Indie Quickie: Containment: The Zombie Puzzler

It takes a lot longer to fully review a game than it does to get a good sense of what a game is. Even with a full-time staff of writers it would be impossible to fully review the thousands of games that are released every year. Indie Quickie is our way to offer snap impressions of the countless indie titles small teams and one-man game studios are releasing literally every single day, and to help guide players to worthwhile games they may not have heard about before.

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What is it? Containment: The Zombie Puzzler is a puzzle matching game with—get this—zombies!

Who made it and where can you get it? Containment was developed by Bootsnake Games and is currently available on Steam for $4.99, iPad for $1.99, and Android tablets for $1.99. (Steam version played.)

How much did we play? Cleared two of the campaign’s three acts and lasted five rounds in one of the three survival mode stages in approximately an hour and a half.

Any technical concerns or hardware requirements you should know about? The zombie bugs did not infect this game. It ran perfectly fine for me.

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Why should you play it?

    • Zombies ate my jewels: Containment stands out for the simple fact that it’s not merely some run of the mill match-three puzzler with zombies taking the place of shiny jewels. Okay, it kind of is that, but there’s more to it than lining up three or more walking dead of the same color. What you do is position various types of survivors so that they surround a zombie–or a group of zombies–on all sides. Once that’s done, the survivors kill off the encircled brain gobblers (soldiers mow them down with M-16s, doctors hack them with bonesaws), and you continue the process until the current area is clear. You have to be quick, though, because as time passes zombies will attack survivors and slowly spread the infection to adjacent squares. If the map fills up with enough zombies, consider your grey matter devoured.

    • Killer power-ups: As with any puzzler, the trick seems to be positioning units to create traps and cascade combos to quickly put an end to the zombie apocalypse in as few moves as possible. There’s also the benefit of earning single-use ability pick-ups like hand grenades and Molotov cocktails to clear out clusters of zombies, or sniper shots to pick off one particular pest. Eventually you’ll even be able to call in bombing runs or outfit survivors in protective hazmat suits. Pretty cool stuff.

    • You got survival horror in my puzzler: The atmosphere is what ultimately sells the game. Containment is a puzzler, yet it’s presented as if it were a full-blown zombie survival game like a Dead Nation. Instead of staring at a static puzzle grid, each puzzle is but one small section of a larger map, with interactive elements like garbage bins and exploding objects adding to the immersion. As all zombies are eliminated in one area, the top-down camera pans through the city streets or up building walls until the next infested area is in sight, with overlaying text delivering narrative material in bite-sized chunks. It’s a pretty slick effect when you see it in motion.

    • Zombie wizards and gorillas, oh my: Containment’s got zombie wizards and a zombified King Kong. Do I really need to say anything else?

Parting Thoughts: After a few levels the craving for a little extra variety does begin to make the belly growl, but if you enjoy puzzle games and aren’t worn out on the whole zombie gaming craze, Containment seems to have enough going for it to make for a fun novelty time-waster on PC or your favorite tablet device.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!