat only, so…

  • Drew Dixon

    What does that mean?

  • Richard Clark

    You can’t play online. It’s just with people in the same room.