There must be some sort of tax break for companies incorporating zombies into their games, because no matter which platform you look at, there’s always a high undead population. The most recent to join in the design of undeath is a company by the name of Menue Americas, with their new Facebook game, Zombie Mosh.
A more bizarre interpretation of both farming and virtual space type games, this rocking rendition of zombies has found itself on one of our more recent emerging apps list with, currently, around 346,000 MAU. Both different and higher quality in some ways than the norm, Zombie Mosh is interesting, to say the least, but feels limited in what it allows the player to do, as well as low on rewards for playing and painfully slow paced.
Greeted by Death’s daughter, players discover that they are, in fact, dead. Well, undead anyway. So what does one do as a zombie? Why throw a party, of course. Like Nightclub City, users set out to create a rocking concert of mosh pitting zombies — with the business element of the game taking a back seat to its clubbing counterpart.
As players play, they’ll occasionally notice wandering undead enter their concert/club. As the game’s name suggests, players mosh with them, earning experience, coin, and extra energy upon doing so. Depending on the type of zombie, more moshing can be done with them. However, they don’t wander in often, so this is where farming comes into play.
Farming, that is, without crops. Foolish humans tend to walk into the concert fairly often, and players must, ahem, “harvest” them. Basically, instead of plowing plots of land, players purchase graves that will produce different types of zombies. The longer the zombie type takes to grow, the more valuable it becomes and the more moshes it can endure. As for the “seeds” for this harvest, these are the humans themselves, as players pick them up and drop them in the grave to be buried alive and reborn as the undead. It’s a little creepy, when you think about it.
This element is original, but also causes the first problem with Zombie Mosh: zombies spoil. Granted, this isn’t unusual for any game with farming, but they seem to spoil far too fast in some cases. While this will likely scale for the graves that take a day or more, one of the more quickly growing zombies we planted had spoiled within 10-15 minutes after finishing. This suggests that the slower graves, relatively speaking, will require users to be annoyingly precise in their harvests. Thankfully, friends can revive spoiled “crops,” but this doesn’t seem like a viable solution unless players ignore the grave for long periods.
The other half of Zombie Mosh is the virtual space itself. The game is wrought with pretty good animations and surprisingly good music, but what players can currently use as decorative elements feels extremely limited. This isn’t so much because of a lack of items, as a whole, but rather that most of the styles feel the same. One of the attractive elements to virtual space and business sim games of the past is that people can make clubs or restaurants that fit everything from western to metropolitan looks. Yes, we realize this is a zombie rock concert, but there are plenty of other zombie types. What about zombie pirates? Zombie ninjas? There are even zombie dinosaurs out there!
A number of the items also cost a pretty penny, and income is very slow (at least early on). Players are only earning a handful of coins with each mosh or piece of debris they clean up on a daily basis. The problem is that most items cost hundreds or thousands of coins. To add further insult to injury, the energy pool that gates how many actions the player can do at any given time, is very small.
The only way to earn significant income is to have a number of friends playing, in which case users can visit them and perform up to five actions at each virtual space. This generates the same amount of cash and experience as it would in one’s home space, but also earns an extra stat called “Fame.” Unfortunately, the game never says what exactly this does, and it only appears when visiting friends, making it feel a bit pointless.
The game is made even slower paced by the fact that players are, speed-wise, a traditional zombie. While users can make their avatar look hip and cool, they still shamble about very slowly in between actions.
In the end, Zombie Mosh is an interesting idea that looks and sounds great, but comes with a number of small issues that add up very quickly. Everything just feels too slow, and the novelty of zombie mosh pits tends to wear off after the user realizes they’re not really getting anywhere. The game just takes too long to hook the player, and even when it does, offers only limited décor elements and seemingly pointless social stats. So while the game’s MAU has grown fast, its stickiness has lagged, with only around 20,000 daily active users. With some polish, Menue Americas could easily improve the prospects of Zombie Mosh..