When I was a young little horror fan, one of the things that occupied my time was playing online horror Flash games. Sadly, Flash has mostly been discontinued, which left a lot of the media I grew up with in the dust. One certain piece of media was The Outbreak. It was basically a movie of sorts (in this case, a short film) that has you making the tough choices your character to make to ensure their survival in an ongoing zombie apocalypse. Sounds familiar? The popular “interactive movie” game franchise The Walking Dead by Telltale comes to mind.

Not to minimize the success and creativity behind the TWD games, but this just goes back to my feelings about the death of Flash. Along with that, buried under the rubble is The Outbreak, a pretty unique experience at the time it came out. Thanks to a Flash-supporting app on my Android device, I’m able to find out if it still holds out.

What Is It?

Directed by Chris Lund, The Outbreak is an “interactive movie” game about a group of survivors trapped in a house as zombie hordes draw closer and closer. You, the player, will dictate where the story goes based on the decisions given to the main character, James.

What Worked?

There was clearly passion behind the making of the game as though it seemed like it was made on a low budget, money was well spent on the production value. I’m talking set design, zombie makeup and gore. Nothing too fancy but it gets the job done.

Though it’s a pretty short game if you know what you’re doing, it offers enough branching paths that extend replay value. Your choices matter and can affect the story significantly. For example, choosing to kill an infected or choosing to leave the house may lead to a different run of the plot but it may also lead you to a dead-end game over, causing you to circle back to your previous choices to see where you went wrong.

You’ll notice I mentioned production value and all that jazz earlier yet this is a game so what gives, right? This is actually a live action FMV game that, of course uses live actors on a real set. That’s another aspect that worked for me as it dodges the uncanny valley elements that come with mid-aughts video game graphics. That said, this choice does come with its own caveats.

WHAT DIDN’T WORK?

As the game does use live action elements, some might feel that the acting can be a bit, ahem, stiff but it works since it doesn’t overstay its welcome.

On the other hand, the short runtime is actually my main problem with the game. I was enjoying myself so much, I was surprised when it ended abruptly. I wanted to be able to explore more of the universe created and get in a bigger adventure. Sadly, the game did not get a follow-up up and may very well be lost in the dead world of Flash games.

WHERE CAN I FIND IT?

If you have a browser that supports Flash, don’t let it go and go to the game’s website. Alternatively, you can find the whole thing on YouTube, compiled by this channel, though I’m not sure if it’s official. The choices aren’t visible at the end of each segment but I’m sure you can easily connect the dots.

OVERALL THOUGHTS

I was so happy to have been able to play the game again even on a jittery, barely-working but Flash-supporting mobile browser. It was worth it to get to experience this lost relic once again and get lost in its machinations for a good 9-20 minutes.

More Video Game Reviews:

“Nothing is what it streams to be…” The internet is a wild place, with corners so dark they can only be accessed using a VPN and The Onion Router (TOR)….

LSD Dream Emulator is a PlayStation video game released in 1998 by Asmik Ace Entertainment, based on an MS-DOS program created in 1992 by Osamu Sato. Basically, the game consists…

Maniac Driver is a 2020 Japanese horror thriller, written and directed by Kurando Mitsutake. Mitsutake has worked in many areas of film production but is most notable as director of…

Published while he was still in college, Bret Easton Ellis’ debut novel Less Than Zero (1985) established themes of isolation and excess still present in his work today. The narrator,…

Once again, readers, my insomnia had come to call, and I needed a good read for the night. However, choosing the story took some time. I wanted something different from…

“I came out early, I couldn’t take it”“I hated it”“I loved it and won’t have a word said against it!”– Quotes overheard in the foyer, after having seen Skinamarink. Written…

Korean genre cinema has never shied away from violence; from the unrelenting stream of beatings in I Saw The Devil to the eye-wateringly graphic tooth extraction in Oldboy, blood and…

  Despite being one of Japan’s biggest film studios throughout the late 40s and 50s during the golden age of Japanese cinema, Daiei was struggling by the mid-60s and had…

Although the first thing that comes to mind would be to honour the classic camp slashers or creature-feature flicks, I decided to welcome summer with Barry Levinson’s The Bay (2012)…

Eichi Sato, known better in the following years for his work on the live-action adaptations of Lychee Hikari Club (2016) and Miso Misou (2018), found his way to shock us…