Game Info:

BioDefense: Zombie Outbreak
Released: March 10, 2010
Rated 12 + on iTunes
Available On: iPhone, iTouch and iPad
Genre: Real Time Strategy/Survival/Tower Defense
Number of Players: 1
Price: As of May 21st, it’s free (But it will return to its usual price of $2.99)

Tower Defense games, zombies and gaming on the iPhone/iTouch are all the rage in the gaming community now-a-days. So it is obvious that a combination of the three would blow anyone’s socks right off their feet. Unfortunately, the Apple App market is teeming with a seemingly infinite amount of games; finding a good game through all that mess is like trying to find real gold at one of those local river attractions in the mid-west states. While mining the App Store today I found what I thought was a nugget of true gold in the form of a game named BioDefense: Zombie Outbreak. Sadly, what I initially took to be a pure and innovative experience turned out to be nothing more than fool’s gold dredged from the depths of the App Store.

The setup is simple: A comet has hit Earth. This comet brought a new energy source, toxium, with it. The debris from the comet slowly removes any evidence that the sun exists, causing Earth to turn into a world of perpetual darkness. Mankind discovers that toxium could be their last hope. But, as usual, there’s a catch. Prolonged exposure to toxium turns you into a crazed zombie.

Strong Points: Fun for the first few hours; Zombie Whale is awesome; The whole toxium system is pretty cool
Weak Points: Lacking in diversity; campaign is short; the aesthetics used throughout are boring and bland
Moral Warnings: You’re slaying zombies with bullets and rockets; There’s TONS of blood when an enemy gets killed

BioDefense, developed by Resolution Interactive, is a tower defense game. Following the standard fare of the Tower Defense genre, the player must build towers to protect their home base from being attacked by zombies. Towers can be various turrets, lights, and resource mines. Biodefense contains both a campaign component and a survival component.

The single player campaign has ten unlockable missions but, since most people will cut through those missions like they were hot butter, most of the time you’ll be defending yourself from wave after wave of zombies until your base is overrun in the survival mode.

In order to battle the seemingly infinite amount of zombies that come towards you, you must build turrets. In order to have turrets, you need money. Unlike almost all tower defense games, you don’t get any money from killing enemies; you get it from mining toxium with refineries. You must defend these refineries from enemies, which brings another factor into the game: light.
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 69%
Gameplay - 13/20
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 4.5/5
Controls -4/5

Morality Score - 88%
Violence - 4/10
Language - 9/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

With the Earth enveloped in darkness, light is essential to slaying zombies. As long as you have lights up to show what lies behind the foreboding darkness that surrounds your base, you will be able to construct turrets and other buildings, while killing any zombie that gets anywhere near the border that separates the darkness from the light. But the moment that light goes out, any turrets that lay in the dark areas are rendered blind and practically helpless. I say practically helpless because the only enemies they can shoot are the enemies attacking them. I found this little element extremely nerve-racking. There was nothing more suspenseful in my whole experience with BioDefense than having a light go down and hearing nothing but the sound of a stranded turret shooting a few desperate bullets and hoping it’s still there when you get another spotlight up.

Variety is the spice of death. Sadly, death isn’t as spicy in BioDefense as it is in other TDs (such as PixelJunk Monsters). With only being able to choose from only a missile launcher and machine gun tower, I was very disappointed. In my opinion, this was one of the few things that didn’t settle right with me. Hopefully BioDefense will follow the trend many other iPhone games are beginning to follow and produce some DLC and patches.

One patch that would be nice for the non-adult gamer would be a "disable gore" button. Puddles of blood are left where slain enemies once were. Some may consider it a little too muchblood.
Though there are very few tools of destruction in BioDefense, the enemies are a polar opposite. With everything from your basic, slow-walking zombie to a gargantuan zombie whale (yes, I had a “What the heck” moment the first time I saw it too), it’s hard to say that the game lacked any variety in terms of the roster of enemies.

Even though the game’s cast of enemies doesn’t disappoint, it was still boring. I say this because there are only ten campaign missions (with the first few serving as tutorials) and a survival mode. Both the campaign and the survival mode use the same exact landscape and map, making the game visually boring. After playing on the same map over and over, you’ll start to wonder why you’re playing at all. The worst part is that the redundancy of BioDefense wasn’t even the biggest disappointment; the graphics were.

The color of the entire landscape was pretty bland and boring (all brown with occasional green spots). All the enemies, though variety-filled, lacked any type of interesting or aesthetically pleasing character designs, the only exception being the whale.

After beating all of the missions and surviving 35 minutes in survival mode, I have come to the conclusion that BioDefense is most easily compared to puppy love. You love it initially, but slowly grow tired and bored of it and finally realize it’s best if you lay off of it for a while. For the small price of $2.99, I’d say go for it. I’m sure it will provide some useful entertainment…unless you’re over 12 years old. If you are over the age of 12, I’m not saying don’t get it. I’m saying you might want to save that $2.99 and put it towards a 5-dollar foot-long at Subway.


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