There’s a new game that was released at the end of last week called Corridor Z. It’s a freemium endless runner style game that actually has an interesting twist on the genre.
I’ve played a few endless runner games over the last few years but I am by no means an expert on the subject. The one I played most recently was Spider-Man Unlimited and I actually really got into that one. I would still be playing it today if it weren’t for the random crashes that would make me lose all of my progress on a run. I dealt with crashes like that for a few weeks before I had to give it up. I’m not sure if I will sink as much time into this one but the game does spark my interest.
So, Corridor Z starts off by talking about the typical zombie outbreak. The story is told to you with voice overs while some comic book style animations play. This outbreak is said to have started quickly, in just a couple of hours and during this time everyone is running trying to stay alive and stay away from the overpowering zombie horde. Unlike the original zombies, these are more like the fast running 28 days later style.
The “ordinary high school in an ordinary town” is the location of Corridor Z and with so many kids in a close area, it seems ripe for a zombie outbreak. The majority of the kids have already died/been bitten/turned and the entire goal is to run away. This is where the endless runner genre fits into place. I’m not sure if this is the first endless runner with a zombie theme so if there are others then please let me know in the comments section below. I love the idea though and I think it fits in very well.
There are three people who you can control in this game. Logan, the “jock”. . .Megan, the “pom-pom girl”. . .and Sgt. Williams, the “jarhead”. You start in a room where you have the ability to pick which one of these three people you want to control. I’m not sure if any of these three people have their own strengths or advantages but they seem to have their own story attached to each of them and this is another element of the game that I am enjoying. The voice over story is quite engaging for a freemium game.
Each of these three people must complete a certain number of missions before they can proceed to the next room. The entire goal of the game is to run away from the zombies and get your characters into the next room. Once one of your characters has finished the missions for that ‘level’, then the character is no longer accessible until the other characters have also advanced to the next room. Missions can be anything like killing a certain amount of zombies to running a certain distance or knocking a certain number of things in the way of the zombies.
When you’re ready to start the game, pick your person and then head through the door. As you’ll instantly find out, the zombies are constantly running after you. The thing is, you’re actually slower than the zombies are. If you do nothing but run then they will eventually catch up to you. This is yet another element of the game that I have found so enjoyable. It’s another layer of challenge that keeps you paying attention.
As you run down the corridor of the high school, you’ll notice various things to the left, right, top and bottom of your screen. For example, there can be a stack of boxes to the left or right and when you get close enough you need to knock them into the way of the zombies. To do this you swipe the screen to the left or right. The boxes get knocked in the front of the zombies and they are delayed a little bit.
You’ll also see air ducts that are barely attached in the ceiling. The same concept is happening here except you want to swipe up on the screen. This will make your character jump into the air and pull those things down into the hallway. That will delay the zombies and allow you to get a little more ahead. There’s even some weapons that can be laying on the ground and if you swipe down then you will pick them up and be able to shoot them while you are running.
No corridor or hallway lasts forever so of course you will come across turns. You’ll see these green arrows at the top left or top right of the hallway and you’re only going to have a couple of seconds to swipe across the screen. Swiping in the wrong direction will get you killed and swiping too late, or not at all, will also get you killed. You’ll just run into the wall and the zombies will eat you.
As with all endless runner games, you’re going to get eaten. A lot. At the end of each run you’ll be given a score depending on how far you went and how many of the zombies you killed. This score helps to determine how many ‘rations’ you get and the higher your score is the more rations you get.
You’ll spend rations on various bonuses from the Perks screen right before you start a new run. Different perks cost different amounts and some are locked until you reach a certain class room(level). These perks range from being able to have a gun at the start, getting a head start in the run, having more ammo during the run, a trip mine or increased accuracy. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of creative things the developers can come up with as Corridor Z evolves.
As with all freemium games, there’s going to be in-app purchases. These in-app purchases range from weapons, having an ad-free game, a bundle of rations and the ability to upgrade your weapons. Almost everything seems to be able to be purchased with rations though. So except for a few things like the ad-free unlock, double rations bonus and a survival kit, everything else can be obtained by just playing the game more.
As with all freemium games, this allows the developers to balance the game toward fun or toward in-app purchases. I haven’t played enough to say this game is tilted one way or the other but I am always willing to give a game like this a shot. I don’t even mind the stamina system in these games because I’ll just put the game down and spend my attention elsewhere. If anyone has had more time with this game and wants to give their opinion on how the game is balanced, I would love to hear your thoughts.
Reviewers in the Google Play Store seem to be fairly positive about the game so far. Some are having issues with launching it on older hardware like the S3(which can be fixed in time) while others are really enjoying it. People who have gotten past the first few levels seem to say that the game gets repetitive and this could turn you away. The game was just released though so I’m excited to see how it evolves over the months/years.
What do you think of Corridor Z? Do you think it ranks up there with the rest of the endless runners in the Google Play Store right now? Do you think it has potential?
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