The armies of the dead are at your gate in Dead Colony, and it’s up to you to fend them off from one of the last human settlements in the galaxy. Automated defenses, recruits, mines, the list of equipment at your disposal is the best humanity can provide, because you are the last thing between survival and extinction. While not the most original premise, nor this game has promise.
Rather than capitalize on the possibility of an adventure game, Dead Colony has been simplified to a base defense game, but without the towers to make it a tower defense game (a number of those are in a later update, according to in-game comments, in the form of automated defense “turrets”), and recruitable companions that assist in fending off wave after wave of enemies, with only one class of recruit available, at the moment.
But enough about the things you cannot yet do (or cannot yet do well); you came here to kill “infected” zombies! Well, you’re in the right place; Dead Colony provides you with hordes. Before you engage the horde, you’re given an opportunity to explore the map (for which there’s little point, it’s a big, mostly blank square) and place defenses (such as you can) and prepare whatever recruits you’ve managed to acquire.
And then? There are enemies at the gate. In game you’ll face one horde per “day” and each individual battle lasts one day. Now, the AI aiming of your companions, if you have any, is mostly luck against a horde that can, and usually will, overwhelm you in seconds. Luckily, you’re given the choice of a thousand-round assault rifle (low damage, high rate of fire), a fifty round shotgun (slow rate of fire, moderate damage), or a laser-equipped twenty round sniper rifle (medium rate of fire, high damage), in addition to a pistol and knife, all of which you start out with and can cycle between. Presumably your companions are similarly armed, though that doesn’t seem to have much effect as yet.
Once you have hopefully defeated the horde, without many losses, you’re subjected to a game of chance, where you have two buttons to stop cycling through rewards, and hope you get a good one. The minimum I saw during my playthrough was fifty credits (for comparison, the cheapest item was a mini-mine in the store at 10 credits, and a reload of ammo ranged from 50 to 70 rounds, with the majority of other equipment being in the upper hundreds to thousands), and a “gift” of some piece of equipment (usually mines, spider-bots, et cetera).
Once you’ve received your rewards, you’re given (though there’s no notification about it) an amount of money, which I can only assume is based on how many survivors are left in the colony, to spend as you see fit. After which, it’s rinse and repeat.
Several updates came into play while I was writing this review, introducing new controls, which have directly addressed some of the initial concerns I had with the game, a few of which provide a good progression towards a functional product. Some of these, like the ability to touch to aim are good. Others introduced aspects felt extraneous, and added things which hadn’t previously been mentioned, such as the ability to place bricks from the store; while useful, feel rather odd.
Based on my playthroughs of the game, I cannot recommend Dead Colony. Though it might become worthy after a few updates. And to be fair, as a base defense game, it has some level of promise, though I found myself more interested in what it could’ve been in terms of exploring dead colonies, and the ruins of a galactic human society, but unfortunately, that is not this game. If you’re somehow in love with zombie tower defense games that are works in progress than you might want to check Dead Colony out. Otherwise wait for an update or better yet download a zombie strategy game that’s finished. Unfortunately, that’s not this game either.
Is it Hardcore?
While it’s sometimes engaging and has a lot of good ideas, Dead Colony is a base defense title that’s not nearly as entertaining as it should have been.