Overall Score 59%
Amazing Zombie Defense
The first thing that you’re probably going to notice about “Amazing Zombie Defense” is that it’s actually not that amazing. I mean it’s a good zombie survival shooter that’ll give you a bit of fun for an hour or so, but really, the developer probably decided against “Reasonably Goodish Zombie Defense” for a whole lot of reasons that I won’t go into here.
Gameplay is simple and straightforward. Grab a gun and set up your defence (notice my non-American - some might say, more correct - spelling there?) against ever increasingly powerful waves of zombies. You will be overrun, your character will die (and/or un-die) and the game will be over. You can post your highscores on to the internet to ensure eternal recognition and generations of adoration form zombie killers the world over. Well, that is until somebody pushes you off the high score list, anyway.
Control your avatar with the WASD or arrow keys, and aim with the mouse. Left click unleashes your fury into the crowds of zombie filth, and right click allows you to easily rotate through your arsenal of weaponry. That ranges from the lowly pistol to the more powerful shotguns and miniguns, and even to the expensive telsa coils and laser beams. Those WMD’s will cost you an arm and a leg!
Games are broken into rotating stages of day and night. During the day the player can buy weapons and equipment, set up barricades and auto-turrets and plan a strategy. Come the night and all hell breaks loose, any loosely laid plans go completely out the window, and the player does what they need to do just to stay alive for another day. Get lucky and the slain zombies might drop wads of cash or ammo crates (go figure…) that will assist to prolong the inevitable in the following waves. It’s somehow unfulfilling. I don’t really like these games where there is no way for the player to actually win, but I do acknowledge that’s more of a personal preference than anything else.
There are 3 zombie types that attack in exactly the same way. The blue jeans and white tank top “yokel” zombies, the blue shirt and trousers “cop” zombies and the formidable cammo-clad “marine” zombies that will settle for nothing less than brain hotpot for dinner. You don’t want to think about where the ingredients for tonight’s delicacy might be coming from. All of them basically just run up to you (or your precious barricades and turrets) and start chewing away. Om nom nom - rinse and repeat. The variety of weaponry isn’t too bad, but the game is screaming out for melee weapons and different methods of attack by the zeds. It’s all just too samey, and longevity is severely hampered. I will say that the pacing of the waves, the increasing strength of the zombies as each game goes on, and the availability of weapons as the nights progress all do seem pretty good though - there is a bit of fun to be had here for your $3.
There are no selectable difficulty levels, and a casual gamer might not even get to see the more expensive and effective weaponry in use. If you can survive more than 10 nights, then you’re doing a lot better than I ever could hope to. Setting up lots of barricades is a double edged sword since it prevents the zombies from easy access to your turrets and - more importantly - you, but also blocks you from being able to pick ammo crates and money dropped by zombies slain on the outer perimeter of your defence. Perhaps, this is where some strategy lies in this game? Mad panic did generally prevail for me though in most cases.
The backdrop for the game consists of a football field sized slab of concrete and one lonely lamp-post. What is this dude thinking? Why any sane zombie hunter would choose to make a stand here is beyond the realms of comprehension, but here he does. The drab colours and dark atmosphere work well with the howling music to create a satisfying mood, but this is spoilt by the absence of groans and howls from the incoming waves, and the less than satisfying sound effects from the weapons. A shotgun that goes “pop”? Bah, I want to be able to hear that sucker go off in the next postcode.
The build of the game that we reviewed required the Desura client/distribution service (a free download) to play, but it wouldn’t run in offline mode through the GUI. Once installed the game was able to be played offline by navigating to the install directory and manually running the exe from there. Probably, this is a Desura bug and not the fault of Amazing Zombie Defense. Desura still seems to be in the teething stages though and does show a lot of promise.
I like the game but there’s just not enough content for me to recommend it unreservedly. The price is very reasonable however, and it’s a good distraction for a few minutes now and then. I think that I read somewhere that the game is simply a port of a phone game, and that’s just what it feels like. On the PC, there are far better zombie slayer games on the market, though admittedly not for the price of a cup of coffee.
Keywords: amazing zombie defense review, marcin draszczuk reviews, marcin draszczuk games, amazing zombie defense scores, pc game reviews, indie game reviews, independent gaming.