The zombies are coming! You’ll find them at your gym, your favorite restaurant, and even at your friendly local barber shop. In the world of Please Stay Calm, none of your local businesses are safe from the ever present zombie infestation.
In this Mafia Wars-like smartphone MMO for both iOS and Android, the real world becomes the locations you visit in the game, which really makes the zombie apocalypse hit home in the most literal way possible. If watching the newest episode of The Walking Dead isn’t enough to fulfill your zombie cravings, Please Stay Calm is most definitely a game you will want to install on your iPhone and take with you everywhere you go.
The game is on our Best iPhone Games Page, which you should totally check out for more iOS gaming goodness.
At its core, Please Stay Calm is one of those energy based MMO games where you are simply clicking icons to perform actions. It’s simple, but there is a major twist in this particular game, and that is the real-world element. When you go through the game using your energy to level up your zombie hunter, you are doing it at places near you. For example, there is a Chinese restaurant right across the street from my home, so that’s a good place for me to frequent while hunting those pesky undead.
When you go to a location, you will be performing tasks such as scavenging for supplies and money, or hunting zombies. You can also choose to build safe houses and outposts at places you visit frequently. These generate money and supplies every day, so it’s important to invest in building them at places you know you will visit often so you can collect more supplies.
Zombie fights are simple, yet interesting. Every few seconds each of your available attacks flashes on the screen, and you have to tap them before they fade away. This requires you to quickly spot the attack you need and tap it. It takes the combat, which is generally very hands off in these types of games, and makes it feel a little more active, which adds to the fun.
Scavenging also features a little mini game in which you shine a flashlight on a bunch of stationary dots while avoiding the moving ones. If you accidentally shine on a moving dot, you will be caught by zombies and have to bail on whatever supplies you have scavenged so far. Is it the deepest gameplay element you will find? No. But it still offers a bit more than most games of this ilk, which usually just feature a bunch of behind the scenes dice rolls to determine what you get.
The active gameplay and real-world implications make this the best I’ve played in the genre. There is just something cool about exploring the places around you in the game that makes it feel like something greater than the sum of its parts. That plus all the small details makes Please Stay Calm a game that is worth playing.
Audio & Visuals
As far as menu-based MMOs go, Please Stay Calm looks really good. It features comic book cutscenes that provide a little backstory as to why there is a zombie apocalypse and why you must survive on your own rather than rely on government intervention. Another nice visual touch are the different types of zombies used in the game. Zombies you encounter will match the location you are at, so if you are at a restaurant you will see chef and waitress zombies. It makes the world feel more cohesive, and it adds a great deal of visual difference to the game.
The sound is nothing special. It’s not at all intrusive, but nothing about the sound effects and music will blow you away by any means. Since I often found myself launching the game while out and about, I often turned the sound off completely as not to annoy others around me.
Value & Game Life
Please Stay Calm is a free-to-play game supported by in-app purchases. That being said, you can play without ever spending a dime, and need to spend real money is not shoved down your throat excessively. Sure, you will run out of energy as you make your way through the game, but you can just come back a few hours later and play again. It’s a time-based management style.
There are certain items that are purchased with real money, but you can actually earn them through watching videos and completing other offers. This is all optional, so it’s not overly intrusive and app developers have to make money somewhere, after all.
Overall, this game is a ton of fun, and as far as these menu-based MMOs go, it’s the best I have ever played. It encourages you to get out and explore other places in the real world while playing, and because of that, it actually makes the most of the mobile platform, in that it could not exists without the location services and mobility offered by our smartphones.
Have you played Please Stay Calm? What did you think of it? Hit the comments section below and let us know!