Indie developer Blendo Games released their latest game, Atom Zombie Smasher, a couple of days ago. With a name like that, how could the game possibly be bad?
Atom Zombie Smasher, as the name implies, is all about smashing zombies. You are tasked with cleaning up your area’s zombie (or Zed, as the game calls them) infestation and evacuating any survivors. To start, you are only given a rescue helicopter, but as you continue to evacuate territories you gain mercenaries to aid you. These mercenaries run the gamut from the incredibly useful (snipers and a roving band of soldiers) to the only useful in certain situations (zombie bait and road blocks).
Upon loading Atom Zombie Smasher, stylish graphics and swanky music bombard your senses. Like Blendo Games previous releases, everything about the game oozes retro. The soundtrack and comic book style providing the game’s minimal back story feel like they were ripped straight from the ’60s.
Once you actually get into the gameplay, the graphics are simple but elegant. Pinkish dots on the map represent zombies while yellowish dots represent the survivors. Buildings of various size fill the procedurally generated cities. Your rescue helicopter probably features the most detailed graphics in the game.
Strategic planning is the main draw of Atom Zombie Smasher. On each ‘mission’ you are only allowed certain mercenaries, so taking advantage of the strengths of those mercenaries and minimizing their weaknesses are key to success. Mess up on the planning stages and watch as all of the survivors slowly get consumed by the zombie horde.
I found the game to be a bit difficult on the default settings, but thankfully plenty of options exist to tailor the gameplay to your liking. From the options screen you can turn on things like Casual mode (or Hardcore mode if you’re crazy) or enable an option that unlocks all of the mercenaries from the start. If you really want to customize your experience check out the Mods option, where everything from the speed of humans and zombies to how long the sniper takes between shots is adjustable.
If you were wondering about the term ‘procedurally generated cities’ mentioned in this article, it’s the hook that gives the game high replay value. Nearly everything is randomly generated, which means every campaign will play out differently. In each game you get access to certain mercenaries at different times, and each city has a different layout.
If Atom Zombie Smasher sounds at all interesting (and who doesn’t find nuclear weapons and zombies interesting?), check out the trailer below or download the demo at the game’s official page. If you enjoy the demo, support awesome developers and buy the completely DRM-free full game, which works on Windows, Mac, and Linux.