While the flood of zombie-based media has slowed over the last few years Terminus: Zombie Survivors shows a relatively new take on the genre as a whole. Choosing to set the terror as a backdrop in exchange for a tension-driven strategy game paired with roguelike character building in the foreground. Ensuring that every attempt at survival feels and plays differently.
The game settles into a post-apocalyptic suburban setting weeks after the initial outbreak of the zombie virus. With most of the human population infected and supplies dwindling you begin a treacherous journey toward a supposed safe haven called the Terminus. Across the suburban neighborhoods and cityscape, you must fight for survival against the undead, starvation, fatigue, and even your mental deterioration.
Unlike the action-driven norm of zombie genre games, Terminus takes a survival-heavy focus similar to games like Project Zomboid where the player must balance their actions against their supplies, constantly ensuring that they have the right defenses and supplies to brave the night. The game is set on a turn-based system that feels very reminiscent of similar titles like Jupiter Hell, where the player must balance their movement, offense, and defensive decisions each turn against the AP (action point) resource before ending their turn.
Terminus has a lot of features under its 2D hood including:
A class system where the player can decide the background of their survivor to gain additional perks that help to survive in different ways. Some of the classes available are Soldier, Police Office, Fire Fighter, Farmer, and many more.
The class system is accented by a roguelike leveling system where survivors can empower the stats and features of their selected class to bolster their odds of survival in the bleak world
The status management of your survivor ensures that every decision has a cost with an in-depth break down of needs you will be forced to balance your energy, hunger, warmth, happiness, and even battle the ever-changing weather conditions to survive.
The Day/Night cycle and weather system also add another layer of obstacles in Terminus virtually blinding the player after the sun sets without a flashlight putting a layer of tension on even the simplest actions while you also contend with shifting weather conditions like rain and snow.
The Combat System sparks nostalgic memories of games like Vagrant Story where the player is given in-depth decisions on which body part they are striking allowing strategic blows to turn the tides of battle.
The artistic 2D landscapes are nostalgic and reminiscent of classic flash games like The Last Stand and Road of the Dead.
The game has an in-depth game design and systems that give the player a lot of information and control.
The class system and roguelike elements blend seamlessly and leave the player feeling like their decisions impacted their play through and allow players to survive the terror how they want.
The game has a lot of meat on its bones allowing players to experience a variety of situations as they progress through the world
Additional modes include “Out of Stock, Crowd, and Frozen Zombies” to change how you experience the game.
The turn-based system is fun but can feel a bit clunky and slow at times, devolving into an “end turn simulator” during slower periods of the game
The status system gives a lot of information and obstacles, sometimes too many causing the fun to take a back seat to realism/difficulty, particularly the crippling impact of hunger on movement.
A game that has serious promise for fans of the overlapping genres but a few flaws that I hope to see ironed out, I’m excited to see what future updates to the game add.