By Chase Burgess
This week I decided to do something that I told myself I wouldn’t do, I gave into the most recent craze on the Steam market place and I bought an unfinished game, Infectonator: Survivors. If you’re confused about what I’m talking about, allow me to explain. Recently, many developers have been releasing unfinished games and justifying their actions by labeling them as “early access.” The idea behind this is that when you buy the unfinished product, the money goes towards the development team and in turn allows them the funding needed to finish the game. All the updates come for free to the person who bought the game as the developer rolls them out. As much as I tried to avoid doing this, the recent drought of zombie-themed games has forced my hand.
Developed by Toge Productions, Infectonator: Survivors is a mostly-finished game that takes the player right back to the days of the SNES both graphically and audibly. This oddly named game is a randomized 2D tower defense game that relies heavily on the survival aspect. Infectonator: Survivors includes a permadeath feature. I learned this the hard way as I lost my scientist during the tutorial. You begin by picking your team. It appears that more options for your team will appear later as the game is developed further, but for now you are forced to pick the first available team of four characters, each with their own specialty. The construction worker specializes in constructing buildings for your base, but is also great at melee combat, the police officer is great for all types of combat as he has high marks in weapon and speed, the scientist is great for searching for supplies, and the girl is good at about everything but not great at anything. Each character’s name changes with each play through.
The gameplay is very simple, it’s a point and click tower defense game. You can have up to four characters in your party to send on missions. You click on each character and click on their destination. During each section you can search for supplies in crates and barrels. These crates and barrels can reveal money, fuel, weapons, and supplies. You can also build turrets to help you defend against the undead.
The survival aspect of the game is something that you cannot ignore if you wish to succeed. Much like State of Decay, you will spend your days searching for supplies to keep your team alive. If supplies start to run low, your team will start fighting amongst themselves and their HP levels will reflect that. Continue to ignore your supply levels and your team will die of starvation. If a member of your team gets injured in battle, he will take a day or two to recover from his injuries, depending on the severity of the injury.
Infectonator: Survivors has a very retro feel in both looks and sound. The 16-bit visual style is a nice break from the hyper-realistic visual style of other survival games. The down side to this visual style is that if you are looking for a horror game, you’re looking in the wrong place. Staying true to the games of consoles past, there isn’t any voice acting here, just text boxes to scroll through. The only sounds in the game are the sounds of your weapon firing, zombies moaning, and the synthesized score playing in the background.
The game enjoys making pop culture references. When you get to your base for the first time, you meet a young man and his dog named Douge, a direct reference to the meme Doge. In a nod to Resident Evil 4, the merchant in Infectonator: Survivors strikes a startling the resemblance to the merchant from Resident Evil 4.
Infectonator: Survivors is available on Steam for $12.99. The game is fun, there’s no doubt about it. However, there isn’t a lot of bang for your buck here. If Toge is going to charge almost $13 for this game, then they need to expand on their idea. We need more than just a simple tower defense/survival game. As with any tower defense, there is a lot of repetition which makes the game get old fast. However, If Toge Productions sees Infectonator: Survivors fit to be released, then I see it fit to be reviewed. Infectonator: Survivors gets a 3/5.