Stuck in a remote, abandoned town, you must lead five survivors with conflicting motivations, fragile relationships and fiery prejudices to safety from the roving undead. A sophisticated engine generates new survivors, towns and content so every adventure is a different experience, and you can use built-in editors to add yourself and...
User reviews: Mostly Positive (253 reviews)
Release Date: Sep 6, 2013

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"Because it was made in Australia."

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November 27, 2014

A game of tactical horror: Deadnaut is out now!

Good news! The full version of Deadnaut, the second game from Screwfly Studios, is now available for purchase directly from us.

(View the trailer here.)

What is Deadnaut? Here's a rundown:

  • Squad-based tactics: Control five complex characters as they explore, investigate and fight their way through each mission.
  • Character generation: Create back stories for your team, mold their relationships and equip them well.
  • Every game is unique: Dynamically-generated missions and campaigns ensure no two mysteries are the same.
  • Flexible and complex: Adapt to your situation with an arsenal of weapons and shields, or use stealth, hacking and sensors to move unnoticed.
  • Out of control: Deadnauts have their own fears, motivations and dispositions. Stay in charge, keep in contact, don’t let them out of your sight.
If you buy it direct, you'll get a DRM-free download and we'll also send you a Steam key once we launch here. The game is currently available for Windows and Mac OS X users; purchasing the game gives you access to both versions.

Play the demo for Windows or Mac OS X!

If you have any suggestions, bug reports or would simply like to share your experiences, please visit our official forums. Otherwise, good luck exploring... and surviving!

7 comments Read more

About This Game

Stuck in a remote, abandoned town, you must lead five survivors with conflicting motivations, fragile relationships and fiery prejudices to safety from the roving undead. A sophisticated engine generates new survivors, towns and content so every adventure is a different experience, and you can use built-in editors to add yourself and others to the game.

Features

  • Deal with the volatile relationships of your survivors by strategically assigning them to tasks, siding with them on difficult decisions or seeding rumours about their past
  • The undead aren't the only threat - negotiate, bargain, trade with or fight merciless lynch mobs, zombie hunters and bitten survivors
  • Experience a fresh story each time you play as the procedural engine crafts new survivors, towns and content
  • Built-in editors make it easy to add yourself and your friends to the game. Create your own survival horror story in your hometown
  • Unique diary interface records each action, choice and disaster. Save your heroic story and share it with others

Zafehouse: Diaries is a fresh take on the zombie / survival horror genre. If you're sick of mindless shooters or generic-looking top down affairs that just don't get what the zombie genre is about, this is the game for you.

About Screwfly Studios

We're a two-man developer based in Australia, dedicated to creating deep, innovative strategy games for PC. Zafehouse: Diaries is Screwfly's debut title and the spiritual successor to the highly-regarded Zafehouse.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
    • Processor: Dual-core 1.8GHz or equivalent processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9.0c compliant video card with 512MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 379 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX compatible sound card
Helpful customer reviews
65 of 73 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
The premise of Zafehouse Diaries is pretty straightforward: Guide a group of five survivors through a zombie apocalypse and attempt to escape the neighborhood.

As you can probably tell from the screenshots, everything in the game is represented through journal entries, photographs, and a few miscellaneous objects used to represent the characters on the map (bottle caps, pennies, etc). This presentation allows you to use your imagination to fill in the blanks, and is overall fairly effective.

The real problems begin once you start advancing through the game. Let's talk about some of the more frustrating mechanics that make the game so hard to enjoy:

  • Each character is assigned a random occupation when you create a new game. This means that sometimes you'll get a great group of survivors with a lot of varied skills, but sometimes you'll end up with a group full of people who have no useful skills at all. You might say that's realistic, and you might be right, but all it really does is encourage you to start over, which brings us to the next (and BIGGEST problem):

  • Survivors hate each other. I mean, they really want to kill each other. No matter what. When you start the game, you can immediately check the compatibility of the group through a nice little color-coded status screen that shows you how everyone feels about each other. However, these feelings are purely based on race, gender, and social class. There isn't really any way to change these feelings, either. Random events and rumors can cause a temporary boost in their relationships, but someone will eventually make a rude remark for no reason, and then you're back where you started.

