A sneak peak at Atom Zombie Smasher

, | Games

It’s August 1961 in Nuevos Aires, during the eighth month of a zombie outbreak. We’re going in to Los Chuvoi, which is virulent enough that’s it’s liable to spill over into neighboring territories if we don’t contain it. The objective is to evacuate at least 60 people, and hopefully some of the scientists. It won’t be easy. Pandemics, man.

After the jump, how the Saviors of Los Chuvoi got their name

Zombie Atom Smasher, which will be out next Monday, is a strategy game about trying to contain a zombie apocalypse, played out in brief manageable RTS sessions. Developer Brendon Chung made Gravity Bone and Flotilla. This game has far more actual game than either of those titles, but just as much personality. I’ll have a full review up next week.

But first, the fate of Los Chuvoi.

In August 1961, I’m barely keeping ahead of the zombies on the victory track. We’re about to unlock the catbird cannon, which will let us call down humanity’s orbital hammer. But at Los Chuvoi, we’ve only got mines, explosives, and snipers to cover the evac chopper. The chopper can carry 30 people, and we need to save 60 for the operation to be considered a success. So we need to hold an LZ for two trips. Unfortunately, the is a firecane month, which means zombies move faster.

I position the explosive just past the main approach of the zombies, with the mines as a second line of defenses. We’ll end up catching some of the map’s 250 people in the blast. You know, collateral damage. Speaking of which, we’re not doing property value any favors. The southwest corner of the map is pretty much obliterated by the time the chopper takes off with its first load of survivors.

The first several attempts fail quickly. Damn firecane. And damn Danny Boyle for inventing fast zombies. A tap of the F9 key lets me try again. I can always concede if it’s an untenable situation. But so long as I can get any clumps of zombies with the explosives and mines, the snipers will pick off the stragglers. And stragglers matter. There’s nothing quite so disheartening as seeing a single red dot lurch towards a mob of a hundred survivors clustered under an approaching chopper. That cluster turns into a shuffling mass of red almost instantly. Pandemics, man.

Eventually, I get the timing just right. I have to pull the LZ back and shift the snipers to cover a long east/west street instead of trying to prevent the bloodbath in the rubble to the south, where zombies are chasing down dozens of people. The second chopper sortie fills up and pulls away just as the shambling red dots overwhelm the crowd waiting to be rescued. We evac exactly 60 survivors, the bare minimum. 172 people in Los Chuvoi were lost to zombies. 18 were killed when I set off the explosives to cut off the first wave of zombies. We only got two of the five scientists out of there.

Since it was such a tough battle, I commemorate it by renaming my sniper team.

Next month, we’re going into Fronama, this time with infantry and artillery. The rain will slow the zombies, making them easy targets. In Auridu, we’ll enjoy a fantastic victory in June of ’62 thanks to careful placement of barricades making a perfect killzone for the Saviors of Los Chuvoi while artillery and the catbird cannon clean up the stragglers. We don’t just evac Auridu; we recapture it. That victory earns us the llama bomb, which disinfects entire territories from orbit. But by that point, it’s too late. The zombies have overrun too many territories and they hit the victory threshold of 6000 points. When Neuvos Aires falls in July, I only have 2851 points. Pandemics, man.

Check back Monday for a full review of Atom Zombie Smasher.