Containment : A Zombie Puzzler – Who Is This For?
Some people would argue that there is an over-saturation of zombies in popular culture. I would agree with them for the most part, but sometimes something comes along that mixes it up, or stands apart from the rest of the zombies media and makes you question this belief.
Now, the strange thing here is that I have never seen, or played, a game like Containment before; it certainly stands apart from it’s fellow zombie media. The thing is, I don’t think it is necessarily a good thing though…
Containment : The Zombie Puzzler is a puzzle game, based around zombies. In this game, you are in charge of moving units around to “contain” zombies and kill them. This is accomplished by surrounding a zombie, or a group of zombies, with units of the same colour.
There are four main colours which each represent a different type of unit:
Blue : Police Officers
Yellow : Punks
Pink : Nurses
Green : Soldiers
It is a simple premise and similar to other casual “match-three” games, as you use your units, more drop in from the top of the screen to refill.
As you progress through the game, you unlock bonus powers which vary depending on the types of units you use to kill the zombies. These take the form of sniper rounds, grenades, molotov cocktails and bio-hazard suits. Some levels feature bonus items, but they nearly all do the same thing; kill zombies. The main exception is the bio-hazard suit which lets a unit act as any colour, but the look very similar to the zombies and I often got confused by the value of the item.
The “Campaign” is split into chapters, within acts and each chapter features a number of stages. Each stage requires you to remove all the zombies, before the camera flies you to the next stage, revealing some story along the way. This would be a bit more exciting if it weren’t two to four lines of text, each time.
My biggest issue with the game is how unrelated it seems to be to the content. I get the impression that someone had a zombie story and their friend had made a puzzle game, so they decided to mix them up and get the story out to the public. If only it were a bit more exciting… I found it very dull and cliche, in all honesty. Not once do they address that the world has devolved to a handful of colour co-ordinated job roles or the fact that humanity now stands around in disparate grid formations, waiting for zombies to kill.
The gameplay is very simple too. There is very little challenge as any unit can swap place with any other unit, allowing you to just place people wherever they are required. At least games like Bejewelled require the gems to be next to each other, to swap places. The challenge only really occur when a level restricts you from gaining reinforcements, so you have to make the most of the units you have, but this isn’t exactly high-octane play.
I played through all of Act 01 and didn’t fail once. I never felt any sense of dread or that I was going to fail. You get so many power ups, you are never in any real danger. The biggest danger will be the unresponsive controls. All too often, I found that my units wouldn’t swap places, leaving me sat there dragging between the same two units again and again. Eventually they would swap, but there didn’t seem to be any reason for their reluctance.
On the other hand, when I was using power ups, the game would often release them before I had dragged them too my target, dropping a grenade on my own units while the zombies munched on the remnants. Of course, more units just drop in the top and all is fine in the world.
Also, the game is really dull to listen to. There is next to no music, just a faint, cliche ambient piece which gets drowned out by the near-continuous gunshots and hollers of the units; cheering or whinging about zombies. I ended up playing on mute, which is a rarity for me, being a music student.
Like I said, I have no idea who this game is for. It isn’t a good zombie game and it isn’t really a good puzzle game. It is just a way to kill a few minutes, on a train or waiting for pictures to upload. It is a really strange amalgamation of ideas and I don’t understand how it came about; I guess I can see what they were going for, but it certainly doesn’t do it for me.
Maybe I am wrong… Maybe people have been yearning for a simplified version of Bejewelled with a garnish of zombie “survival,” in which case, this is THE game for YOU!
Ellen used her Android thing to take these pictures, though she doesn’t claim to own the property depicted. If you hadn’t noticed, she wasn’t overly keen on it in any case. Bootsnake Games are in charge of Containment and are now working on Deadrock Divide.
Last played for Android on 21/10/15