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Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse, Week 1

For the last week or so I’ve been reading “Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?” by Max Brallier. This is some great stuff.

It’s not really a game book, in that there is no game component such as randomness, inventory, or personal statistics. It’s “just” a choose-a-path book. I have been feeling fairly low energy for a few weeks, and this works for me.

The writing is quite good: a balance of camp, brutality, and informal tone. The scenarios and outcomes I’ve seen so far have been a lot of fun:

  • Falling from a train during a zombie rampage, crushed and shredded into chunks.
  • Joining the Hell’s Angels.
  • Waiting out the zombie apocalypse with my neighbor’s PS3 and bong and a pallet of Doritos, and not even wanting to be rescued.
  • Joining the most sincere zombie walk event ever.

This is a blast.

And, though I hate to bitch about it… I also really appreciate that the book has clearly been proofread. It’s made up of complete, punctuated sentences except for a few strategic stream-of-consciousness places where broken sentences suit the atmosphere. He uses their, there, and they’re properly. I know it’s a low bar, but in a world of so much indie, self-published content it feels good to get back to someone who writes well and correctly.

I’m not sure that I’ll write up CYSTZA as a gamebook, since it’s not… but this is a hella fun read, and it could keep me busy for weeks.


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First published December 3, 2019. Last updated December 15, 2020.