When I got the Doomsday Preppers press release, I quickly scanned it for the name of a friend who works in National Geographic’s game department, then dropped it in my GMail folder of press releases that I might get around to covering after I finish my pressing deadlines, and after topics I could turn into a piece that would be a good fit for a particular editor, after really interesting pieces I plan do on spec and after the deadlines when have somehow become pressing while I was doing other things. (This particular folder is different from press releases I glance at and immediately bin, but only academically.)
Then Jess and Owen started talking on Tumblr about how much they love Doomsday Preppers, and I thought something that household considers a guilty pleasure was probably worth checking out. And in my review, Doomsday Preppers, a cute and engaging survivalist builder, gets a 9 out of 10.
In G5 and National Geographic’s new iOS game Doomsday Preppers, players take on the role of a prepper, ready to build an underground bunker that’s surprisingly adorable. Players can’t directly customize their avatar besides gender, but after randomizing a few times, I got a purple-haired avatar in a demin skirt and surgical mask for contaminated air, probably close enough to what I would have made anyway.
Players then begin building their adorable underground bunker, beginning with housing for five prepper friends. Arriving preppers are then assigned work preparing for the apocalypse in different capacities. My first preppers grew algae in a hydroponic garden and produced duct tape in a workshop, making my doomsday bunker kind of, well, cute. The basic mechanics of Doomsday Preppers are resource management, as your preppers work in assigned stations to make products, prepare for doom, and earn gold, which is then spend on expanding your bunker deeper into the earth, providing more housing and more production for more preppers.
Deliveries of crates containing gold start to arrive as soon as production gets going. (For some reason, I allowed the UPS guy into my underground bunker, and he went cheerily into my homemade elevator. I’m… not entirely sure about that.)