I scrutinize the alley, knowing that the bottleneck leaves no room for maneuver. Clear. The sign in front says asylum, so I wave to my teammates. As we rush down the path a cry is heard and as we reach what we hoped to be safety we instead find the terror of the living dead. Welcome to London, site of the zombie apocalypse.
Or maybe it’s not London – it could be Glasgow, Sheffield or some other city where Slingshot’s live game event 2.8 hours later takes place (dates and places at 2.8heureslater.com). Channel video game tastes Left for dead, teams are sent to the streets of the real world on a mission to obtain drinking water. Survival requires dodging or distracting zombies, strategizing, and “hacking” waypoints to access coordinates.
As caught in a parallel reality, you’ll play out your quest among an unconscious general population, the game’s journey taking you through strangely quiet or disused areas, and the occasional mall. With key scenes played by actors, 2.8 hours later manages to deliver an immersive story. A general level of fitness is required as there is a lot of running, but the survivor after-party almost makes up for having to do actual exercise.
The experience, however, will depend a lot on your teammates. Book with friends who love the theater and it could be fantastic; unfortunately I got matched up with some guys on a bachelor party, which lessened the impact somewhat. It is advisable to play during the darker months for maximum atmospheric effect, but testing your gaming skills in the flesh is still fun.