The Last Kids on Earth: Hit the Deck! Early Access Preview

Early access preview code used, with many thanks to Plan of Attack.

The Last Kids on Earth: Hit the Deck! is a strategy card battler game released on early access on Steam. This rogue-like adventure game is based on the hit young-adult novel and Netflix series, Last Kids on Earth by Max Brallier.

The Last Kids on Earth

The monster-zombie apocalypse has struck the town of Wakefield and probably the rest of the world. The survivors are a team of four kids: Jack, June, Quint, and Dirk. In this survival game, they set out on a mission to protect themselves against zombies and monsters. Armed with homemade weapons and living off a supply of junk food, the kids complete quests to defeat the monsters and zombies, gaining Feats of Apocalyptic Success.

<The Last Kids on Earth> [Fighting the zombies]
Zombie attack!

Battle of the Cards

Battles are determined by playing cards that can be used for attack, defence, or teamwork. The player can choose up to two characters for each quest. Each character has its own unique deck of cards. The battles are turn-based, with three points per turn. You can see how many points each card is worth by the number in the upper left corner. Since each character has only 5 hearts (health), you have to be able to defend yourself against the attacks as well as carry out your offensive strategy. There’s no tutorial on using the cards, so you just have to dive right in and play with trial and error.

<The Last Kids on Earth> [Quest Map]
Questing is hard work.

Tree Fortress of Awesomeness

The kids’ base camp is located in the Tree Fortress of Awesomeness. In the treehouse are the armory, crafting table, quest bulletin board, and stats counter. The crafting table allows the player to refill on consumables, upgrade gear, and even make your own battle cards. Since this is an early access release, making your own cards is not an option right now. But you can spend your atomic bottle caps (Wakefield’s currency) buying consumables and upgrading gear to increase your zombie-fighting powers.

<The Last Kids on Earth> [Crafting table]
Should I spend my atomic bottle caps on gear or consumables?

The Armory

The Armory is where you select the gear (weapons) and consumables for your quests. Each weapon the player carries comes with a different set of cards for either attack, defence, or teamwork. You can bring up to three pieces of gear and three consumables for each quest. Don’t be fooled by junk food; they are consumables that can aid you in battle and strongly affect the fight’s outcome. Some of the consumables, such as Atomic Cola and Tortilla Chips, can give you additional health or give you more turns in battle (known as energy).

<The Last Kids on Earth> [The armory]
An impressive array of gear.

Build the Ultimate Card Deck

After each successful quest run, you gain new items and consumables as well as more atomic bottle caps. The boss battles at the end of the quests can be pretty difficult as the boss has a large number of health points. You have to be able to work together with your teammate to ensure victory. Gaining new gear and consumables gives you new cards, so building the ultimate card deck is essential to defeating stronger bosses.

<The Last Kids on Earth> [Victory picture]
Victory is sweet.

Visuals, Controls, and Music

The graphics in The Last Kids on Earth have a cartoonish feel to them. The cartoon art style reminds of the cartoons I watched growing up in the 90’s. Despite the cartoon-like visuals, this game is quite challenging and involves a lot of strategies! But the controls are easy to use; it’s simply just point-and-click using the mouse.

The music is fast-paced and upbeat, fitting the action-adventure setting quite nicely.

Final Thoughts

The Last Kids on Earth: Hit the Deck! is a surprisingly fun game. I admit that the cartoony art style didn’t fit in with my tastes at first. But when I actually got to know the game mechanics and the storyline, it quickly drew me in. I like strategy games, so this game definitely appealed to me.

The Last Kids on Earth: Hit the Deck! is available on Steam.

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