Zafehouse is nearly exactly the type of zombie strategy game I've been waiting for. It plays a lot like a tabletop roleplaying game, the aim being to survive with a group, scrounging for supplies, hopping from one building to another, and avoiding as many zombies as you can, firing only as a last resort (because rounds are satisfyingly rare) and making tough choices like leaving the guy with the broken leg behind because there's no way to get him across town. It seems like they started out with the right ideas.
Unfortunately, the implementation was poor. First, the group dynamic was extremely tedious and unrealistic. I felt like a frustrated parent, dragging a bunch of insecure, over-dramatic teenagers around. People turned against one another on a whim, getting feelings hurt and causing grief for the dumbest reasons. I heard myself frequently saying out loud, "AGAIN? Get a grip! You're surrounded by zombies trying to eat your flesh. Now put that mirror down or I'm calling your parents." At times, not even a group of 5 people could get anything constructive done.
If the group mechanics weren't enough to ruin the game, the strategy was. There's far more chance than strategy involved. It's not difficult because the strategy is hard. It's difficult because it's too unpredictable and the best choices rarely reward the player with anything but another hoard of undead breaking through the windows or people hating each other. There's never a winning situation. I frequently found myself in a corner with no way to run and then get eaten or die slowly with a bunch of grumpy children complaining about how hungry they were.
To make it worse, the skill system was shoddy. Sometimes the simplest tasks could not be carried out because the person wasn't "skilled" enough. Apparently, keeping a lookout for zombies is rather difficult if you don't have a history as a cop. And only firefighters and carpenters can barricade a window in less than 5 hours. And some characters were utterly worthless. I'm sure a musician could produce some practical skills that would help somehow. The characters were so pigeonholed that it felt very shallow.
I really wish there was more to like about Zafehouse. I was hoping for so much more. Not this time around, unfortunately.