App Reviewed on: iPhone XR
User Interface Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Infect the world. That’s what. Infectonator 3: Apocalypse wants you to do, though it makes doing so awfully difficult. There’s all sorts of zombie upgrades to purchase, special zombies to unlock and power up, and special weapons and items to acquire on your conquest. It’s enough cool stuff to make your head spin. It’s just too bad that all of it moves at such a slow pace that you’ll probably be fed up with Infectonator 3 before you dig too deep into what it has to offer.
Infectonator 3 is almost feels like a zombie version of Risk. You start the game by picking a continent to serve as your ground zero for a zombie outbreak, and then you get to infecting with the ultimate goal of turning all of humanity into walking dead.
To infect a region, you simply tap it to being a level that has a goal number of people to kill. From there, you can use any combination of zombies or weapons to accomplish the task. If you pass, you increase panic throughout the region and earn rewards to reinvest in your zombies. If you fail, you lose whatever resources you expended and need to find a way to recover and continue infecting the world.
The wandering dead
When trying to infect a region, you’re presented a small overhead map full of people which you can then spawn zombies into. These zombies wander around on their own attacking everyone and everything in sight, though they won’t just automatically clear out everyone.
These zombies are dumb, and they won’t always know where to go to find victims. Also, your zombies get hungry and can starve if they go more than a few seconds without biting something. If that weren’t enough, humans would like to survive the zombie apocalypse, so they begin arming themselves with weaponry that can cut down your corpse army. This makes each of these stages kind of like a little puzzle where you strategically deploy the zombies and weapons at your disposal to make sure you hit your kill goals so you can stay on pace to infect the whole world.
Too far gone
As you infect more and more people, humans find ways to better defend themselves. At the same time though, you are earning rewards for every level you pass that let you craft new zombies, buy more weaponry, and even mutate your zombies so they are even more formidable foes. The primary challenge in Infectonator 3 is keeping your zombies ahead of the humans so you can continue spreading your plague.
This means you’ll be spending a lot of time in Infectonator 3 looking at upgrade screens and trying to assess what is the most valuable thing to give your horde that will let them continue destroying humanity. You can’t just blindly pick upgrades because the game is a bit of a race. At a certain point in each run, humans in Infectonator 3 begin researching a cure, and if they find it, your run is over and you need to start all your hard work over again.
In this way, Infectonator 3 is also a bit of a run-based game, though I’m not sure it’s something you’d want to try too many times. Although there is a lot of variety in zombie types, upgrades, and even game modifiers you can unlock and apply between runs, playing even one run in Infectonator 3 takes hours, and a lot of this time is spent playing through extremely simple scenarios just to earn resources and establish a good corps of corpses. All the while, one simple mistake on your upgrade path can send your super long run down the drain, and you’ll only realize it a few hours later when you lose.
The bottom line
Infectonator 3 has a lot going on in it, but it’s all in service of a run-based game that doesn’t feel particularly worthwhile. Even when playing in Casual Mode, where humans don’t research a cure, the game feels like an endless slog of upgrades that takes forever to ramp up into something interesting to play.