Infection Free Zone will let you reclaim your own town after the zombie apocalypse

An upcoming base-building RTS has an interesting twist: It's zombie survival, but you can use map data imported from the real world. Infection Free Zone will let you establish and lead your titular zone in an area of your choosing. Like your hometown, for example.

Taking charge of your survivor groups, you'll be able to form them into squads and work crews to start rebuilding civilization under your banner. At first that means a few things, like going house-to-house scavenging for supplies with your armed units while your civilians scuttle around for building materials. Later phases of the game promise to let you build walls, factories, science labs, and more.

A demo, out now, lets you play on one of a handful of real-world locales like Paris, Cambridge, and the like. The full version will let you play on any real city. There's also a prologue version planned, an extended demo that will take about an hour.

The current demo is pretty limited, but the concept is fascinating. Your armed units—which you have a limited number of based entirely on how many guns and ammo you've scavenged—scour the city during the day while infected sleep inside buildings. Their job is to find food, supplies, medicine, guns, and ammunition. Your other civilians gather wood, metal, and bricks to construct walls and repurpose on-map buildings for your own purposes.

As you branch further and further out you'll run out of scavengeable food and need to take over green space to plant your own. That means finding parks and the like to use as agricultural areas, hopefully near your own now-walled compound that's hopefully complete with watchtowers and armed guards. Setting up defenses is all about line of sight, with tall buildings providing more or less depending on their story count. 

The strategy and gameplay that's in so far isn't spectacularly deep, but the maps are really compelling just by being based on real-world locations with their own requirements and challenges.

You can find Infection Free Zone on Steam, where it does not yet have a release date, but it does have a demo.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.