    No matter what happens, you will get two or three people who hate the other members of their group for being a different race, a different gender, or a different social class. This means that the only way for everyone to get along is to have a group of people who are all identical (5 rich white girls, for example). BUT, even IF you were to create a custom party of rich white girls, it wouldn't matter, because random events cause everyone to hate each other anyway[/i].

    "Someone else took a shower when I wanted to take a shower! I hate them now."
    "You beat me at chess! We are now mortal enemies."
    "Nobody wants to play cards with me! I hate everyone in the house!!!"[/i]


    This gets VERY tedious, because it affects how well the survivors work together, which is an absolute requirement to succeed in this game.

  • Zombies know where you are even if you make no noise and never leave the house, and the horde becomes increasingly larger and more aggressive as the game progresses. Despite the fact that you can fortify a location into a badass stronghold, it's not worth the time because you'll eventually be overrun no matter how many precautions you take.

  • You can't control how your survivors use equipment. They seem to just randomly use the best tool/weapon available at their current location. You can't give someone a gun or a baseball bat and have them just carry it around. No. You need to check the inventory of the location they're at, and make sure that something useful is in the list of things available there. Half the time, the survivors pick something inferior from the list and get themselves hurt or killed, though.

  • Combat is just a bunch of random rolls, and you have no strategic control over what occurs. Your survivors act completely independently, and their relationship to one another is the deciding factor in whether or not they fight together (which they never do, because they hate each other).

If some of these problems balanced out, the game might be a bit more enjoyable. As it is, you might find the game interesting for a few hours if you can purchase it on sale, but there's little to keep you playing beyond that point.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
30.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 4
It was kinda fun to try out but it ultimately fails to deliver.

I wanted to like this game but it lacked the required developer's attention.You end up being frustrated because you get dragged into an addictive game that is BROKEN :

1. The survivor relations system is a dissapointment.The tools you get to manipulate them are way too few and simplistic for the amount of outbreaks your group has to face.
2. Inventory system is generally underdeveloped when it should have been the center of devs attention.You cant chose which survivor should equip a designated item. Ged used to seeing a janitor with a broken arm charge in with a butter knife while while an armored full health bartender unloads all his ammo on two zombies and barely wounding them.
3.Unbeatable. Trust me,with all the RNG in this game it'll take you around 20 attempts to even start making progress. Zombie numbers increase constantly,you cant abandon breaching buildings (and end up storming infested ones without any reliable option to scout it or reduce zombie numbers).

Its a TEXT-BASED GAME.How hard can it be to just finish it? Instead you get a bunch of fanboys telling you garbage like "In before times there were no patches for games after they were out!!!!" or "You can mod using mods from THIS or THAT dead website!"
Overall a very punishing expirience. 3/10
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8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 8
This game could be so good but suffers from the "Luck" factor. It's understandable to have chance in a game but when you're striving your hardest to play intelligently and skillfully when the majority of what happens is blind luck. Sure you can play in a fashion that would give you the best survivability BUT it's just a roulete whether one survivor with a golf club may kill multiple zombies and come back without a scratch or whether a complete group of well armed and geared up survivors gets killed in one turn by a group of 10 or even 5 zombies!! Really? There are so many random happenings even when your fortify a shelter and gear up and the stats don't even seem to help much. There's more but not much that other reviewers haven't already said. Could be such a great (not good but great) but just falls flat on it's face with frustration.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
25.9 hrs on record
Posted: April 13
Really only two words to describe this game; "Potential" and "Abandonware"

Its really a shame as this game is fun for an hour or so but after that the cracks begin to show. Give it a few more hours and it will be towards the top of your Steam regrets list.
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 13
tl;dr -> Survivor 1 was racist against Asians, I had 3 in my squad of 5, so I sent him out to die while scouting a bank. Everyone else was happy, but eventually starved to death after a few weeks because I was intent on upgrading/modifying all the items in my warehouse instead of scouting. 11/10 realistic simulator.

I got this game in a bundle and was very excited to try it because I've played countless zombie games on gaming websites like Kongregate and Newgrounds. I was very satisfied with my experience.

If you like text-based games, the zombie post-apocalypse theme, and crafting/strategy-based gameplay, then you will enjoy this game.

