Why yes I have good sir.
Mini DayZ: I recently saw mention of a phone app and browser game (just found that out) called Mini DayZ. I’ve been playing that on my phone and have been really enjoying it. It does a great job of boiling the core DayZ experience down to a 2D sprite-based isometric(?) view version. The app even has some of the memorable and iconic sounds from the PC game, building art that looks like a great 2D rendering of actual buildings from the Arma2 map, and even a little inventory jank to pull on those nostalgia strings. The F2P aspects are non-invasive and optional. You can basically treat the game as a free version. If you want you can opt to get a supply drop near your survivor by watching a mobile ad but I found the supply drops to be lackluster and not worth bothering with so safely ignored altogether. I haven’t made it very far, even on Novice mode, but it’s an app I keep firing up to test my luck and see if I can get farther next time.
DayZ Proper: I played the actual DayZ mod when it first came out and then put another 40+ hours in the retail release when that first became available on Steam. I haven’t been back in a while but playing Mini DayZ got me in the mood for some more of this formula. I have some of the strongest memories and standout moments from DayZ that few other games can replicate. I reinstalled this weekend and went back in blind.
Wow, this game has improved a lot! The 64 bit executable ran really well and the graphical overhaul is breathtaking. DayZ is one of the best hiking simulators in our hobby and the ambiance is top-notch (trees and vegetation sway in the breeze now ). Jank still remains (especially inventory though much improved) and I accidentally drank disinfectant while trying to open a door so that run didn’t go well. A fresh respawn has gone much better though I have a lingering sickness from eating raw worms.
I spent a lot of time alone trying to chart the land I was on and searching buildings and generally learning to play again. I then had an encounter with another new player. We both found guns but didn’t have ammo. We actually had a pleasant conversation and even fought a zombie together with our bare hands. Eventually we parted ways and wished each other luck. I went wandering off into the wilderness but had to eventually circle back to a village because my intended path was cut off from a coastal inlet. While peacefully walking through some lovely meadows I heard the distant crack of a rifle then a second shot a few moments later (the acoustics are astounding in this game). I panicked and thought someone was sniping me but I determined that wasn’t the case and continued my journey. I was dying of thirst and lightheaded but I eventually made it back to a village with a well. Laying next to the well was a body. I checked the pulse which was either weak or absent but the body was still warm. This was the friendly fellow I met 40 minutes ago. I checked to see if I was being stalked by the alleged killer but couldn’t sense anyone and proceeded to quench my dire thirst at the well next to the body of my acquaintance (a ghoulish scene) then loot the poor man’s remains. I closed the night with pulling out my loaded lever-action repeater rifle, squatting in a nearby house, and logging off for the evening.