Atom Zombie Smasher
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 9

Atom Zombie Smasher is one of those games that look deceptively simple, but once you start playing the hours just fly by. It’s got a lot of replay value and while the visuals are very basic they convey the sense of urgency and excitement very clearly. All in all a game that should be added to your collection without hesitation.

Gameplay: Save citizens while killing zombies.

Graphics: As basic as you can get, but still very stylish in its own way.

Sound: The wacky music somehow fits the game perfectly. Good sound effects as well

Summary 9.0 Outstanding
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Atom Zombie Smasher

Developer: Blendo Games | Publisher: Blendo Games | Release Date: 2011 | Genre: Indie / Strategy | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

The population of Sao Shasito is in a panic. The Zed hordes are closing in fast and due to a malfunction, the rescue helicopter is flying at reduced speed. The mercenary infantry squad “982nd Lucky Boars” are doing their best to keep Zeds away from the LZ, but nighttime is rapidly approaching. The “Zhu’s Eagles” sniper outfit is picking off Zeds one by one, but with a Mega Zed heading towards them, things look grim. The battle of Sao Shositu might be lost, but the war for Neuvos Aires will rage on.

Set in a fictional South American country during the 1960’s, Atom Zombie Smasher is a unique take on the whole apocalyptic Zombie outbreak scenario. With the country being overrun by hordes of the undead, it is your job to evacuate the population safely. Killing all the zombies (r Zeds as they are known in the game) will put the territory under your control, but with a limited amount of mercenary forces under your control the best you can usually hope for is getting most of the citizens evacuated before nightfall when the Zed come out in full force. It’s a war of attrition as you’ll gain points for civilian rescues, Zed eradication and regions controlled. The Zed also receive points for infecting civilians and holding regions and the first side to reach a predetermined score, will win the game. It sounds simple, but with random modifiers, unlockable units plus the ability to earn experience points and upgrades, there is plenty of depth.

While the game is played out in real-time, it also has a strategic, turn-based feel to it. You have your overworld map filled with territories from which you select your next mission. Each has a threat level of one to four, with the first being easy but low on points. While the latter is a full-blown epidemic, with no survivors that can spread to neighboring territories. Units are randomly assigned before each mission (if you play the vanilla game) which can really screw you over sometimes.

Once you have selected your territory, you are given time to set up your units in strategic positions. Besides the helicopter for which you must set a landing zone, you’ll also have access (eventually) to snipers, artillery, infantry, mines, barricades and dynamite. You can only have access to a maximum of three of these initially and like I said, they are random, so getting mines, dynamite and Zed attracting beacons isn’t going to help you on a level four territory. The game has a huge selection of modifiers, however, which allows you to tailor everything until it suits your taste. Once you have everything set up, you click “done” and watch as all hell breaks loose.

The whole game is viewed from a top-down 2nd perspective, and the visuals are as plain as they come, yet have a stylish charm to them. The Zed are all pink squares, while civilians are yellow. Some missions also have blue scientists, who you will want to rescue for the research points they bring in. Levels are randomly generated, but all look very basic with buildings that are just brown and grey squares. It’s all about the roads, however and you’ll spend a lot of time staring at these to best determine the ideal positions for your blockades and mercenaries. A good setup will see Zeds having to trudge through a maze of artillery bombardment and sniper fire, but overlooking weak spots can see your precious yellow blocks turn into pink ones at an alarming rate. Yes, the Zed not only cost you civilians, they infect them, meaning a rogue Zed in a crowd of civilians can quickly spell your demise. Sometimes sacrificing a few civilians along with their attackers is the most humane thing to do.

Later on in the game you can decimate the Zed with Llama bombs that destroy them from orbit, but while playing on the default settings, gaining a complete victory in the campaign is anything but easy. Sometimes luck will be on your side and you’ll get random mission bonuses like longer daytime and slower Zed, but mostly the odds are very much against you. The ending remains the same, whether you win or lose, so I guess there isn’t really a victory. A nice selection of achievements for the Steam version and mod support (with built-in file browser) will definitely keep you coming back for more. You can even tackle the levels with two other players for some co-operative gameplay.

The game has a very bizarre sense of humour as illustrated by the comic book style vignettes you are treated to every now and then. I won’t spoil any of them, but strange as they are, a few had me laughing out loud. Like the visuals, the audio is also pretty minimal, but still done very well. The soundtrack is done by a group called “The Volcanics” and while it is not my style, I must admit their songs are very catchy and fit the game perfectly. The quirky songs are complimented by some nice sound effects. There is no real speech, but you’ll hear snippets of radio chatter from your mercenaries, as well as some ambient noises. Mostly you’ll hear the sound of zombies munching your civilians. Once you have access to the heavy firepower, you’ll be hearing lots of explosions as well.