The aesthetics are good, there are pictures of items you find and the delivery of the gameplay is very nice - given in the form of a journal with text/picture entries. The game is solely text-based, so do not play this if you do not like reading (or this genre). There are 3 game modes, one of which is endless (easy). The randomized character backgrounds and random events are well-done, however, one complaint I have is the very (seemingly) arbitrary way the character relationships is determined. More on this later.

The controls are simple and there is a brief tutorial to show you how to play. The learning curve is minimal to moderate depending on your experience with survival strategy games. The most challenging aspect of the game is balancing your actions (scout, search, fortify, etc) properly to maximize your chances for survival. You can modify a few elements like how often resource-generating buildings appear and whether or not characters can get injured from in-group fighting.

The gameplay consists of performing specific actions every hour (equivalent of one turn). Actions include fortifying the building you are in, searching for items, building traps, etc. You can further specify the actions by clicking on keywords that are highlighted in green - for example, you can specify an order to build "traps," "experimental traps" (indoor), or outdoor traps. Certain actions generate noise that will draw in progressively larger groups of zombies. You can counteract this by sending survivors out to patrol, or by sniping surrounding zombies (trade-off is your use of ammo and potentially drawing in more zombies). If the building you are in gets completely surrounded, your characters will be severely restricted in the actions they can do. During the night, visibility is lowered and overall danger is increased.

You can either start with 1 survivor (easy mode) or 5, however, you can only gain new members in easy mode (which is also endless mode). The survivors will have randomized stats - these are given no numerical value. Stats include social economic status (poor, middle-class, rich), job, overall personality traits, and proficiency in actions (better at cooking, scouting, etc). All characters will also have a negative attribute, such as racism or distrust of the opposite sex. You can try to mitigate this by spreading rumors - one each day, and only one of each type. Rumors can be things like a cousin relationship between two characters or a charitable act for certain people. Rumors act as a double-edged sword - it will usually increase the relationship between the associated characters, however, it can also polarize survivors that do not like the associated characters (causing them to like each other even less). The relationship mechanic is crucial to survival because characters in conflict will argue and fight - dropping the overall morale of the group and potentially injuring people. Actions are also completed significantly slower when characters in conflict are near each other, so a good idea is to send polarized characters to different areas (or even sacrificing problem survivors). You can increase relationships by having feasts, but this requires a lot of food and will draw in zombies.

There is a randomized map with different structures in the city to explore. Special buildings yield bonuses like increased security (banks) and better loot/modifying (warehouses). Once you fully secure a building, you can further fortify it - eventually adding things like watchtowers, fences, and sniper posts. Fortifying takes a significant amount of time and will most likely attract larger groups of zombies. A downside of securing/fortifying a building is going back inside it - you will always need a survivor inside to let others in. If you leave a secured/fortified building with no one inside, you will have to break back in, however, there will never be zombies within. A good idea is to at least secure a few safehouses before proceeding to fortify.

There are different approaches you can take when playing this game, adding a decent amount of replayability. Overall, if you enjoy this genre, then you should really give Zafehouse a try.

Definitely recommend!

Cheers,
DJSF @DJSF's Rogue Reviews
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
24.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 24
The idea of the game is great. And it's fun at first, until you realise that it's way too repetitive and the extent to which you can customise is too limited to bring satisfaction. Ever since I bought the game, I hoped for new patches, or updates. I doubt anything of the like will ever happen. Which is a shame, because the game had promise.
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228 of 269 people (85%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
Driving a party of survivors to safety across a zombies infested town? On paper this was a very good game, absolute lack of proper support killed it though. I rooted for the devs while they were on Steam Greenlight as they appeared tireless and dedicated to the players, as soon as they got greenlit and got the money though they practically abandoned support and left the game in an unfinished state.

I'll post the dates to make it clearer:

September, 7 - 2013 - Steam Release
October, 23 - 2013 - Last Patch Released & End of Support

Now, while I understand after-sales support cannot last forever, 45 days of support before shutting down a game is definitely too low. Grab this game *only* if it is in a bundle if you like the genre or if you would like to see what a good game this one could have been.

They responded to the critics by mentioning they were working on a new, shiny game.
They got me once, they won't get me twice.

