True to word, Zombie Farm full of zombies, farming

Those of you with smart phones undoubtedly have been playing uploaded games on your phones for years. Unfortunately, I’m the type of person who holds onto my incredibly outdated devices for as long as possible because I don’t like change stubbornly refuse to buy new technology when the old works just fine.

I was made to use words such as "poppycock," "darn tootin'," and "yahoos."

Either way, I am officially 90.

This is why I never owned a newfangled Razr in 2004 and why until just a few months ago, I was carrying around an ancient Blackberry of the likes of which batteries for my particular make and model were no longer sold.  

If I had known about the luxuries of phone apps such as Epicurious, Yelp and ScoreCenter, I probably would have converted faster. It didn’t help that I was held captive for years under the monopolistic, ironfisted rule of Alltel. (I still feel semi-bad about starting rumors on Twitter about Alltel causing cancer, running over puppies for fun and influencing kids to drop out of school to become back-up dancers.)

There came a day when my Blackberry’s battery life ran out alongside my luck. When it did, Verizon was there to pick up the pieces, placing into my hands a shiny new iPhone 4 that required accessories designed to make me look affluent and not at all like I just spent that month’s rent on various rectangular pieces of protective plastic. I quickly became reacquainted with SpaghettiOs, one-ply toilet paper and the need for anger management when the 4S came out the week later.

…life.

The casual love affair I had with the phone’s endless assortment of apps turned into an incessant need faster than a freshman in high school tries her first wine cooler. As the games I had initially downloaded lost their luster, I looked for something new to fill the void. Then, after an hour of [impatiently] sitting in my doctor’s waiting room, I stumbled across it:

Zombie Farm.

It was a neglectful escape at first. I didn’t know how to play the game, didn’t bother to read the rules – didn’t care. Zombies and vegetal crops that had been planted to be harvested during very specific timeframes withered more than once under my negligent eye. I didn’t shed a tear. I didn’t bat that eye.

In fact, for that first week I confused the zombies with gnomes. Some had pointy hats.

Zombie Farm destroys lives and yes, where can I purchase that blue lagoon again?

I eagerly showed the game to Clayton the night of its discovery, and it became commonplace to play together, talking about our strategies over lunch dates and texts:

Clayton: “Do you think I should buy some decorative barrels for the farm?”
Me: “And spend 1,000 pieces of gold on a round piece of wood? It takes days to harvest those onions, Clayton! DAYS!! Well, one day.”
Clayton: “Maybe we should work on mutating our zombies to higher powers under this section called “Upgrades.” (He had read the instructions and FAQs through and through. Engineers.)
Me: “That mutated zombie with an onion head is freaking me out, Clayton. Right out.”

Last Sunday, I sent the zombies (who had computer-derived, 90s-inspired names such as Betsy, George and Ned – awesome) into battle to feed and collect loot for the first time. As they gnawed hungrily at 10 red-headed farmhands, I couldn’t help but wonder why everyone seemed to have it in for gingers. It was also then that I felt my first twinge of emotional attachment:

What if my first harvested zombie, George, doesn’t make it through the fight? Why didn’t I give them the proper sendoff, complete with a motivational speech about courage and victory? What is this I feel? Remorse? I think I’m going to throw up…

My nervousness for the safety of each zombie increased with each invasion.

However, as our troops gained invasion experience, they collected not only wins, but brains to curb their hunger and give them strength. After our little minions had been sufficiently fed, they roamed the farm with thought bubbles lingering over their heads filled with images of rainbows, smiley faces, daisies, lollipops and for the extra brain-dead – ellipses.

AWWWW. You can see why I love the little buggers.

We began to invest more time in decking out our farm, racking up experience points and diminishing whatever cool points we had acquired over, you know, actually living life. Trees that increased the lifespan of our little brain munchers, colorful banners, mailboxes, seashells and daisies soon overran the boundaries of our farm, which OMG, I just realized I shamelessly call “our.”

(And society wonders why no one is getting married anymore. Welcome to cyberspace. It’s motto should be “It’s legitimate enough.”

I knew my investment in the game had gotten bad when I started setting an alarm on my phone so I’d know when it was time to harvest.

I'll get to that TPS report immediately. Just as soon as I plow these last few acres of land.

I knew it had gotten worse when I started to nervously glance at my phone again and again in alarm when a co-worker stopped into my cube to talk just as it was time to sell some carrots.

I knew it had gotten to the point of no return when Clayton and I started having conversations fitting of a tired, cranky couple with 14 too many cyber kids. Because he’s been out of town for work the last few days, I was filling him in on how the farming was coming along, and which zombies were new (“Edna did the cutest thing the other day. I clicked on her as she was roaming through the garden – she loves the new shamrocks I just planted, btw – and she musta been hungry because she said, ‘Brains!’ It was adorable!”)

