We recently met up with Cambridge, Mass. based independent video game developer Proletariat, Inc. for a first hand look at their upcoming game World Zombination. Players choose between two factions, humans or zombies, and must either defend a city in a tower defense style or infect and destroy the city in real time strategy fashion. World Zombination‘s charming art style help set this half real time strategy half tower defense apart from the crowd.
Both factions have an myriad of character classes to choose from, and strategy enters when you must decide which types to use at what points. You can move humans around slightly from their position, and place a combination of unit types on each spot. For instance when playing as the humans defending the city of Boston, Mass. there were several spots to place units in the map. Two of them were close to each other without much view, one was farther away with a view to the two other locations, and the last was the longest away with a long eye sight of the middle location. Placing nothing but melee brawler units up front, medium ranged gun fighters in the middle, and snipers far away allowed me to ensure all units were effectively covering each other.
As infected, you’ll need to manage the size of your zombie horde. Drones are great for taking out normal civilians, however they’re way too slow and weak to take out human defenders. Spitters can shoot over walls or other obstacles while brutes will push their way to the front of your horde and can knock them down. Both of those units are slow and will get taken out by a sniper long before they get close. Runners can quickly advance on a position to take out a gunner. Because you have a limited amount of mutations, knowing the correct time to mutate your drones into specialized units at the correct time is pivotal to success.
Seeing the whole screen fill up with zombies as I either destroyed a city or fought frantically to save it was the highlight of the game. Over time new unit types get unlocked, and you’ll be able to level them up or specialize them. This adds a slight RPG style to the game, as you’ll want to plan out which path is right for your own play style. The levels I played took no longer than five minutes each to complete, making the title great for short gaming sessions. Another thing to note about World Zombination is that the game features a shared persistent world with all the factions vying to control cities. After a limited time, whatever side wins more battles in a particular city will control it and faction’s units will gain a small bonus for holding it.
Proletariat, Inc. is about to release version 2.0 of the World Zombination beta, and you can sign-up for early access here: http://proletariat.com/beta. You must have either an iPhone 5 or iPad 2 (or newer). World Zombination is headed for iOS, Android, PC, and Mac later this year. To keep up with news on the game, you can follow the company’s Twitter.