+ Cool Idea for a game
+ Convincing Audio
+ Customizable
+ Fun, for a hour or so
- Never Properly Supported
- Development Halted
- Certainly Not Worth a Premium Price

4/10
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108 of 126 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 7, 2014
I want to like this game, I really do. It has a great 'board game' feel to it and it has all the components for a good game. Unfortunately, it breaks down pretty quickly once you start playing.

First off, you can't assign people equipment unless they're moving to a location. I can have the greatest gear in the world, loaded up with a fire axe, motorcycle clothing, and even guns, but my patrolling people will still go outside naked with a pocket knife and then complain about getting mauled. The gear they will use seems to be pretty random too, as survivors just grab whatever they feel like when they need it. Did a zombie break in? Well, let's just shoot it with the irreplaceable crossbow bolts instead of using the silenced pistol with a million rounds of ammo, or the perfectly good fire axe. The will use armor on defense, but only against zombies.

"Who else might attack them", you might wonder. Well, how about your psychopathic survivors? Every. Single. One. Is a psychopath, one bad mood away from murdering someone in cold blood. I don't know if it's a bug or if this game is in KKK central, but murderously racist characters are the most common characters around. There's also a lot of class division, and any and all quarrels are solved by violence. They'll even interrupt important jobs just so that they can wound each other, and then have the gall to be upset when the corpse pile they were supposed to dump came back to life to attack them. And this isn't because they're cooped up too long in one place, they'll start up this garbage the second they're left in the same building. Maybe it's social commentary about what the makers think would happen if you could murder people without police involvement, but given that even the former police officers in this game are cold blooded killers, I really can't say.

With all this hostility to work around, your best bet is to separate your characters into two or three groups. This would work great, if it weren't for the fact that the zombies are psychically drawn to your survivors. If you barricade fast you can fight a losing battle to keep them out, but having to juggle two or three groups will result in stupid injuries (due to refusal to use logical equipment) and inevitable break-ins (since you rarely have two survivors in the same place to watch each other's backs).

With all of these negatives noted however, if you can get a pair or more of survivors in the same place without anyone killing one another, you can actually see some of the potential shine through. There was some serious promise in this game, and if you could assign equipment to people then I would actually recommend this game. Because you can't, you'll get buried underneath the inevitable endless horde of psychic zombies who will wear your stupid naked survivors down until you lose, as you can't really expand or explore when you're having to constantly stay on the defensive. If they ever patch out the insane, murderous survivors so that you could have a proper party together, I'd recommend this game. Since they seem to have abandoned the title though, I'd recommend you play something else. This is definitely not worth $10.

Too long, didn't read: Insane survivors who kill each other at the drop of a hat combined with a lack of an inventory system make this a bust. There's better games out there for $10.
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72 of 91 people (79%) found this review helpful
20.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
No, this is not that kind of zombie games, where you push W and smash left mouse button to kick the sh..t out of zombies. This is something better. Thriller with great T as it should, you can´t expect what´s gonna happen and this keep level of tension very high. You manage group of people, giving them orders and goal of this game is simple: survive as long as you can, everytime you start the game, you get different people with different experiences in different places. Manage them to survive and watch out for their relations. Everything they do is written in diary, so you can think, what to do in next turn 9/10
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51 of 63 people (81%) found this review helpful
23.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2013
A diary style game where you fight zombies, bar up houses, and try to survive while accomplishing missions?
Sounds great!
Being able to bring my own friends into it? Even better!

So what's the problem? It's random, and some of it just doesn't make any sense at all. You can take a group of people out into a horde of zombies fight twenty times in a row and never get scratched. And on the tewnty first time your entire team can die.

You can clear out a building, barracade it completly, fill it with traps and then move to another building to go exploring. Your boobytrapped fortress will be full of zombies.

I liked the diary aspect, I liked a lot of the concepts, but the game isn't very clear on what items do, or what anything means. I could never tell if I had a good chance or no chance at all of accomplishing a goal. I don't know what items were better to bring along or leave behind.

Even cheating I got my butt handed to me even though my entire team had been at full life up until that point.
The game has potential, and I know some people like it, but it's too random for my tastes.
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45 of 56 people (80%) found this review helpful
7.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
This game provides an interesting "choose your own adventure" setting to the zombie world. The game plays out in three different modes ("Sandbox", Goal with no time limit, strict time limit) and puts you in charge of a group of survivors. You'll need to give these survivors orders and plan carefully to win. All the action is communicated through diary entries which makes the game most of a create your own story.

