You wake up. You have a choice. Do you clean your house and barricade it? Do you go outside into the wasteland and see if you can scavenge anything useful? Do you take water from the dwindling supplies? Do you get to work building valuable supplies for your small, scared community?
These are all choices you have to face every day in Die2Nite, a zombie survival browser game. You sign up to the game pretty quickly, but it's worth reading through the tutorial documents and even the wiki in advance of playing. The community can be quite harsh if you do something they judge as stupid - even though if you let them know you're new, you'll almost certainly find someone willing to give you a guiding hand.
There's two kinds of players in Die2Nite; Hero players pay for the game (12 Euros/month with other pricing for multiple months), and regular players pay for free. Obviously, as a Hero you get some definite benefits, but it's worth playing the game for nothing first to get a feel for it. So, as a free player, you start with the profession of 'Resident' - a basic grunt, and you are assigned to a random town to start your survival.
At the end of each day there's a zombie attack and your town has the job of working together to try and survive as long as possible. You start with 6 action points each day, which can be replenished by eating, drinking or taking drugs - drinking being the safest of these actions! Action points can be spent on leaving town and scavenging, building things in town (such as defences, water-gathering systems, butcher's..). The most important thing is to be in town when the zombies attack, because it's much more dangerous outside.
Realistically you only need to spend 5m a day on this game - though you can spend a lot more time reading forums, talking to your townmates, learning their strategies and getting involved in expeditions, clearing out buildings, even arranging hangings for murderers. And death simply means you get reincarnated and start in another town. You do need to log in every day though, if only to make sure you don't die from dehydration!
As browser games go, it can be fairly complex - but it doesn't need to be. With atmospheric gazette entries after each zombie attack and amusing items to find out in the wasteland, it's engaging and fun without demanding too much attention. Once you're established, you can befriend someone with a Hero account, or make one yourself and hook up with more experienced players and see just how long your town can last - if you're the last man standing, you may even get some free Hero time to see what the cool extra powers are!
Overall, Die2Nite is a pleasantly distracting browser game. It's well-written and in terms of playability I found I learned a little more about how to play the game each time I died and reincarnated, eventually joining towns that lasted a good, long while. Barriers to entry are minimal, especially if you don't mind being treated like a bit of a newbie, or if you actually read all the help files (or the wiki) and perform well from the outset. I'm still playing after a couple of months, and definitely recommend you give it some of your free time and check it out.