Developer Blendo Games
Things You Might Like
- Minimalist graphical style
- Addictive gameplay
- Feels like a classic boardgame
Things You Might Not Like
- The computer, like the undead, has no problem destroying you
- Minimalist graphical style
Atom Zombie Smasher is a great indie take on humanity’s struggle to repel the spread of the walking dead.
4 out of 5 Territories Purified
You’re a nerd. It’s probably true. I mean, you’re reading a video game review. Having established the first part, it now likely follows that you have at least a passing love of Zombies. It’s okay. We all do. And if the first two are true, then you’ve thought about what it will be like when the dead eventually decide to rise and consume the living in an all out war. Atom Zombie Smasher is a strategy game that simulates that war; quite well, I might add.
Graphically, Atom Zombie Smasher doesn’t perfectly bend the pixel to its will. Being an indie strategy game, so don’t expect Left 4 Dead; think more Command and Conquer. The overworld map is essentially a fictional location split up into zones. The classic boardgame Risk comes to mind. Every mission has a top down view of a city. Roaming inside are yellow blocks, aka Survivors, and purple blocks, aka Zombies. You will place some of your resources before the match begins. Some of these effects are pretty cool when placed against a minimalist setting, but don’t go into this expecting some sort of 3D ExplosionFest built in whatever version of the Unreal engine we’re up to now. The hook here is not the graphics, but the gameplay. Let’s take a look.
Each mission involves going into an infected area and rescuing a certain amount of survivors as well as wiping the undead from the face of the earth. However, if an area has a Stage 4 Infestation, then all Survivors have been lost and you must use the tools at your disposal to wipe the undead off of the map within the given time limit. If you can kill all the zombies within the allotted time limit in Stages 1-3 infestations, you automatically get credit for the survivors and purify the territory, adding it to the list of human-occupied areas. This will bump up the amount of victory points you receive at the start of each new “month” in the game. As you beat back the forces of darkness, you’ll unlock new squads and tools to do your job better.
The amount of people you save and zombies you kill go towards points for upgrading your different units (Snipers, Ground Troops, Evac Helicopters) as well as contributes to your overall score. The same is true for the zombies. The more they infect, the higher their score climbs. Whichever side hits the predetermined limit first wins. You’ll hit various milestones on your path to victory (or failure, if you’re me), and as you do, new perks can unlock for both sides. Humans get some new weapons and modifications, and the Zeds get various environmental hazards and zombie mutations.
All in all, Atom Zombie Smasher is a great little indie title that, in my opinion, shows us just how screwed we are when Z-Day finally happens. It’s got charm, addictive gameplay, and receives steady updates and attention from the developer. If you want a strategy game that requires you to think on your feet, but without needing the command console from a nuclear submarine to control it, Atom Zombie Smasher is the right one for you.