I especially like how the game pushes the relationships as a key element as most zombie games miss this. However, sometimes they seem to hate eachother just because but it's an interesting element.

This game isn't going to appeal to everyone but anyone that doesn't mind using their imagination and loves the Zombie genre will definitely like this game. It's very challenging but be warned there's a lot of randomness to it and you may lose just because the game decides it.

Genre Lovers: Must Buy
Non-Genre Lovers: Skip it
Time to Beat: Each game takes about 1-2 hours but there's tons of replay value as every game plays out differently.

Oh and you can import your own survivors which makes it more fun.
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43 of 53 people (81%) found this review helpful
40.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 4, 2014
If five racists die after spending 3 hours fighting with each other, does anyone give a ♥♥♥♥? This is the question posed by ZafeHouse Diaries as you are placed in charge of guiding a group of ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s to safety in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.

Zafehouse: Diaries certainly had potential and is enjoyable at times but the game is bogged down by questionable design choices and clunky in-game mechanics. Add onto this the fact is that there are now better games available that offer a much more fun experience like Rebuild.

The game IS a lot more enjoyable if you import your own characters into the game, since this is the only way you'll be able to inject any sort of likeability into your survivors. I mean, who wouldn't want to see if Hulk Hogan, Pope Francis and Wolverine can survive the apocalypse? However, doing this disables acheivements, so you'll be s.o.l. if you want to form an emotional attachment to the default group. The default group and their biases are randomized, and you'll be stuck with a random racists, homophobes, bigots and sexists. As you can probably imagine, this doesn't exactly endear them to the player right off the bat. Add in the virtually non-existant character development that occurs throughout the game, injury debuffs that never seem to go away and a penchant for NEVER coming through in the clutch and you will still not care about them when your survivors all die after playing for an hour.

At the start, you have to try and effectively manage everyone by both playing to their strengths and avoiding conflict with each other. However, one well planned rumour can make your life a lot easier and it's entirely possible to get everyone to like each other by the end of the second day. However, conflicts will still happen on rare occasions and your survivors will get ♥♥♥♥♥♥ off about inane ♥♥♥♥ like having to wait to take a shower or not having anyone play chess with them.

Dora from JayIsgames put it best when she said, "You have nothing to go on other than the simple formula of incompatible traits, and it feels less like tempers reaching a boiling point and more like a bunch of variables behind a computer screen flipping you the bird." Sadly, this "bunch of variables flipping you the bird" is not limited to the relationships aspect of the game.
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47 of 61 people (77%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
22.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 25, 2014
Game: Zafehouse Diaries
Summary: Plays like Rebuild, not for everybody
Rating (5/10 = failure): 8
Multiplayer: No
Completion: 10 hrs
Cards: No
Cloud: No
Cost: ~0.5 USD bundled

Zafehouse is a fascinating game (to me). Those that have played the excellent Flash game, Rebuild, will get the basic idea - you have a small group of survivors and you spend turns trying to survive and win. Standing in your way are ever-increasing hordes of zombies (depicted with their dazzling animation of... a still-frame blood splatter) and your survivors who snap at each other because of their race, gender, and music-playing.

All games are randomly generated. With three modes of gameplay, the replay value is good. Be prepared to lose the first few games, as there is a lot to absorb, and the fact that your survivors are ravenously hungry, fragile and dumb. With the default settings, the game is indeed quite difficult, but learning what's worth the risk and what isn't is part of the fun.

The interface is rather minimalistic. As best I can tell there are less than 10 screens in the whole game! For the most part it does its job. For a good few hours I didn't know how to breach or assault a place because there's no tutorial and I didn't know you could click on the tabs up top on the investigation screen. There's an online manual, but who clicks on that?

The ability to customize your own survivors with your own photos is a nice touch. I appreciate that a lot, as I was a lot more connected to the survivors with my own pictures. You can also create custom jobs, but this is very easy to abuse and makes the game far too easy if used (and consequently disables achievements). Speaking of achievements, even though I disabled all custom content, I was still unable to get any achievements, so I don't know what's going on there.

