Yet Another Zombie Defense is yet another dual-stick shooter

Review of Yet Another Zombie Defense on XBLIG: Try
More dual-stick shooter than tower defense, this game is decent, but not spectacular.

Given the infamous number of “zombie” games on the XBLIG service and the popularity of the tower defense genre, the choice of a name including “Yet Another” seems like a bit of self-deprecating humor.  In fact, I’d avoided reviewing this game simply because I’m not a fan of tower defense games and didn’t want to play a genre clone.  As it turns out, this isn’t really a tower-defense game.  It’s got elements—palisades and auto-turrets are available for purchase—but it focuses more on shooting than on micromanaging fortifications.

Gameplay is more akin to a dual-stick shooter than tower defense.  One or two players control survivors in the zombie apocalypse who have decided to set up camp next to a lone lamppost (which seems to be a questionable tactic in a zombie apocalypse survival strategy).  Each wave of zombies represents another “night” of survival.  Aside from the lamppost, the playing field is a large flat rectangle with no obstacles—however, most of the field is shrouded in darkness, giving the game a genuinely creepy atmosphere.  Controls are tight, although aiming is difficult—the zombies are small targets, and because it’s 3D (despite the fixed overhead view) it took some time to figure out how to line up shots effectively.

When a zombie is killed, it has a chance to drop money or ammunition.  A number of different items are available for purchase between waves, including two types of palisades, an auto-turret, and various weapons—uzi, shotgun, minigun, rocket launcher, tesla gun, and laser.  Since zombies get stronger and tougher with increasing waves, weapon upgrades are absolutely essential.  Trying to keep pace was a challenge for me (although, again, I’m a lightweight when it comes to tower defense)—it didn’t feel like there was enough money to split between short-term needs (palisades and ammunition) and long-term needs (more powerful weapons and auto-turrets).  When I did manage to keep up it felt like an accomplishment; when I didn’t, I hopelessly poured my money into replacing palisades and auto-turrents over and over.

Yet Another Zombie Defense gets a Try.  It’s decently fun, but it’s not spectacular.  The fact that it isn’t a hardcore tower defense might be its main downfall.  If you aren’t a fan of tower defense, you may like the fact that it’s light on that sort of micromanagement.  However, it still proved to be a challenge for me, and I couldn’t get past wave 8.  On the other hand, hardcore fans of tower defense may be disappointed.  For the first few waves, however, it’s fun, and definitely worth a try.

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