Where Do I Get Started?
The first time you load up the game you'll receive a brief introduction which soon allows you to customize your avatar’s gender and clothes. After you’ve made your selections, Rob (one of the game’s NPCs who gives you a lot of your missions) asks you to save him from a zombie attack. Follow his instructions, and you’ll get your first shotgun out of it.
Pretty soon, you can start to whack zombies on your own terms with your trusty shovel and shotgun. Follow the first few quests for a few quick levels. Once you have done this, you should be around level 5 and have rescued Frank the Farmer from the Riot Zombie. At this point, the first thing you should try to do is clear out the area you already have fenced in, and plant some crops.
Crops are the best way to earn money in the game; most will net you 50% more money when you harvest than they cost to plant. Crops also provide you with food, which can be exchanged for energy. Energy is what you use to do things in the game – each thing you click uses one energy, and energy regenerates at a rate of one point every five minutes. This is not unlike other Facebook games.
Leveling Up and Killing Zombies
As you progress through the game, you will be able to access more items in the store. The money you get from killing zombies, being hired by neighbors, and harvesting crops can be spent here. Of course, there are premium items you can purchase if you spend real-world money on Facebook credits, but not buying premium items isn’t a game-breaker. Different weapons do different amounts of damage, which is always listed with the weapon, and all ranged weapons use ammo.
In addition to killing zombies to your heart’s content, you can also clear rubble, pick up trash, uproot dead brush, and rearrange your home to your liking. Just be sure to keep your fence in good repair and around your crops so the zombies can’t destroy them! You can visit neighbors and kill zombies on their turf; in exchange, you get some money, experience, and duct tape (useful for crafting weapons) in addition to whatever drops you get from killing zombies.
You can use the various buildings you build in the game to create crafted weapons. Crafted weapons are the only thing that can kill super zombies (like the Riot Zombie you have to kill to help Frank) and always have limited uses. The items for these mostly come from killing other types of zombies.
As you progress through the game, you will eventually meet other NPCs who will give you missions. You can also rescue your spouse and dog from the zombie invasion by completing missions geared toward bringing them safely home.
What’s In the Market?
Besides weapons, there are a lot of things you can buy in the market in Zombie Lane. You can access the market by clicking on the little shopping basket icon in the lower left corner of your screen. From there, you can use the market to buy energy refills, buildings, and decorations to spruce up your now zombie-free homestead. The market is also where you purchase your crops to be planted.
There are several different varieties of crops, from strawberries (the first thing you’re asked to plant by Frank) and watermelons to corn, pumpkins, and cabbage. You even have the option of planting apple trees from the crops menu. This is also where you buy more fences (in case zombies break your existing fences down).
At some point you might wonder if there’s any way to get extra bonuses in a game like Zombie Lane. You would definitely be in luck! Your inventory button (the little backpack icon in the lower left corner of your screen) allows you to pull up several new screens, among these a Collections screen and an Achievements screen.
The Collections screen lets you see all of the items you have picked up from dead (again) zombies. Turning in collections will net you things like coins and experience. But don’t get too collection-happy! The items you turn in for collections are also used to make your crafted weapons.
Zombie Lane also has an achievements system. The more you do a particular task (such as whacking zombies with your shovel), the more points you get toward each achievement. Each level of achievement nets you yet more experience and coins, but the best part about achievements is the special items you can earn by completing the Platinum level of each achievement. These are mostly fun items, like a superhero costume or a swimming pool, but some of them are useful, such as the laser sword, a new melee weapon that deals two damage to zombies per hit and doesn’t use ammo.
While Zombie Lane is a new take on an older style of game, its premise sets it apart from other similar games. It leaves a lot of room to do different things and make your home unique. And let’s face it: who doesn’t want to come home at the end of the day and whack people in the head with a shovel?
 “Zombie Lane”, https://www.facebook.com/zombielane?sk=info
Screenshots courtesy of author, taken from https://apps.facebook.com/zombielane/