How Many Mini DAYZ Can You Survive?

Jul 12, 2017

If the success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is anything to go by, survival is currently the genre of the moment. Like Rust and DayZ before it, the game throws players into one shared map, and forces them to do one simple thing: survive. Whether they team up or go alone, the last player to be found alive is the winner; think Battle Royale, but far more intense. As with all trends within the video game industry, it hasn’t taken long for apps to get involved, and Mini DAYZ is just one of the many to follow a similar formula. Yet even though the gameplay is understandably limited, it still manages to capture the intensity of the aforementioned games – albeit on a much smaller scale.

There’s only goal in Mini DAYZ: survive as long as possible. Doing so isn’t easy, as the wasteland you wake up in is full of zombies and lacking in supplies. To help monitor your condition are health, thirst, hunger, and temperature bars; let one of these become depleted and your game will be over. You can prevent this from happening by searching the seemingly-barren world, discovering its small towns and cities. Within some abandoned buildings and cars you’ll find bandages to increase your health, apples, cans of beans and cola, tomatoes, bottles of water, and other items of food and drink, as well as pieces of clothing to keep you warm. All are essential for your survival.

Yet, as important as locating new areas and finding the loot within them is, sometimes it’s not the best way to go about playing. Place that seem deserted are infested with zombies; get attacked by one without bandages in your rucksack and it’s unlikely you’ll survive longer than a minute. Mini DAYZ forces you to think tactically about when it’s best to go searching and when you’re better off hiding. Zombies aren’t even your main threat either, as you quickly find out that other humans are still alive. Whether or not you can trust them is a decision you’ll have to start making. Choose the wrong option, though, and you could be made to restart the game again.

Mini DAYZ feels more pragmatic than other survival games, and that results an overall more intense experience

There’s no chance of a smartphone app being able to match the depth and sophistication of gameplay that you find in modern PC games, but Mini DAYZ doesn’t pretend otherwise. It’s laid out in 8-bit style to make it look retro, as the player you have the option of controlling your character with a single toggle or, easier still, by tapping the direction you want them to go in, and most of the object and environmental sprites are re-used throughout the whole game. But in being so aesthetically and mechanically simple, Mini DAYZ packs in more atmosphere: the map is big and sparse, making it feel both lonely and dangerous. The music, or lack thereof, also increases the feeling of anxiety as you traverse the empty spaces, as all you can hear is the wind blowing through the trees and the waves crashing against the shore. Coupled with the limited supplies there are to be found, Mini DAYZ feels more pragmatic than other survival games, and that results an overall more intense experience.

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Survival is a much-used concept in video games, and one which for a long time found its place mainly in horror games. The more recent trend towards a Battle Royale theme is a fresh, and arguably bleak, direction for the genre. What Mini DAYZ proves, though, is that no matter what platform they’re played on, survival games can still provoke emotions.

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Chris Carr

A gamer ever since he owned Sonic on the Megadrive, Chris thinks that the only thing better than reading and writing about games is playing them

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