This is part of my Steam Challenge Series (the full list is here).
I was going to play through another campaign before I wrote this post, but Atom Zombie Smasher seems to have been another casualty of my move to a new computer, and I can’t get it to work again. So, here are my much older impressions.
It took a while to get its claws into me, but I am definitely hooked. I think it will take several playthroughs to really get into the swing of things, much like in a grand 4X game like Civ. But from my experience, there is a lot of potential here.
The weird 50’s comic-book interludes and music are strangely intriguing, and the humour is well done if you like pure silliness.
Gameplay is simple: you place various mercenary units on a city map, and use them to either destroy the zombie hordes before sunset, or buy enough time for your helicopter to rescue X number of civilians before the zombies get to them and turn them. Then you go to a strategic map, where you choose the next region to try to liberate. Your mercenary units can change, and there are various levels of danger in each region, so planning is crucial.
After each operation, the zombies spread, strengthening existing areas and occupying new ones. If you cleared out the zombies from your operation, you get a base that remains zombie-free and gives you lots more points. You are basically racing the zombies for points: at certain milestones, stuff happens. Either you get new weapons, or scientists, or extra mercs, or the zombies get mega-Zombies or occasional faster zombies or suchlike.
Each operation takes about 5 minutes to play, so AZS is perfect for second-screen or sitting-in-queues or pick-up-put-down.
It’s weird, but endearing, and it somehow just works. Check it out if you can.