I Walk Among Zombies Vol. 1
For most people, the end of the world would be a pretty traumatic experience, especially if it involves zombies killing everyone in sight. However, Yuusuke Takemura – the protagonist of I Walk Among Zombies, finds himself in quite a unique position in this regard. Before the flesh-eating monsters took over the streets of Japan Yuusuke was just an ordinary, if rather anti-social, officer worker. At least he was one until the company went bankrupt and he lost his job. With it, he also lost all his motivation and spent his time shut up in his apartment playing video games. Then, on the one occasion that he musters up the energy to venture outside, he is brutally attacked and bitten by what appears to be a crazy person. Retreating to his apartment Yuusuke passes out only to wake up a few days later in a world overrun by zombies.
The fact that Yuusuke was bitten would normally mean that he would be joining the ranks of the undead soon, but for some reason, it didn’t happen. To his further astonishment, Yuusuke discovers that the zombies pay him no heed when he goes out to explore. Other people are not so fortunate, though, and Yuusuke witnesses firsthand how brutal and deadly the zombies really are. Since the zombies pose no threat to him Yuusuke quickly begins to thrive in this new world as he sets about making a new life for himself. In the process, he discovers that one of his neighbors, the beautiful Tokiko Kurose, has become a zombie too, but shows no sign of decaying. Yuusuko also encounters a young woman named Mitsuki Fujino who is trapped in a zombie-filled department store with her two younger brothers. It is these encounters with the zombies and Mitsuki that take up the bulk of this kinetic novel.
Apparently, the game is based on a story published on Nocturne Novels, which is a submission-based site specializing in 18+ stories. This also means that while the game is filled with action, tension, and horror, it also contains plenty of h-scenes. These range from Yuusuke turning his zombie neighbor into his plaything to demanding sexual favors from Mitsuki in exchange for food. These actions make it very clear that Yuusuke is not a good guy who is on a mission to save the world. Instead, he is someone who finds that morals are unnecessary for survival, and doing good deeds would be a waste of time. To balance things out the story also shifts to the perspective of Mitsuki at times, who unlike Yuusuke, has a lot more fear and anxieties to deal with. Nevertheless, I Walk Among Zombies is not a game for everyone and the sex scenes are quite frequent. This makes it a lot more mature than other visual novels, such as Sakura Beach.
Although it is not a very long game and large portions are dedicated to the h-scenes, I Walk Among Zombies also takes a couple of unexpected turns along the way. When Yuusuke discovers that the zombies are pretty much harmless to him it removes some of the tension, but as the story progresses the tension ramps up again. A lot of real action takes place in the last section of the game, which is a pity as it all ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. Overall, the writing is good and we only spotted a few minor issues. Since it is a kinetic novel there are no choices to be made and players can simply sit back and read along as the events unfold.
I Walk Among Zombies is a good looking game with great background art. Several locations are shown and are detailed enough to flesh out the game world. There are not a lot of character sprites, but the ones that are shown look good. The game does have quite a few CGs for the h-scenes and these images, as well as the scenes, can be viewed again from the main menu. It’s worth mentioning that all the CGs in this game are fully uncensored, so there are no mosaics in sight. There’s no need to download and install any external patches either as the game is sold fully uncensored. Unfortunately, this means that people who prefer skipping the adult content for these types of games are out of luck. Strangely enough, while the sex scenes are very explicit the game shies away from showing all the gore that is described in certain scenes. Instead, the game uses a generic blood splatter image in the background. Considering how graphic some of these descriptions are it might be for the best, but die-hard zombie fans will probably find this disappointing. Also, the resolution of the game is 1280 x 720, but it looks decent enough when played in full-screen HD.
I Walk Among Zombies features the usual straightforward user interface found in visual novels, so players can click through text to advance the story or set it to automatic. One thing that it does a little differently from other visual novels is that the text is displayed over the backgrounds instead of in a dedicated text box at the bottom of the screen. The game features full Japanese voice acting for the female cast of the game, but not Yuusuke, which is normal for the genre. The soundtrack is decent, but not really that memorable apart from the opening theme which has a very Walking Dead sound to it. The game does contain a lot of sound effects that help set the atmosphere for the scenes.
All in all, I Walk Among Zombies is a decent visual novel with an interesting premise. The abundance of non-consensual sexual acts will definitely be offensive to some players, so be sure to avoid the game if you can’t stomach this type of content. Also, the game isn’t very long and it feels like it ends on a cliffhanger just when things are getting really interesting. Nevertheless, this first volume is a good introduction to the characters and the world that they find themselves in and kept us hooked enough that we want to find out what happens in the next volume.
- OS: Windows Vista/7/8/10
- Processor: Core2Duo and above
- Memory: 1 GB RAM
- Graphics: 1280 x 720 True Color
- Storage: 1 GB available space
- Sound Card: PCM Audio support