- Release Date: 2011/10
- Publisher: Nexon
- Developer: Nexon
- Genre: Social Game
Zombie Misfits is a Facebook game by Korea-based Nexon, the publisher of MMOs and Social games such as Vindictus, MapleStory Adventures, and Wonder Cruise. Your goal in Zombie Misfits is to protect survivors from zombie hordes who seek to dine on delicious grey matter. Each level takes place in a different location in the zombie infested United States.
Unlike Zomibie Lane and Zombie Island, Zombie Misfits takes on role-playing tower defense while delivering cartoon-style side-scrolling adventure.
Zombie Misfits, explicit in the title, is a game featuring the undead zombie. Back story is simple: we act as the rare breathers in a dangerous world full of zombie hordes, and our major mission is to dispatch available Defenders to slay the undead, thusly protecting survivors from the zombie onslaught.
In fact, the appeal of the zombie theme has already faded greatly, as more and more Facebook games, such as Zombie Island and Zombie Lane, all try to partake some of the zombie appeal that is originally intrigued by the Plants vs. Zombies made by the PopCap Games. To put forward Zombie Misfits, does Nixon intend to grab the shrinking share of the Zombie glory before it’s completely gone, or just happen to conjure up such a zombie-centered story without another axe to grind? It’s not clear; yet it’s not important actually for players, only if the game per se is top-notch. And now let’s set aside the zombie peel and expose the inside kernal.
Defenders, weapons, contraptions and modifications(mods) are all that make up of the core gameplay. A quick, brief update for those still ignorant of the game. Defenders are the primary force to kill zombies; weapons are of great help in emergency when the hordes comes in crowd; contraptions are device crafted out of the collected objects and only for single-use; and modifications are like the boost to make defenders and weapons more powerful. And all four components are in devised with a great deal of types to swap, but level-locked.
Getting familiar with the basic design, we can move on into playing. It’s a quite easy game: in each side-scrolling map, we need to place the initial available defenders in the suitable guard point (marked by a small shield icon), kill the undead to collect Zombie Energy (one point per head), use the energy to add more defenders (15 points per head), and finally protect as many survivors as possible. Basic play is more or less like that. Yet the weapon, contraption and mod all have their own role to play.
In the game, we actually don’t have an avatar to role-play. To place defenders in guard spot, we can simply click the icon and then they will fight automatically and kill if zombies are in their hitting range. What we mainly control in the game is the weapon, and simple click will do though. Weapons are offered with 50 types in the game, and some of them may out of your imagination. Have you considered using Mag. Glass to set fire on zombies or charging your own defenders with Shock Paddles? But mind you, every weapon has a usage time and cooldown time, so it’s better to use them wisely and timely; otherwise you may really regret wasting them when the real emergency strikes to catch you unarmed.
And the collectable popping up when the undead is killed is mainly zombie energy, but also contains some items such as Trees, Twine, Beaver, and Hatchet and so on. All these materials can be crafted in the Inventory into contraptions: a ready example is the Wood Wall made out of trees and twine. But contraptions can only be used once, so we have to constantly craft them. And mods can only be gained in the store for coins earned in the game. 48 types of them are on the shelf, covering various uses like the Ammo Box to give Trooper 50% more ammunition to shot before the forced reloading and the Sack of Marbles to add 10 more times of shots to the Weapon of slingshot.
To win, well-equipped hardware is important, yet the flexible, strategic selection of spots for defenders is equally, if not more, crucial. For example, Bikers excel at destroying ground cumbersome zombie but helplessly comes to the end of their rope when encountering the flying types, say the bats or the scurrying dwarf zombies, so they need the back-up from the Trooper normally in a higher position, intercepting those breaking though the bikers’ defensive line. Besides, all defender are able to launch Charge Attack, when the sparkle animation is beneath the feet after they kill a certain number of zombies. This special enhanced ability, similar to the duration effect of weapons, only lasts a few seconds, so is better to save for larger mobs or stronger zombies like Hard Hat and Zomborilla.
Zombie Misfits indeed presents dynamic action-oriented gameplay. Yet it still seems to me that its fundamental game mechanics doesn’t completely break away from the mode set by the classic Plants vs. Zombies. In the essence, it’s still about resourceful selection of whatever so as to eradicate zombie hordes, though the particular detail differs in the shallow level: we place Troopers, Bikers and Wooden Walls in the suitable spots to fight in the game rather than planting Sunflowers, Mines and Nutshells to fend away the invasion as in PvZ.
Fighting brings about skill points, which are needed for player leveling up and unlocking further maps. In each map, there are three game modes: Story, Survival and Challenge. We have to start from the basic Story, the standard and easiest mode, unlocking defenders and accumulating XP. The Story mode is still further divided into four types, including Casual, Normal, Hard and Master, accessible similarly from easy to hard too. And every level can be played again if you want. Needless to say, different maps, different scenes, and same great graphics.
On the whole, this side-scrolling 2D arcade action tower-defense game is interesting and entertaining. Every round of fighting can be played differently due to the diversified choices of in-game items and personal strategy. Yet it’s a game better off to be played only for short period, for its simple and thus repeated gameplay will collapse gradually, incurring boredom out of that multiple levels. Such monotony is surely beyond remedy by solely changing map scenarios. So engage in it for short time and enjoy it to the utmost.
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