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LifeAfter

App review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
LifeAfter App Poster Image
Zombie survival game struggles to find a life of its own.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The game crams a lot into a small screen, which can sometimes lead to confusing movement or accidental actions, especially for those with bigger hands on smaller screens. Some instructions and tutorials aren’t communicated too well either.

Violence

There’s a steady stream of violence, with players using all manner of firearms and melee weapons to fight back against rampaging hordes of zombies. Despite the constant violence, though, there’s surprisingly little blood or gore.

Sex
Language

Online interactions with other live players could expose players to offensive language via chat.

Consumerism

The game constantly pushes players to spend real world money on in-game currency to add items like supplies, outfits, and other items to help survive the zombie apocalypse.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that LifeAfter is a free-to-play survival horror game available for download on iOS and Android devices. Players must attempt to make a new life for themselves in a world where civilization has fallen apart due to a viral outbreak infecting and mutating humanity. Due to localization issues from the original Chinese release, some of the instructions and dialogue aren’t well translated and confusing to understand. Violence is a constant in the game, with players using firearms and melee weapons to fend off infected humans. Despite the violence, though, there are only small amounts of blood shown in the game. Parents should also be aware that, due to the game’s online component, it’s possible for players to be confronted with offensive language and conversation with other real-world players via online chat.

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What's it about?

LIFEAFTER is a story of survival in the face of civilization’s collapse. The story begins when a viral pandemic takes hold of the world as you know it. Those infected by the virus mutate into bloodthirsty, zombie-like creatures driven by a blinding combination of rage and hunger. After the vehicle you’re in crashes while escaping the spread of the virus, you and your canine companion are left to fend for yourselves. Eventually, you make your way to Hope 101, a small pocket of survivors trying to rebuild after the devastation. In return for your help in fending off the Infected and helping to develop the community, you’re given a plot of land and an opportunity to build a new home and a new life. You’ll still need to fight to survive, not just against the Infected, but against other survivors, and even nature itself. You'll forage for food, harvest materials, build defenses, and stay alive another day. Prove to yourself and to the people of Hope 101 that even when all seems lost, there’s still a “life after.”

Is it any good?

If the current trend in video games, movies, and TV are to be believed, the collapse of society won’t come from global war, natural disasters, or even the rise of robotic overlords; It’ll be zombies. LifeAfter is a free-to-play app that follows in the footsteps of larger console releases such as DayZ and State of Decay, challenging players to not only survive, but to thrive and rebuild in the wake of a zombie apocalypse. On the positive side, LifeAfter looks phenomenal, and could easily be mistaken for a console game. The world is large and lush, with a lot of sharp detail. The motion's smooth, and the user interface can be customized to your heart’s content. There’s also a lot to do in the game. When you’re not fending off Infected, you’re gathering resources to reinforce your home base, making sure you stay well-fed and healthy, and occasionally raiding (or being raided by) some nearby survivor.

That all said, the game still suffers from rage inducing flaws. For starters, while it's a huge hit overseas in China, its English language launch has lost something in translation. The dialogue and instructions have been run through a poor version of Google Translate, with words broken up between lines being almost too confusing to decipher. There are even moments where characters’ names randomly switch from one to another, leaving you scratching your head while trying to follow the plot. And despite the customization options of the UI, the controls never quite feel comfortable. It’s a mess to switch between equipment, accidentally shooting or using an item because the buttons are too cramped together. It also gets repetitive quickly, with missions that never seem too varied. It’s also irritating to log in only to find your character hurting or even dead due to some random event that happened while you were gone and had no control over. None of this makes it unplayable, and there’s fun to be had. But rebuilding society after an actual apocalypse might be a little less frustrating than LifeAfter can be at times.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about disaster preparedness. While it’s safe to assume that there will never be an actual zombie apocalypse, what are some real-life disasters that families can be prepared for? What emergency plans should families have in place?

  • How can working together help to overcome obstacles and to build a stronger community? What are some precautions that can be taken when dealing with strangers?

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