Countless games are set during the zombie apocalypse that’s apparently teetering just over our heads (or so these games would have us believe). Your goal is usually clear: Take up arms and give the flesh-munchers a gentle reminder that you’d like to hang on to your brain for a bit longer, thanks very much.
But World Zombination from Proletariat is a tower defense game that does things a tad differently. It’s not solely about saving your delicious human skin from the zombie hordes. Yes, you can play as a survivor – but you can also opt to command a squirming mass of zombies that devastates everything in its path.
If you sign up for a Proletariat account, you can switch between game types. This is good, since each side offers unique mechanics, but at the same time doesn’t overwhelm you with two very different sets of gameplay rules.
If you play as a survivor, you can expect a fairly familiar tower defense experience. Some of your troops are expert melee fighters, while others (primarily firearms experts) belong in the back row. Troops can only be placed at certain hot spots, often close to where zombies spawn. If the evil undead overwhelm all your fighters or grab hold of an objective you’re tasked with guarding, you fail.
But whereas the humans fight by standing their ground, zombies are mobile. They move as a writhing mass of several dozen easily-dispatched drones. When a certain amount of time has passed, you can “mutate” one of these drones to create a more specialized fighter, including a bulky meat shield, a long-distance spitter, or a clever, fast-moving runner. When you play as a zombie, strategy and troop placement is a bit less important than overwhelming foes with sheer numbers.
While playing World Zombination as a zombie offers a bit more of a kick than surviving as a human (a statement that could probably apply to life in general), both game modes offer up some high-quality tower defense fun. Each session is fast-moving, and there are lots of different fighters to find, upgrade, and tinker with.
There are a few glass shards worth mentioning in this otherwise hearty meal of brains, though. Load times are long and frequent. I also suffered some disconnection issues despite being close to a strong Wi-Fi signal.
Soldiers operate under a stamina system, and need to recharge after a few battles. You can swap them out for lesser recruits, but chances are good you’re not going to spend the time and money necessary to make sure everyone in your roster is capable of taking on high-level challenges. Ergo, you wind up waiting more often than not.
Repetitive voice clips are also an issue. The fire fighter character gets into your head after a while. “Axe and you shall receive! Axe and you shall receive!” Who’s the real zombie here?
Despite its crusty patches, World Zombination is a fun take on the apocalypse. Defend humanity or run it down. It’s up to you.
Hint: Running down humanity is a bit more fun than defending it. Who knew.