Zombie Defense (Wii U) Review

By Thomas Wrobel 03.07.2016

Review for Zombie Defense on Wii U

Zombies. Second only to Nazis in terms of things videogames love destroying. Countless titles fill homes with these undead masses. Relentlessly marching towards players with but one thought in their heads - that they want what's in theirs. Dispatching these mindless foes gives a vivid, often visceral feedback to the actions on-screen, without a feeling a shred of guilt, because, hey, they only used to be people. Zombie Defense on Wii U embraces this simplicity, its title basically summing up all the plot needed. Zombies attack, you defend. The game doesn't try to add anything to its thematic genre, but does it add anything to its gameplay one?

While Zombie Defense loosely fits into the tower defence genre, it's people that act as the primary defence, rather than turrets. The gameplay essentially comes down to placing, equipping and giving commands to these units - all while waves of zombies continuously attack. Unlike towers, people can move from preset defence position to defence position, which actually works exceptionally well in a game about zombies as it often comes down to progressively falling back to prior positions while taking out as many as you can along the way. The theme might be uninspired, but it's hard to argue the gameplay doesn't fit it perfectly.

The gameplay choices they made are particularly effective when the mission requires conserving explosives. Moving the troops about in quick bursts to tempt the zombies into a nicely targetable cluster before hurling grenades (or the obligatory Molotovs) at them is especially satisfying. To assist with this sort of manoeuvre, the game allows the speeding up and freezing of time simply by pressing left or right on the D-pad. This feature is fortunate as trying to do zombie shepherding in real-time would swing constantly between tedious and frustrating.

Screenshot for Zombie Defense on Wii U

While the missions in the campaign vary by giving different equipment restrictions, environments and wave patterns, the only goal throughout any of them is to survive. This lack of fundamental variety in objectives is probably the biggest failing. Kill all the zombies in all the waves all the time. It's this repetitive property that makes this mostly a "brains off" experience. It's not always easy, though, but certainly something that would drag if being played for long periods. Zombie Defense is, thus, best enjoyed in small doses, and given that it is very suited to playing purely on the Wii U GamePad, this is quite achievable. It can happily fill the need for a quick to load, brainless form of entertainment to click away at while watching a movie or TV show.

While not particularly deep, it is broad with a wide range of upgrades and weapons to unlock as money is earned, most of which has significantly effects on the gameplay. If you get stuck on a level, it's possible to go back to any previously unlocked level to earn more money - a task that is less tedious than might be expected as you keep previously unlocked upgrades since that level, so using flamethrowers, TNT, and even airstrikes to devastate those unsuspecting Level 1 zombies is very much possible.

The upgrades in many ways are the main reason to play the game, as they provide more variety and entertainment than the missions themselves. The developer seems to know this, as well, since it has stuck the 'UPGRADES' button right on the title screen, which comes across as odd, to say the least. The title screen, incidentally, also allows the selection between X different languages. It's important to note that setting it to Japanese changes the logo, making the title look about 500% cooler.

Screenshot for Zombie Defense on Wii U

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Looking for short bursts of relatively low attention gameplay? Then it's hard not to recommend Zombie Defense to any Wii U owner. While it fails to capitalise fully on its core ideas, it still works exceptionally well as a quick game to load up when there are a few minutes to spare, letting you blast away, exploring the latest new zombie-killing method before giving it a rest again for a while.

Developer

Teyon

Publisher

Teyon

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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