When I found Eaten Alive on Steam for 60 per cent off, I watched the short video on the web page to see if it seemed worth the virtual pittance it cost. The game seemed appealing in the video so I bought it, which turned out to be a mistake. Unfortunately, the trailer skipped over the part where the player asks themselves ‘what in the world is going on’ when booting it up.
The trailer boasted classic zombie survival motif in a classic pixel graphic style that looked as good as it did retro. It also led one to believe that the object of the game was to survive zombies as well as fellow survivors of the zombie apocalypse. Complete with guns, violence and gore, not to mention the numerous mini games played in game by meeting up with YouTube celebrity Jim Stirling and enjoying meta gaming.
Although this idea is funny, unfortunately, it would seem that those mini games are the most exciting part of the potentially impressive game. After buying and playing the game it became clear the game was really a walking simulator. Maybe you’ll get a few hints on things to do to progress the story but even aside from that the plot hints are few and far between. Your primary method of finding out what to do is to scroll your mouse across the screen endlessly while you try to dodge zombies in the hope that your cursor will change from its normal middle finger to the far more exciting exclamation mark, indicating you found something. In my experience though, most of those exclamation marks are lies that simply indicate that you have found a garbage can that grosses out your character, Mia.
To give an example of what I mean, the gameplay in Eaten Alive is like playing a Pokémon game. That is, if there were no Pokémon, a minimal plot, and you essentially just travelled the world clicking on the various in-game bookshelves, trash cans and televisions hoping to find something cool. If that was your favourite part of the Pokémon franchise, this is the game for you.
Needless to say, I am disappointed and wouldn’t recommend Eaten Alive. The concept held promise, but the delivery was less than satisfactory. If you feel up to trying the game for yourself it only costs a little more than a dollar on Steam and I’ve have heard rumours of patches being released in the near future. But for now, invest that dollar towards half a Starbucks coffee – money well spent.
-Matthew Von Lukawiecki