BioDefense: Zombie Outbreak in Review – Surviving is quite a feat!

It seems at least some developers realised that there is no more room in the arena of classic Tower Defense games at the AppStore and decided to put some creativity in their titles. One of the more recent releases is the zombie-themed, BioDefense: Zombie Outbreak. Developer Resolution Interactive AB claim that BioDefense will revolutionise iDevice strategy gaming.

BioDefense is an open-field Tower Defense game with a bunch of RTS elements thrown in. A comet hits Earth bringing with it Toxium – a unique new energy source. With the sun obscured by clouds of debris Earth falls into perpetual darkness. In this trying times Toxium becomes mankind’s last hope. But soon it’s discovered that prolonged exposure to it causes mutations, turning the creatures of Earth into mindless zombies.

The core of BioDefense, as with all other Tower Defence games lies in building up defenses to hold of waves of incoming enemies. However, unlike the classic open-field TDs, cash flow is generated by mining toxium, not eliminating zombies. If this sounds a bit familiar, don’t worry, you’re not crazy – a couple of months ago I reviewed the excellent (and similar) Space Station: Frontier by Origin. And looking at BioDefense as a whole I simply can’t escape the feeling that Space Station served as a main source of inspiration for it. But let’s not get sidetracked… In addition to building up the refineries (which can only be built on top of pools of the wretched stuff) you have to construct defences and make sure there is enough juice to power them. A nice touch is only being able to build on illuminated terrain, meaning that in addition to the above you’ll have to construct lights to make the darkness retreat.

Defence towers don’t blow your mind with variety and only offer a machine gun and a missile to choose from with 3 levels of upgrades available. Also, you can’t upgrade your structures off the bat, you’ll first have to buy tech level upgrades (also 3 possible). With such an amount of expenses you’ll soon find that the pools of toxium depleted, forcing you to expand your base in search of new resources and stretching your defences.

What I really like is the variety of zombies in BioDefense. Everything from the slow walker, to the wheelbarrow suicider to a zombie whale(!) make it in. And they come in literally hordes, offering a satisfying pile of corpses when dead. There are two game-modes available – the 10 mission campaign with the first several missions in the form of a handy tutorial and an endless survival mode. Unfortunately the missions run out quickly and the survival mode quickly becomes boring because of only a single map and limited amount of defences available.

The graphics are one of the biggest let-downs of BioDefense. The colours look bleak and uninteresting and most of the smaller zombies look downright schematic. The larger ones look better, especially the zombie whale, but the game just doesn’t feel the way it should as a whole. The interface works as well as in most other TD games and is easy and intuitive to use, though suffers from the same graphical issues as the rest of the game, with a feeling of being an upscaled PocketPC port.

To be fair, after having spent a considerable amount of time with Space Station: Frontier, BioDefense: Zombie Outbreak leaves a bleak impression of being a zombie clone itself. Looking at it as a standalone game – it is a fair try and a decent addition to the genre, that would definitely benefit from a lot of polish and some more variety.

With this I declare BioDefense: Zombie Outbreak officially touched!

App Summary
Title: BioDefense: Zombie OutbreakDeveloper: Resolution Interactive AB
Reviewed Ver:1.0.0Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$2.99App Size:18.9 MB
  • Nice variety of zombies
  • Atmospheric music
  • Only two defense towers
  • Boring
  • Poor graphics

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