I also had to admit to accidentally killing our entire first fleet of zombies (RIP, George…) to a vampire farm that first day playing without him. The weight of decisions made without him was becoming unbearable, and when he casually asked yesterday how the farm was doing, I found myself texting half-jokingly, “You would know if you ever spent any quality time with the family!”

Of course by family, I meant Billy, Zip and all the others who had soullessly chewed their way into our hearts. He texted back, “Awww, I miss them” and with that, I collapsed in defeated exhaustion.

When I woke up this morning, I realized I don’t even expect to find Zombie Farm under the folder marked “Games” on my iPhone anymore. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet created a folder for “Obligations.”

I am so stressed, but anyway, I better go check on my turnips.

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19 responses to “True to word, Zombie Farm full of zombies, farming

  1. Well, Cassie, you’re better than me… I thought Epicurious was the Greek philosopher! 😉

  2. This frightens me how much I can relate to everything you wrote. I was SO sad when my Betsy died. I am actually afraid for them to head into battle now!

    • You gotta put all the headless guys first. No heads – no attachment, right? Works for me every time! Except for Hagar….God, I miss Hagar.

  3. Wow…I thought I was bad 🙂 I’m not as bad as you with the technology, but I hear ya! I hate change, and I admit it. I upgraded to a smart phone…about 2 years ago or so. Not big on the iphone or Apple…blah blah. So, I got a Palm Pixi…(pause for laughter). Literally 30 days later, Android was THE thing. I like my Palm it works for me, but it’s irrelevant with HP out of the market now. Anyhoo….got a free iPad from school so…started playing ZF few months ago with my 6 year old daughter. We have fun, she likes to “vade” as she calls it. Realized I’m way over the top the other night, she “vaded” and says OH NO…what happened? I freak out, what? what??? She sent the flower fertilizer zombie in first!!!! He died. I said what did you do that for??? You know they don’t fight!!! Oooppss…I’m sorry….OMG they take like 24 HOURS TO GROW!!! LOL. I decided I really need to get a life at that point. Zombie Cafe huh? Need to check that one out lol 🙂

    • That entire story is just darling! 🙂 Clayton and I had a similar run-in a few nights ago when I planted two Garden Zombies to make up for the two I had lost invading. He didn’t realize I had planted two, so he also planted two. Now we have (carry the two…) four of them and well, selling them is out of the question. POINTY HATS!! Welcome to the family, Chuck and Joe.

  4. You and me both… we are officially 90 (although some days I feel more energetic and refer to myself as 80). I don’t think 90 year-olds tend to Zombie Farms or TPS reports, though. Thank God. I imagine that typing and working a 3-hole punch at that age would probably be a killer for the arthritis. FYI- I also had a Blackberry until last year. And, hands down, nothing beats the batteries on those things! Okay, now I am officially 100. 😉

    • But an energetic 100!

      Nah, 90-year-olds are too busy just trying to keep their organs alive, so I wouldn’t imagine they’d be too preoccupied with keeping virtual plants alive. Who knows in 50 years though. I never thought my grandma would play Wii until she beat the crap out of us bowling a few years back. Technology is catching up!

  5. My wife got totally hooked on Zombie Cafe for about 2 weeks and then, BAM, she was done with it. Like that song you listen to a thousand times in a row and then very suddenly never want to hear it again.

  6. Those things are way too addictive! Yet I will even admit to starting to play more different versions of them to fill in the time while waiting for things to be ready to harvest. No wonder communication abilities in our society are slowly eroding; we are all too busy worrying about virtual crops to focus on real conversations. 🙂

  7. This is hilarious!
    My own phone is more outdated than anyone’s I know. It’s the Siemens A55 (the Siemens Ass, I call it) – black and white screen (well, orange), doesn’t do MMS, doesn’t play mp3s (the ringtones are epic), predictive text is hilarious …
    I’m only using it because I broke my own and am too far in debt to buy another one, however 😉

    • Heard. That. I love the iPhone’s text autocorrect because it’s semi-pretentious, which I get a kick out of. For instance, I was spelling out “not,” which is a word used VERY often in the English language, and it changed it to “NPR.”

      NPR even close…

  8. You are officially crazy. Congrats! Totally love the Office Space mention, I bet “The Bobs” would be into the zombies!

  9. I can’t wait to start playing! I’m getting that app as soon as 5:00 rolls around.

    “I knew my investment in the game had gotten bad when I started setting an alarm on my phone so I’d know when it was time to harvest certain crops.”
    My old roommate used to do that with FarmVille 🙂

    • I think you’re missing the point of this blog, which was to encourage people NOT to play Zombie Farm! 😉 Either way, it IS a highly addictive game, so if you need me to sponsor an intervention for you at any point, just let me know because I’m going to feel largely responsible for your fate.

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