Sunday, May 31, 2020

Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead

Since early April I've been playing the video game Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead. It's a roguelike, the kind of ASCII-oriented game that first appeared on computers from the mid 1980s. Those original games normally present dragons in dungeons, but Cataclysm dishes out zombies in a post-apocalyptic New England.

You control a character who finds him or herself at the start of this terrible future. You have to avoid zombies and mutated animals. You have to find food and shelter, and then make or find weapons to protect yourself. Your character has to navigate a harsh landscape to the refugee camp, and it's difficult to find working vehicles.
The game has very primitive graphics. I use a setting where small icons represent the objects in the game. Since nothing in drawn, the imagery takes place in my mind. It's been quite a while since a video game captured my imagination like this one.
I'm drawn to the detailed survival scenarios. I'm drawn to zombie combat. But I'm also drawn to the permanent death of my characters. Once they die, that's the end of them, and all that they've learned and achieved. I've had lots of characters die on me the last few weeks. The game fits my mood these days.
Check out my reinvigorated Twitch channel to watch me play the game! And stay safe out in the Cataclysm.