Tactical Soldier – Undead Rising in Review – Old story, new genre and…braaaains!

The world is sometimes a very strange place. Not long ago, I remarked in my review of Hunters: Episode One (TMA Review) that the App Store was suspiciously devoid of Tactical Strategy Games. And in the space of a few weeks I’m writing another review of such a game: Tactical Soldier – Undead Rising. Born out of a strange marriage of classic top-down party RPGs and Strategy Games, this unique genre for the true masters of tactical planning has long been a favourite of PC gamers around the world. Being excellently suited for iDevice portable gaming, I’m glad that it is gaining traction on the platform.

Tactical Soldier – Undead Rising is a tactical Strategy/RPG, though a bit skewed towards the latter. The story is one we’ve seen numerous times over – a corporal in the army, our main hero is sent to a special base for training. One fateful night, however, the base is overrun by the walking dead and he now has to team up with a couple of his comrades to explore the underground facilities beneath the base to find out what happened. You guessed it – secret experiments, mutating virus, mad scientist – the works.

Playing Tactical Soldier brings back fond memories of Fallout, X-Com and the like. Why Fallout, would you ask? In truth the game is more of a Survival RPG than a Tactics game, though the line gets fuzzy here. You control your party (only the corporal at the beginning, though you are joined by a couple of privates along the way) to reach a certain objective on the level. There aren’t any inter-mission screens except the chance to distribute earned skill points among your team.

The missions themselves consist of quite small levels, mostly underground corridors and rooms. The gameplay is completely turn based, with each of your soldiers having a number of action points to perform, well, actions. Depending on the weapons you use, they may take anywhere from 1 to 4 APs to fire, so choose your target wisely. An excellent asset are the grenades, allowing you to do massive damage to the enemies and clear whole waves in one go.

The skill and inventory system is quite simple. Each unit has a space for a weapon (which can be light, heavy or close), grenades and medikits and 2 special items, dropped randomly by the baddies and giving some nice bonuses to the stats. The skills are a selection of the usual, allowing for more APs, bonuses to accuracy in various weapons and so on.

Speaking of which, I felt the game had the random generator skewed a bit in favour of your opponent. Even with the reported hit rate of 99%, I experienced more than a few misses. And I’m not even talking about 50-60% rates, where 2/3 of the shots went nowhere. And with the scarcity of ammo in the game, this posed a separate frustration altogether.

The visual side of the equation is rather solid. Though the inventory screen discloses the somewhat basic quality of the models, in the tactical view you’ll rarely find yourself wishing for more. The controls are simple and convenient, with handy gestures for camera control. I did find the HUD a bit overburdened with elements, obscuring a significant part of the screen.

Tactical Soldier – Undead Rising is certainly a title worthy of attention. In addition to the solid gameplay and intuitive interface, the developers are promising future updates that will add new campaigns, possibly via in-app purchasing. Even though the idea of virus-induced zombies is far from being an original concept, it strangely fits into the gameplay quite nicely, as well as providing ample grounds for various expansion packs. If you’re on the lookout for a nice tactical game to challenge your wits, Tactical Soldier is well worth a look.

With this I declare Tactical Soldier – Undead Rising officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Tactical Soldier – Undead Rising Developer: Full Control ApS
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 4.2
Price: $4.99 App Size: 53.35MB
  • Solid gameplay with varied tactics
  • Nice selection of weapons and special items
  • Good controls
  • Simplistic skill tree
  • Minimal inter-level screens
  • Rather beat-up story
  • Somewhat skewed random generator


A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well): http://twitter.com/ChiffaNe

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