Infectonator 2 review: destroying the world with zombies
C. Custer | On October 28, 2013 at 9:00 am
Indonesian indie studio Toge Productions has been cranking out cool flash and mobile games for a while now, but since Games in Asia didn’t exist until quite recently, we never had the chance to review them. With Halloween coming, now seems like the perfect time to look back at one of the company’s best games, though, 2012′s Infectonator 2. Infectonator 2 is a browser game that tasks you with destroying the world using zombies. What could be more fun?
Infectonator is one of those games where you the player don’t actually do a lot. You’ve got your zombie virus, and maybe some support weapons or bonus zombies, and each level presents you with a city. You pick your spots to put your zombies into play and then you collect coins and watch as they either run rampant and kill everyone or are ultimately quelled by the local populace (your goal, of course, is to kill everyone). There’s a little bit of strategy in where you place your zombies once you have a few different types to work with, but beyond that, it’s mostly up to lady luck and how well you’ve prepared.
Actually, your preparation is where the real game is, and the RPG-like upgrading systems behind Infectonator 2 are deep. Your basic zombies can be upgraded more than a dozen times in several different areas including speed, attack power, damage absorption, infection rate, lifespan, and more. You can also unlock and upgrade special zombies (including a zombie Kim Jong Il called Ill Kim Jong) and support weapons like grenades, land mines, and infectious goo that you can use to trap escaping civilians.
You pay for all these upgrades using gold coins, which you collect by mousing over them while your zombies are battling it out in each level. Bonus coins can be attained by completing missions and fulfilling side-quest-style goals like “kill four police officers” or completing a level in under 30 seconds. The basic goal for each level is to kill a certain number of people, and they start out small and easy, but as you successively unlock more cities around the world, the numbers you have to kill — and the forces arrayed against you — get bigger.
My only real complaint about the game is that the bigger the numbers get, the slower it seems to run. It could be an issue with flash or just with the browser I used (Chrome), but when I started getting into the bigger levels with dozens of characters on the screen at once, the game slowed down substantially. This doesn’t really affect gameplay much since once you’ve placed your zombies you don’t have to do anything but collect coins anyway, but it still would’ve been nice to watch the carnage unfold more smoothly.
Graphics, Sound, and Theme
Infectonator 2 has a very cohesive style that hearkens back to the old days of pixellated games and 16-bit sound effects. Everything from the music to the menus is worked to fit this style, and in many ways it really does feel like a throwback game. If you’re too young to have played games in the Mario era, you may not really appreciate the style, but I think most gamers have long since learned to love that 16-bit sound.
The game pays a surprising amount of attention to detail, and in every city you visit, you’ll find the denizens run around yelling things about zombies in their native tongue. This goes off the rails a bit eventually (in Europe, for example, there’s a lot of yelling in English, and a few rather tired internet memes are referenced) but it’s very cool to see the developers cared enough to make each city really feel unique. In China, for example, I noticed that the citizens of Beijing scream in Chinese characters, whereas the folks in Urumqi speak what I can only assume is Uyhgur…except for the soldiers, who still speak Chinese. Now that’s attention to detail!
Infectonator 2 is an excellent and addictive game. If you liked Plague Inc. but wished you could play something that allowed you to manage destroying the world on a more micro level, this game is absolutely for you. And even if you’ve never heard of Plague Inc, give Infectonator 2 a try. It’s well worth your time, and you’ll have a blast spending this Halloween season eating the world, one brain at a time.