Do you like zombies? I like zombies. We seem to like zombies so much that they permeate a lot of modern gaming. Zombies are everywhere, from dedicated games devoted to shooting them to games where they’ve been added just for sake of having zombies. So many of these games play by the same chord, but not Atom Zombie Smasher. Blendo Games’ take on zombies creates a fresh experience of killing zombies while jumping to a different genre.
Which? Real-time strategy in procedurally-generated cities where you attempt to rescue as many civilians as you can in tandem with killing zombies using a selection of mercenary teams. That’s the core of the game. Each campaign is different from the last, as the territories are always different, mercenary acquisition is always random, and the rules in which you edit each campaign create a constantly-changing and immersive experience.
The definitive “win factor” of each campaign lies in reaching a set number of points on the “victory scale” before the Zed – the zombies – do. Points are gained for how many civilians you rescue or are killed, winning a territory with a higher infestation rate adds a multiplier to your rescue rate, and every territory either side owns will add points after each mission. The player only gets 15 per captured territory, the Zed will get 10 to 40 and they get territory a lot faster than you do.
You’re not without hope, though. In addition to the set of mercenaries given to you over time, there are also two extra offense options that periodically show up: the Elephantbird Cannon and Llama Bombs. The former allows you to go hog-wild and decimate a territory up close and personal, while the latter allow you to eradicate multiple infested territories with one click.
Along your quest to beat the Zed with your unusual and effective weaponry are a narrative that seems nonsensical and random, and excellent surf guitar music. These make the game feel less like your typical gritty and dark zombie game and more a game that happens to use zombies well.
On top of all this charm, wacky appeal and deviance from an industry standard that culminates into an excellent title, there’s also official mod support and multiplayer with up to three players at one time. Atom Zombie Smasher is packed with replayability and a zesty feel that deviates from common zombie use and does so excellently.