Atom Zombie Smasher is obviously not going to appeal to everyone, but there’s no denying how addictive it is, once you are sucked in. Its inclusion in the third “Humble Indie” bundle has hopefully exposed it to a wider audience, but if you somehow missed out at the very least check out the demo. It might appear to be just another Indie tower defense style game, but it is actually so much more. Expect to keep coming back to this one long after you’ve completed it.

*Review originally published in 2011.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
    • Processor: 1GHz
    • Memory: 512MB
    • Hard Disk Space: 60MB
    • Video Card: 60MB OpenGL-compatible
    • Optional: Gamepad or Joystick required for multiplayer
    • OS: OSX 10.6 or later
    • Processor: 1GHz
    • Memory: 512MB
    • Hard Disk Space: 60MB
    • Video Card: 60MB OpenGL-compatible
    • Optional: Gamepad or Joystick required for multiplayer
    • OS: glibc 2.15+, 32/64-bit
    • Processor: 1GHz
    • Memory: 512MB
    • Hard Disk Space: 60MB
    • Video Card: 60MB OpenGL-compatible
    • Optional: Gamepad or Joystick required for multiplayer

Related posts

The Marvellous Miss Take

The Marvellous Miss Take

You might be playing as a trio of thieves in The Marvellous Miss Take, but don’t expect shadowy corners and stealth kills. Instead, the game challenges you to get the job done as quickly as possible and without being able to resort to any violent means. A nice selection of gadgets offer some help, but the random guard patrols, abundance of security cameras, and dogs that can track your sent means even the best plans can quickly go awry. It is a challenging title, so expect to spend some time if you want to fully conquer all its missions. Gameplay: With a lot more action than stealth this game will appeal to players that don’t have the patience to lurk in the shadows while memorizing guard patterns. Graphics: Colorful, well animated and very charming. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack fits the action very nicely.

Dogfighter

Dogfighter

Its always good to go into a game with no expectations and be pleasantly surprised. Dogfighter is a highly addictive experience that will have you chasing rankings and achievements long into the night. A great game from a great indie developer. Gameplay: All the fun and maddness of a first person shooter but with added dimensions. Graphics: Stylish & detailed. Sound: Good sound effects but the limited music gets a bit repetitive.

The Yawhg

The Yawhg

I was surprised at how short a single playthrough of The Yawgh is but with more than 50 endings you'll definitely want to complete it more than once. The randomly generated story has a surprising amount of depth and the gorgeous artwork by Emily Carol is a definite plus. The Yawgh is best enjoyed with a group of other players so if you are a solo player the experience is just not the same. Gameplay: Short and simple but with tons of replay value. Graphics: Emily Carrol provides her signature artwork for the game. Sound: A moody soundtrack that adds to the ominous vibe of the game.

Sword Daughter

Sword Daughter

Follow Tyrna the Sword Daughter on a quest that might lead her to vengeance, treasure, glory, death or even love in this adaptation of the original gamebook. Although short, the 22 different endings add a lot of replay value and the game is worth it for the beautiful art style alone. It is a little heavy handed when it comes to romance and some of the story elements definitely shows their age, which is no surprise as the original gamebook was released way back in 1984. Despite its flaws the game is still quite enjoyable and well worth checking out. Gameplay: The story is straightforward, but has plenty of branching routes and a whopping 22 different endings. Graphics: The fantasy artwork might not be very animated, but it is quite beautiful. Sound: Not many tunes, but the ones on offer are very good.

Cubixx HD

Cubixx HD

Cubixx HD takes the addictive formula of the old arcade hit, Qix, and drags it into the modern era. The 3D playing field increases the challenge, but the basics can be mastered in no time. Putting up a decent highscore and completing the Challenge levels takes a bit more practice though, not to mention taking on the online leaderboards. Even when failing repeatedly, the addictive gameplay, stylish visuals and thumping soundtrack will keep you coming back for more. Gameplay: Easy to learn, but tough to master just like a good arcade/puzzle game should be. Graphics: Nothing too flashy, but very nice overall. Sound: Definitely a game where you will want to crank the volume up loud.

NeXus – One Core

NeXus - One Core

It is tough and unforgiving, but NeXus: One Core is also addictive and very rewarding. The solo mode has enough randomized elements and difficulty settings to keep you busy for a while, but it is the local co-op mode where this game truly shines. If you are a fan of the genre you should definitely check out the game, but for players who regularly play local co-op titles this is a must. Gameplay: Very challenging, but improving your best times through practice is very rewarding. Graphics: The game looks good, but visual distractions are kept to a minimum. Gameplay: Some great tunes that really complement the gameplay nicely.

Leave a comment

twenty − fifteen =