MarZ: Tactical Base Defense
“It’s the year 2065, and humanity has launched a mission to colonize Mars. Unfortunately, the Red Planet has already been overrun by zombies. Defend your base with turrets and soldiers to repel waves of undead cosmonauts.”
This tidbit of background information thus encapsulates MarZ: Tactical Base Defense, a new tower defense game by indie gaming developer Doorfortyfour. You play as a hardy band of Martian settlers who have landed upon the Red Planet, only to find out that it has been infested by legions of hungry space zombies who want to munch on your brains!
As an addition to the description above, apparently, the Soviets were mucking around on Mars years before at one of their secret installations and accidentally spawned buttloads of zombies. As the player, it’s your job to clean up shop and wipe out these feral bands of undead, thus paving the way for your settlers to well…settle the planet unmolested.
Simply put, MarZ: Tactical Base Defense is an unabashedly cheesy and derivative tower defense game, mixed with shades of real-time strategy. As you manage your meager settlement, you’ll have to place towers and other buildings at strategic places on the game’s large maps. All of these structures must be manned by personnel. But here’s the catch—you only have a limited number of warm-blooded folks to work with.
What this means as far as gameplay is that you’ll have to micromanage your soft, squishy little settlers and order them to run around between structures while dodging loads of blood-thirsty zombies. That’s not going to be easy. You can request the requisition of assault troopers, but they’ll always take a while to come to the settlement’s aid. And if you lose even one of these all-important soldiers, it’ll take quite a bit to recover from each loss.
Mars has been overwhelmed with zombies, and you can really tell that whilst in-game. Hey, look at things from the zombie’s perspectives—all they want to do is to break into those annoying towers and get to all that sweet meat inside. Therefore, you’ll see vast numbers of zombies shambling and shuffling towards your structures at all times.
Fortunately, if you’re good at fending off waves of these meddlesome creatures, you’ll be rewarded with all kinds of new equipment, new traits, and new abilities such as being able to blast away at zombies in first-person view from your towers.
MarZ: Tactical Base Defense reminds me slightly of a similar game, They Are Billions. In both games, you carefully manage a settlement that is constantly being besieged on all sides by slobbering zombies. However, whereas The Are Billions was so difficult that it finally made me rage quit and delete it from my Steam library, MarZ: Tactical Base Defense is much fairer.
That’s because its developers spent a lot of time (while the game was in Early Access) tinkering with the game’s balance. Apparently, it used to be just about as hard as They Are Billions. But due to player feedback, Doorfortyfour fine-tuned its levels of difficulty (there are three) and made everything much more balanced.
Not only that, but they’ve even thrown in a full-on skirmish mode, along with a peachy keen map and level editor. That means you’re free to play around with all of the game’s various mechanics and statistics and enjoy your own little self-made content. Additionally, the new outbreak mode has your cute little settlement being attacked on all sides by crusty, cantankerous waves of undead all at the same time.
MarZ: Tactical Base Defense may not be an overly complex game, but its lengthy development cycle has obviously paid off. It’s good, old fashioned zombie splattering fun which manages to carve out its own space within an emerging niche market.
MarZ: Tactical Base Defense features some pretty nice looking graphics that make its tower defense gameplay truly shine. However, you want to have a pretty beefy gaming PC or gaming laptop in order to play it at a decent framerate. So, you may just want to invest in a decent gaming rig:
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