All your actions are recorded in a "diary" that can be saved upon game completion, but honestly, those records strike me as... uninteresting. I don't care to reexamine my escapades, nor would I want to read someone else's. It's not a bad feature, but it just feels... I dunno, wasted?

Overall I had a good experience. I'm giving it an 8/10, knocking points for its almost lazy interface, occasional events with no positive outcome, and incredibly dumb survivors in a life-or-death situation. The big question is, is it fun? Even after completion, I went back to play it some more. That's not something I can say for many games these days.
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39 of 51 people (76%) found this review helpful
14.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
I really want to like the game, but two (in-game) hours and people are already fighting. There is an end game apparently, but sh*t goes downhill at the start and just keeps gaining momentum. Even if you do things right and pick the right people for certain missions, the game just rolls the dice that says "you're dead" on every side of the dice. I spent money on a dying simulator that I don't even get to see. It's very easy to just say, "this person died." when you order them to go out. Spent a lot of time trying to beat this game, trying the best I can to keep the people alive as we get closer and closer to getting out alive, then all of a sudden. "This dude died, this chick gets ♥♥♥♥♥♥ about it and hates everyone. So she's unresponsive and won't work well with anyone, then she dies as well. Now it's harder to do anything with only three people. Now everyone is dead. Good luck next time, sucker."

Also, "They did the best they could. Given they only had a jacket to defend themselves." B*TCH I BROUGHT WEAPONS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING WEILDING A F*UCKIN JACKET!?"
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28 of 34 people (82%) found this review helpful
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 28, 2013
I was hooked on this game from the start. It's a zombie survival game, but mainly text and decision based. The choices, the provisions, the survivors, the locations. You get to choose what's important and what's not. You can try and promote harmony within the group or start discord among the group.

I really appreciate and love how each new game is different. New character with conflicting backgrounds, new map layouts, new inventory. It's very addictive.
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20 of 22 people (91%) found this review helpful
9.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 28, 2013
This game is quite fun; much better than it looks, honestly. However this game is text based with a few scattered pictures, it is a very immersive experience. You won't get the same playthrough twice, and with three different modes, you're sure to find a great balance of logic and enjoyability, however difficult it can get! This game also has a great many sound effects which only help create the illusion of actually being there. I definitely recommend this game.
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73 of 116 people (63%) found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2013
I could swear I've seen this exact game as a Facebook app title a few years back... Anyway, in Zafehouse: Diaries, you are tasked with guiding a band of sniveling, hateful survivors into scavenging and sneaking their way through a zombie-infested town in search of supplies, ammunition, and scrap with which to barricade out the onslaught of hungry dead. Hide too long without taking up arms and you'll have an undead army on your hands, but make too much noise blasting the dead and you'll just draw the entire town population right on you. Unfortunately, your survivors are pretty small-minded; each comes with a particular sort of person they just really cannot abide, be it a racial group, sexual orientation, or gender. Keep the party together too long and the petty annoyances will eventually erupt into inter-party combat; split the party too thin and you'll fall prey to Zed in short order. Although you get only a general management degree of control over your team (go search this building, hunt zombies around this area, whip up some vittles, etc.), there is a healthy variety of tasks you can set your party to, and careful decision-making will go a long way toward keeping your merry band together.

Along with the basic sandbox style of gameplay in which you must gather survivors up and avoid death for as long as possible, there are also two more difficult challenge modes available. In one, you must restore a car to working order and hightail it out of town, and in the other you must simply survive for a week. Both of these modes crank up the difficulty tremendously, and once you've learned how to eke a modicum of survival out of your hateful ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s, they're fun (in a horribly aggravating sort of way).

Unfortunately, the game falls apart a bit in the area it seems most proud of. The eponymous "DIARIES" it shouts about are the prosey bits of horror the game uses to let you know how your team is doing. This is written in the first-person from the perspective of... someone? Some unportrayed member of the team no one else seems able to observe? Who contributes no labor toward the survival of the group? I guess this explains how the writer manages to find the time to scribble it all out and scrap-book in grim polaroids in discrete hourly doses.

