Casual Monday: Because Zombies

We know how it is. You worked hard for your 10:1 KDR, but sometimes, you just want to take five, relax, and enjoy a quick game on your phone. Unfortunately, finding good games is anything but quick – most mobile gems end up buried under a mountain of trash. But like we said, we know how it is, so every Monday we shine a spotlight on a great diversion to get you through the work week.

Zombies are all over the place these days. Call of Duty, Hollywood, your backyard – it seems nowhere is safe from the unending onslaught of the undead. Like many of you, I’ve become somewhat disinterested in the whole zombie scene, but for Because Zombies I’ll happily make an exception.

As John, a bespectacled scientist, you must traverse a city overrun with the undead in order to reach your daughter. To travel safely and arrive with your brains intact, you’ll have to utilize all sorts of weapons, traps, and even a canine or two to stave off the hungry hordes that occupy each stage. Each level plays out on a fairly large, gridded area, riddled with all sorts of environmental blockades like dumpsters and cones, leaving certain channels through which your opponents can advance. Then, in real time, you choose from a variety of defensive measures and place them wherever you like, in hopes of surviving unscathed.

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You have limited funds at your disposal, though, so it’s imperative that you buy only what you need and place it exactly where you need it. Killing zombies will net you more money, but the green-skinned corpses will also seek to destroy any defensive measures you’ve already put in place. Because Zombies requires you to think on your feet, and really pushes you to be precise in your positioning.

It’s usually not the end of the world if one or two zombies make it through your gauntlet of guns and spikes. John is pretty resilient, and also pretty handy with a wrench. However, you will steadily lose health with each assault, and once your health has fallen even slightly below 100% you’ll be out of the running for one of the three stars to be won at the end of each level. Health, special kills, and leftover money are all measured, so while you might find it easy to stumble through some levels there’s a substantial challenge in earning three stars for each stage.

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Because Zombies constantly introduces new wrinkles, like additional obstacles or different zombies, expertly keeping things fresh while avoiding overwhelming the player with too many unfamiliar elements. It also throws new challenges at you at various intervals, like Rush Mode, which gives you a brief period of time to lay any and all traps and weapons you think you’ll need for the ensuing wave of zombies before you’re forced to sit and watch your choices at work. It’s these sort of simple spins on the game’s solid strategy foundation that make Because Zombies worth playing and replaying all the way through.

It’s also an incredible value at only $0.99. For less than your daily bus fare, you can test your mettle against 43 zombie-ridden levels and marvel at the title’s astounding production values. Even if you’re a stranger to tower defense, or simply tired of the seemingly endless flow of zombies flooding modern media, take a moment and give Because Zombies a long, meaningful look. Then, when you finally decide to take the plunge, give yourself a pat on the back. Why? Because Zombies.