Infectonator : Survivors is the newest in a series of Infectonator games from Toge Productions. The game combines aspects from different genres, but basically provides some old fashioned, action packed arcade fun. Apparently a local town has been overridden with zombies, and it’s up to you and your carefully selected team to clean ’em out. There are a number of premade teams from which to choose. I selected an time-honored classic…Bill, Louis, Francis and Zoe from the ubiquitous Left 4 Dead (Valve, 2008).
By clicking on an individual character, you bring up its stat sheet. Each member of your party has a special perk and comes equipped with a starter weapon. By completing missions and exploring the town, several things happen:
You will level up your characters, allowing their speed, aim and melee skills (among others) to be increased.
You will amass coins, which allow you to build items on the fly, such as battle turrets.
You will find parts that can be crafted into upgrades and better equipment.
Once you complete the tutorial, it’s off to town. Your starting headquarters is located in the center of the map, and the idea is to visit all the locations of interest. A small icon floats above each place on the map that warrants investigation. The dollar sign represents an area where coins and parts can be found. The exclamation point denotes survivors who need rescuing. Some locations have no icon but are self-explanatory, such as the gun shop.
There are currently in the pre-release two ways to play. There is a story mode where you take on missions and quests, and there is a challenge mode where you face wave after wave of oncoming foes! Both are fun, depending on how much time you have and what kind of mood you’re in.
The game’s tutorial is quite good. Your team starts outdoors amid a collection of barriers, sandbags and fire barrels. There are also searchable boxes, duffle bags and piles of tires. Between incoming waves of zombies, be sure to right-click on such items. This brings up a mini-menu, as shown in the following screen shot. Click the magnifying glass to search that item. One of my favorite tactics is to right-click on four such items at once; sending a different party member to examine each. If done right, this gives each character something valuable to do between attack waves. Also, remember the turrets mentioned earlier? Right-click on a sandbag and select the turret icon to build. Although it costs 100 coins to build a turret, you’ll find plenty in your searches…not to mention in the loot dropped by felled zombies!
Once you’ve cleared the outer area, it’s time to enter a building. Guide your team through the fog-of-war, uncovering yet more search items. Watch out here…zombies fiercely guard their indoor nests. If one of your team members falls, you have a short time to revive them before they die, leaving you shorthanded for the rest of the mission. Find the exfiltration point and head back to HQ. Take a well-deserved break before heading out again.
Overall, is Infectonator : Survivors worth it? Yes, it is. The game will appeal to fans of several genres. There are elements of tower defense, real-time strategy and four-player cooperative shooter. It’s fast and tough…but also addictive. I look forward to following this game’s development!