KillingZone Defense in Review – No plants, lots of zombies, ammo required…

About a year ago, Plants vs. Zombies (TMA Review) made its way onto the App Store with much fanfare and it was highly acclaimed across the board by both critics and the general public. With its mind-boggling success, it was only a matter of time that look-alikes would popup.  If anything, I’m a bit surprised that it took as long as it did. Nevertheless, regardless of how KillingZone Defense may resemble PopCap’s famous twist on the tower defense genre at first glance, it turns out to be a rather different game altogether.

It is hard to define the genre of KillingZone Defense – it mixes elements of line defence (aka PvZ) with aspects of castle defence. One morning, a day like any other, our main hero wakes up in a strangely empty home town of his. Unfortunately the town quickly turns out to be not as deserted as it first seemed, and zombies are now everywhere. Joining up with his sister, as well as some other unlikely compatriots along the way, John must now find a way to safety.

Akin to PvZ and other Tower Defense games KillingZone Defense is split into waves, grouped into sections of about 5 per environment. During each wave random zombies advance towards your party in a strictly linear fashion, while your team showers them with death and destruction. Each party member has his or her own line strictly assigned by the developers, so don’t expect to shift the characters as you see fit.

To defend against the brain-hungry dead, your folks have up to 7 weapons (universal across all members) and 2 specialized skills (unique to each one). Not all weapons and skills are available at the start though and become unlocked only after a party member reaches a certain level. One frustrating aspect is that at each wave the weapons are reset to basic knives, thus requiring you to build up the armory of your troops all over again. To do just that you’ll need to spend money, falling out of slain zombies. Just make sure not to spend all of it at once, as weapons have a limited ammo supply and you’ll have to use some of the cash to reload.

The graphics are done in a crisp cartoony style with full support for the Retina display. Controls are quite simple, with all the weapons spread out on the left for quick and easy access. I did miss having a pause feature, since the situation may become quite hectic, especially with the necessity of manually reloading weapons for your troops.

KillingZone Defense is definitely no Plants vs Zombies, be it for better or for worse. I liked that the developers mixed concepts of several genres rather than trying a straight rip-off, like is so often the case. Unfortunately the game is lacking a bit of polish to make it truly addictive, with the frustration of manually reloading the weapons, along with the limited control you have over your party’s level progression. And resetting the weapons at the start of each wave definitely felt like a complete no-no for me.

With this I declare KillingZone Defense officially touched!

Tap It Rating - 3/5

App Summary
Title: KillingZone DefenseDeveloper: Hocobi Inc.
Reviewed Ver:1.0.0Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$1.99App Size:22.59MB
  • Not a PvZ clone
  • Interesting mix of genres
  • Nice variety of weapons
  • No control over party development
  • Weapons reset each wave
  • Manual weapon reload

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