Thursday, February 14, 2013

Infected by Infectonator

Infectonator got me quick. Sitting next to my 2 year old daughter while she had a bath, I turned on my phone wanting to delete some apps and clean up a bit. I stumbled upon Infectonator and decided to give it a chance before I deleted it. I remember the only reason I downloaded it was because of the pixel zombies - I thought they looked pretty darn good. Little did I know the blood bath that I was in for.

Goal: infect or kill citizens. That's right, it's not just infecting you can also "support" meaning to throw in an exploding barrel of infectious slime or a grenade and land mines. This game is so violent (achievements for killing police, blood smeared asphalt) and death and carnage all over - it would have been banned in the years of the SNES - and now it's on your friendly App Store!
The more you kill the more gold you can collect to upgrade your zombies and unlock new ones. Oh and the graphics are rally great, the people and the world looks a little generic but the zombies are cool and when the fighting starts its fun to sit back and smile with schadenfreude.

I love that there's a real world map and you go around major cities infecting people, then the FBI and other enemies show up in hazmat suits - there are some special characters too (for some reason I have a Christmas version and there's a snowman and Santa that love to kill zombies) there are also references to other games and movies: Skyrim, Left 4 Dead, Super Mario and Game of Thrones. There's also a little news TV channel that gives you a carnage report at the end of every level, but you can also access it from the menu to read an interesting random fact (did you know hippo milk is pink?)

Another fun detail is the speech bubbles that pop-up in the crowds, in the language of that city - I only understand the French and German but they were pretty funny.

But hey Altec, it's just a trick! There's IAP and the world map you like it's just a variant of the level selector you so much hate! Yes and no.... The IAP is never really present, only of you try to access it and the game is definitely beatable without using it. The map-level-selector I think is forgivable because thy tried something different and it fits well to the style - they could have just make a list of the levels on little squares with a star rating under it like all those ugly games but they didn't.

Funny things I found out were that you can replay a level over and over again (support objects like grenades are one use only but zombies are reusable) so you can rack up gold quickly by grinding a well populated level. Also the "free gold" that you are rewarded for linking the game to your Facebook and twitter accounts you can get just by clicking on the button, allowing the respective app to open (but not confirming) and then returning to the game - easy! Strangely though when you start your 2nd play through everything you unlocked is gone - which makes me wonder what would have happened if I had payed real money for those unlockables. (?)

Sure, at its core your just dropping units in and watching them randomly attack or die, but somehow the gore and the madness make it worth it. It's a mobile game for short breaks but as I found over the day I started playing - you'll be through in 2 hours and on your 2nd play through before you know it.


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