While there are some nice touches here (injury reports result in splashes of blood covering the page, and as night falls, it becomes more and more difficult to see the page), the text gets repetitive fast, especially considering how easy it is to lose the game repeatedly and fly through half a dozen false starts. Once you manage to survive for a while, you start encountering special unique events that spice things up, but it's a bit of a trek getting past the early difficulty curve.

Zafehouse: Diaries is not without its charms, and it can be a solidly addictive time sink for a couple afternoons, but don't expect Z:D to make your list of favorites. When everything's added up, I'd be tempted to cautiously recommend it, but the Z in the title just cannot be overlooked or forgiven.
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24 of 31 people (77%) found this review helpful
23.2 hrs on record
Posted: April 29, 2014
This game is a work of art. It's just amazing! If you're into strategy in general, this game is for you.

While you're never really IN the game itself (smashing zombie's to pieces) you control what goes on;
Make 'Kin' watch for zombies, while 'Jine' makes ammo.
There's skill levels; One star to five stars (though without making custom content, I've never seen anyone go over 4 stars)
There's medicine; 'Jine' threw a chair at 'Kin' and broke his arm. (The wounds never fully heal while I play, but you can turn off survivors hurting each other)
There's noise; While 'Jine' is making ammo, the noise attracts zombies.
There's custom content; Want a superawesomemegazombiekillingmachine? I did. I made one. It uses pistol ammo, while being a sniper. My survivors also modified it so that it's a shotgun as well!! You can also make custom survivors (AMAZING!!!)
There's rain; ...the rain should dampen the noise.
There's random events; A woman with a shopping cart came by today. She says she'll trade ____ for ____
You can make notes and signs on the map; Cross out a place you've looted and moved away from, circle and note down your base.
You can ajust difficulty SPECIFICALLY; How many zombies per in-game hour flow into the city? How much ammo is scattered? How many zombies in the buildings to start with? How much food? How much medicine?
There's hunger.
Survivors rest after working for some time.

THIS GAME IS JUST AMAZING!!!!!!!

Oh, Pro Tip: CHESS SETS ARE DEMONNNNSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!
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16 of 22 people (73%) found this review helpful
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 1, 2013
Sounds good on paper, plays out poorly. Pretty boring, and very random... People in my groups were in arguments, throwing stuff at each other within' two turns, without any obvious way to stop it. The real nail in the coffin is the repeated boring text. Prepare to read the same few lines over and over for how ever long you're willing to endure this.

If you play the "normal" mode you may get a few hours of enjoyment finding clues and getting your survivors out the first time, but I have no idea who would be interested in playing a heavily stacked game of "roll the dice" with the zombies again.

Cops can't hit the broad side of a barn with scoped weapons, and construction workers couldn't put down a zombie with modified melee weapons (bats, hammers, wrenches, even sledgehammers) if their lives depended on it... Literally. Unless you're sitting in a barricaded house, pulling your pud, you will always be a walking buffet.

Hopefully they bother to continue patching it and turn it into something like what the steam page describes... Until then, considering the value of $10 during the Fall Sale and soon to come Christmas sale, this is literally nothing. Not worth anyone's time or money.
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31 of 50 people (62%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 23, 2014
Please ignore the time played here, I played the game on an average of 10 hours back before it came onto Steam.

Zafehouse: Diaries is a rather unique take on the survival/strategy genre. There are 3 different modes with different difficulties, that ultimately have the same goal, survival. Towns, events, items and survivors are all randomly generated. You can customise a survivor with your own story and backgrounds, which will then be randomly generated from a pool.

You interact with a diary that displays all the events that are happening during each hour. When I first played the game I was alittle put off by the fact that you interact with a diary. However as I played I fully understood why the interface is how it is and it is surprisingly informative. You can assign tasks for each survivor that they will try to acomplish to the best of their ability depending if they are any good at it (i.e. scavenging, barricading, cooking, etc.).

The game has quite alot of depth to it and some deep mechanics. A good example is that it might be wise to get one of your survivors to scout that motel a few doors down to see if there's any zombies, so that your group have somewhere nice to rest. Or maybe that hospital crawling with walkers has that bandage you so desperately need.

It also runs pretty well, even on them old toasters that are years old.

I did a mini Let's Play series on it that covered some of the newer updates, you can find the playlist here
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