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Surf a Wave of Zombies as Donald Trump Taking a Golden Shower

Produced for the Global Game Jam, Zombies Come in Waves positions you as Donald Trump riding a wave of zombies through a post-apocalyptic world (and collecting coins along the way).

Zombies Come in Waves, a game produced for this year’s Global Game Jam (all screenshots and GIFs courtesy Andrew Wang)

I am surfing through a city, riding a wave of zombies in a bathtub spewing golden showers. I am Donald Trump, on the 100th day since my inauguration, gazing maddeningly at my desolate surroundings while my sandy head rug fights the wind to cling to my scalp, flopping like a rabid dog’s tongue. This is who I am, at least, in Zombies Come in Waves, which developer Andrew Wang and his team recently produced for the Global Game Jam. The world’s largest game creation event, it took place January 20–22 in 702 sites across 95 countries.

Zombies Come in Waves, a game produced for this year’s Global Game Jam

Created in just 48 hours, Zombies Come in Waves has a simple premise: collect coins as you surf through this post-apocalyptic world, and don’t crash into any buildings. As you steer your orange-faced character over his diseased former constituents (who moan and groan loudly), recordings of Trump play in the background, spewing familiar quotes like, “Our country’s going to hell” and “Everybody takes me very seriously.”

The theme of this year’s Global Game Jam was simply “waves,” and the Zombies creators are based in Honolulu, so a surf-based game was a natural choice. The jam also coincided with Inauguration Day, so they figured that Trump would make a fitting surfer — one who’s “naturally ridiculous and funny,” Wang told Hyperallergic.

Zombies Come in Waves, a game produced for this year’s Global Game Jam

“[The character] gave us a backstory for why there was a wave of zombies: we expect so many ridiculously horrible things to come out of the Trump presidency that a zombie apocalypse on day 100 of his presidency could potentially be a feasible scenario,” Wang explained. “The zombies could be there because of the collapse of the health care system, or environment gone awry with the fall of the EPA, or deregulation of industries leading to rampant pollution and chemicals in the water. Or the zombies could be symbolic of some of the braindead Trump voters.

“And of course, even then, he’d still be trying to get richer. If you look closely at the coins in the game, the symbol on the coin is the Russian ruble, to poke at his connection to Russia.”

Sure, Zombies Come in Waves offers a pretty bleak perspective on how the Trump presidency, with its disregard of human rights and basic logic, could play out in the short span of a few months — but, set to surf rock courtesy of the Ventures, it also encapsulates the utterly absurd nature of America’s near-autocrat. I also found it pretty challenging, as I repeatedly failed to properly maneuver my bathtub and crashed after collecting just a handful of rubles. The game, when you do eventually slam into a building, gives you two options: “Run again, tremendous!” or “Very disappointed. Sad.”

For his part, Wang — who previously produced a game that positions Trump as a campaign monster —  plans on making more political games, “both as a way of expressing my distress about what he’s doing and to help inform others of the ridiculousness of what’s happening.

“It would be great if the games could be used to help raise money for worthy causes,” Wang said. “Political games, like political cartoons, have the potential to make people think about what’s currently happening, or to let someone experience a point of view they might not have seen before.”

Zombies Come in Waves, a game produced for this year’s Global Game Jam
An outtake graphic from Zombies Come in Waves, a game produced for this year’s Global Game Jam
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