Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Robots vs. Zombies

It has been a little while since I played a game involving tower defense... or zombies... or both combined, which I suppose would be NEVER... so now's a good a time as any. Robots vs. Zombies? Robots vs. Zombies.


The title more or less gives the concept away in this case. You, the robot, must stop the zombies, who are on their way to pick up some delicious energy cores. There you go, folks - that just about covers the plot of Robots vs. Zombies.

And, hey, who needs a plot in a tower defense game? The objective is obvious enough: stop those bastards from getting through. It's a familiar concept, though I will admit that the zombie need to both pick up the cores and carry them away again is something I haven't seen in a tower defense game. If nothing else, the round trip gives you some extra chances to fire on your enemies.

With what? Well, towers, obviously. Beyond that, though, you also have a nice little mech running ops, and when you're not laying down towers you can guide it around to provide some extra firepower. Not enough to stop entire waves, mind, but it's a nice touch, and one that reminds me of The Engineer. (Though in that case the robots were the bad guys. It's all a matter of perspective, folks.)


Familiar fare, here. WASD guides your robot, the mouse lays down and upgrades towers with a few clicks. A goodly combination, and the mouse works fine.

... but the keyboard is a little screwy. Not TOO screwy, but I did have trouble making my robot stop every now and then. Given that the robot provides a lot less cover than the turrets this isn't a big issue, but it's still something that could be addressed.


Robots vs. Zombies is a tad generic visually, but it sports a layer of appreciable polish. The mechs look good, the towers look good, and the zombies... well, they look like zombies. There's plenty of variety in the beasties, one element in which a lot of tower defense games suffer - there's repetition, but variety in that repetition (particularly when two enemy types come blended). Not top notch originality, but more than sufficient for any professional game.


Techno beats. Repetitive techno beats. Not a fan, even if they are suitable to the game.

Challenge Rating

Given that you can adjust the difficulty, and that the game is pretty bloody hard as it is on Normal, Robots vs. Zombies is likely to keep all but the most seasoned tower defense players happy for many long hours. The zombie waves are merciless from the start, and it'll probably take you a while to determine what skills (yes, you can buy skills) and tower combinations best work with your style of play.

There is, however, one problem when it comes to difficulty in this game: it is buggy. I experienced no less than three total game lockouts while playing, and on other occasions the zombies would make it through the exit gate with the last cores, spelling me to doom - only the game wouldn't end. Subsequent waves would stand idly at the door with nothing to do, and I could blow them away at my leisure, providing I had towers close to the door already (further building was not an option). Once or twice in a several-hour session might be excusable, but this happened every two or three maps.

Should I complain when bugs kinda work in my favour? Probably not. Doesn't make for a terribly attractive package, though, when difficult levels are easy to conquer by virtue of technical problems.


Robots vs. Zombies is a borderline generic tower defense game with more depth than the average title, and an equal number of bugs to match. Fix this game up and strip away the rather blatant similarity to Plants Vs. Zombies (really, name it something else) and you'll have a winner.


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