copy/pasted courtesy of Gibb and www.slackercentral.com
Well I was pretty disappointed in the lack of any helpful tips or strategies to be found on the internets, so now that I've sort of beat the game, I will throw together a short list of useful tips:
Spoilers I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum, but just talking about strategies gives away some of the bosses and so forth.
Adam (Psychopath Clown), The Super Short Cut, and the Mini-Chainsaw
As soon as you get the quest "Out of Control" (I believe it shows up half way through the first day) go to the Space Rider rollercoaster. Be sure to bring plenty of handguns. When Adam show up, be sure to lead him around on a big chase. When he starts blowing up a balloon, unload your gun into him. Shooting the balloon right when he drops it will stun him for a couple seconds, so you can get 5 or 6 more shots in before he charges at you again. If you run out of ammo you can kill a couple of the zombie cops near the stairway just North of the space rider. Once you kill Adam, he drops a key card to run the rollercoaster. You'll find Greg, the operator of the ride, and he'll lead you down stairs and into the woman's restroom. After he mentions the shortcut, you can jump on the far left sink and hit B to take a short cut to the Paradise section of the mall. The shortcut can be used to go back and forth between the Space Rider and Paradise sections of the mall at any time, as well as serving as a good save point place before venturing off into the mall. You can also escort survivors through the short cut by bringing them into the women's restroom with you (lol).
Now that adam is dead, everytime you enter the area of the mall with the Space Rider, you can grab the mini-chainsaw on the ground by the ride. As far as I can tell this is the most accessible, powerful weapon in the game. I was having a rediculous amount of trouble killing bosses until I got this chainsaw. It rips through bosses in maybe 10-20 seconds. If you like a challenge then i would suggest not snagging this chainsaw, as it makes things a bit easy. As an added bonus, if you pick up the Hardware magazine from the book store in the center of the Paradise section (not the one across from the Security Room door), you can keep the chainsaw 3 times longer than normal. From this point until the rest of the game, I pretty much had 3 or 4 chainsaws in my inventory at all times, as well as the magazine to increase their use time.
Right inside the food court to the left is a bar with several bottles of wine laying around. These wine bottles seem to fill up around 6 or 7 blocks of health, and they dont seem to cause any side effects like making you drunk or something.
Maintenance key and the Maintenance tunnel
Sometime during the first day, it's a good idea to go snag the maintenance key from the basement/parking area of the mall. This key lets you go into any of the doors shown as a walking guy icon on the map. To get the key, go Leisure Park and run through the large open tunnel in the North West. You'll eventually find a red sports car. Hop in and drive down into the tunnel. On the map you'll notice there's a rectangle in the center of the map which looks like the only dead end on the map (in the middle). Drive there and inside you'll find the key. For a video walkthrough of this, take a look at this youttube video somebody made: (LINK). The fastest way to get from the far North West corner of the mall back to your security room is through the Maintenance tunnel. Go into the Grocery Store and through the back door. Go downstairs and through a couple dozen zombies before you find an idling truck. You can take this truck to the Paradise plaza area quite easily, and rack up a couple hundred zombie kills while you're at it. Dont screw around too much tho, because the vehicles can break down and then you're stuck with a thousand zombies and no place to go.
Killing the convicts in the park
Looking around the internets, it seems these convicts are troubling alot of people. They first show up at 7:00 PM on the first night. One trick I have for killing them is after you've grabbed the maintenance key, stock up on handguns (or better guns) and head up to Seon's grocery store and go to the basement. Grab the truck and drive it outside (the ramp just south of the grocery store area). Drive into the park and find the convicts. Ram into them in such a way that they facing a wall or tree, with you preventing them from backing up in the truck. If you keep driving them into the wall or tree for a few seconds, eventually your truck will break down and trap them against the wall. You can then hide behind the truck and get at a decent angle to shoot all of the convicts without them being able to hurt you. After they're dead, make sure you cant get in their vehicle by standing next to it and seeing if the "(B) Get In" message pops up. If it doesnt, that means you've destroyed their vehicle. If you dont destroy the vehicle, they will show up the next time you enter the park (I think). The odd thing is, I was told they were supposed to disappear for good, but the convicts respawned on the 3rd night. I took em out again with little problem, but i'm annoyed that they respawned.
and because the song that plays while the convicts are in Leisure park is so popular, lots of people are asking about it. The song is called "Gone Guru" by Lifeseeker. You can listen to the song at the band's myspace here: (LINK)
The restaurant near the movie theater is called "Jill's Sandwiches". Resident Evil fans might remember the dialog between Jill and Barry near the beginning of the game where Barry saves Jill from a trap and says "You were almost a Jill sandwich!"