Developed entirely by just one person, DeadPoly is TFL Games’ first and, so far, only game. A casual, colorful take on the post-apocalyptic theme so common to zombie games, the game requires only one thing from me: survive. My journey starts with no narrative or story objectives, and after barely leaving character creation I realize that night is soon approaching, and with night come the hordes of zombies dressed in their fanciest hotdog suits and bunny pajamas.
After getting a sense of things, I start exploring the city. If so inclined, I could have friends tag along: DeadPoly supports single player and online multiplayer, although it doesn’t have dedicated servers set up. Surviving in a group can be easier but beware of the positively enchanting features that come along with multiplayer – that is, other players raiding and destroying your carefully built home if they so will.
With my scavenged weapon in hand, I seek shelter from the dark. Nowhere is completely safe but getting to higher ground at least lets me see my impending death approach. Searching
around near my improvised home should provide me with some food, water, possibly a firearm and if I’m extra lucky, med kits to prevent me from succumbing to the fate of the undead. Weapons in the game are simple and there isn’t much to modify about them; just pick one you like and go wild! Combat in DeadPoly boils down to point-and-shoot (or smack, if melee is your thing): there’s no critical hits, health bars on the enemies or fancy combo moves. Overall, the UI is simple, and apart from inventory management and quick slots for items there isn’t much to learn. Except when it comes to base building: the game boasts an expansive crafting system to aid you in building your postapocalyptic palace.
So, if surviving is relatively easy and the combat doesn’t blow you away, what is there even to do? The answer is interior decoration and hoarding! There’s nearly endless amounts of toys, posters, masks, and miscellaneous home decorations to find and adorn your humble abode with. Scouting the city in search of trinkets might just lead you to a few secrets, as well.
It’s not all unicorn hats and neon lights, however. The only friendly NPCs to meet are the three vendors in the city and they’re very picky about what they are willing to buy. Thinking of grabbing a car to aid in your travels? Go ahead – every single vehicle moves at the speed of ancient glaciers and handles like one as well, yet is brought to a full stop by a lone garbage bin or two twigs set on top of each other.The soundscape is mainly your feet hitting the pavement (extremely loudly, like you’re wearing clogs) and the occasional grunt from a zombie (whose feet are mysteriously quiet). Even though there are zombies, DeadPoly isn’t a spooky game, unless you count the ridiculous amount of times anything from 5 to 25 zombies manage to sneak up on you with their magically silent feet.
The game is fairly barebones and needs work, but such is often the deal with early access games. The developer is very active amongst his dedicated fans and is currently working towards a full rebuild, adding a considerable amount of content, including quests, voiced characters, and character skill trees. The future of DeadPoly is still a mystery, but the rebuild has me dreaming big, excitedly waiting for the release. Just imagine all the new silly hats there are!
Publisher: TFL Games
Developer: TFL Games
Release Date: Early Access January 12th, 2022. Full Release / Rebuild TBA
Genres: Indie, adventure, casual, survival, crafting
Age Rating: Not rated
All images screenshots from DeadPoly (TFL Games 2022), taken by the author.
A perpetually talkative being and a fan of all things queer, weird, and transgressive. Enjoys CRPG’s, playing MMO’s alone and games modded beyond recognizablity. When not tending to pixel chickens or traversing some post-apocalyptic landscape, they’re crocheting stuffed animals. Has never played Uno and has no plans to do so.
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