Ultimate Zombie Defense is a nice casual action twin-stick shooter made and published by the small team at Terror Dog Studios. Some team members have even worked on well-known games, like Warhammer 40K and Total War titles. It is available to purchase now for £3.99, alongside a carnival map DLC for £1.99 on Steam.
Defend against the oncoming hordes!
I remember playing an old flash computer game called Boxhead with my friend, and Ultimate Zombie Defense reminds me of that. I enjoy getting to higher rounds and trying different guns and strategies. Who doesn’t love causally fighting waves of zombies and trying to beat their own high score?
Players will get to select from four classes (Heavy, Medic, Specialist, and Engineer), each with their own skill tree. Classes are levelled up by continuously playing and earning more experience. After levelling up, players will have skill points to use. Levelling up Engineer will give players more damage for traps like the Sentry Turret and better use with shotguns.
There are three maps to choose from (a bridge, a mall, and an evacuated city), and players are to plan their defenses accordingly. The difficulty chosen affects the strength and size of the waves that appear. The bridge is the one I found to be the most fun, as hordes will attack from both ends. Players will start with a pistol, but as they survive and save money, they can later buy other weapons. Players can purchase primary weapons, varying from a DMR to shotguns, or special weapons such as Flamethrowers and Rocket Launchers. Bought weapons can be upgraded a maximum of four times, with each tier changing the colour of the gun.
Building your defenses
After clearing a wave player will get a break to place down defenses or purchase weapons and armour from the store. Walls have different durabilities, with the barbed wire being the weakest. Players can buy traps, from mines to oil canisters, providing additional damage to zombies. Sentry turrets will be the player’s best friend, as they give a wide range for shooting and can dispatch hordes quickly. After a while, turrets will stop firing and need rebooting, but luckily they don’t require ammo to be replaced.
When placing down defenses, a grid will appear so players can line up walls more easily. If players want to remove anything they have placed, they can sell them but won’t get back the amount paid. Traps, fences, and electro towers will need to be repaired or replaced between waves after taking some damage. You can play Ultimate Zombie Defense with up to three people online. I played solo as there doesn’t seem to be much life online.
Here comes the horde
Waves gradually get more challenging as players survive. As waves go on, special infected appear, such as telekinetic zombies, and some hordes will be hellhounds similar to Call of Duty Zombies. Various bosses show up every ten waves, each providing their own challenge. Happy The Clown swings his giant mallet at players. After Happy is defeated, he comes back to life to attack again. Other bosses can provide more of a challenge. Each boss has their own unique powers that players will have to plan their defense for in advance.
Graphics & Audio
The infected look okay, but nothing particularly stood out to me. Bosses steal the show when it comes to designs. I loved the Berserker, who looks like a giant demon bull. Outskirt city is the best design since it’s filled with broken buildings, small parks to run through and destroyed cars scattered around. The music in Ultimate Zombie Defense is good. A sick guitar riff plays as you slay large amounts of hordes, similar to 2016’s Doom. Adding a few more tracks would be nice, but what they have now is okay.
I felt like I had seen all Ultimate Zombie Defense has to offer in quick time. If players want to level up all four classes, that can take up time. Most of the re-playability comes from playing with friends or online. I tried to host and check the servers to see if anyone else was playing but found nothing.
Ultimate Zombie Defense is a fun game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. I wish there were more maps to choose from, as three maps aren’t a lot and asking to pay for a single map doesn’t seem fair to the players, even if it is only £1.99. Branching skill trees could offer players chances to try different builds instead of one tree. More options for support defenses would be a great addition, as the main ones I used were the turrets and electro towers. The mall had a cool feature with the elevator allowing players to go between floors. Adding more stuff like this would be great. I give Ultimate Zombie Defense the Thumb Culture Silver Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.