The Living Dead Charge your Phones
Zombies have been around since the beginning of video gaming. It’s a staple genre that boasts hundreds of titles on the Google Play Store. 250 + to be exact, yes I checked and who knows how many more across all other platforms. With that in mind, whenever looking at a new zombie-themed game the first question that should be asked is: Why this one? With so many choices why should you play this particular zombie game? State of Survival attempts to give you a reason. And that reason, like the hoard of brain-hungry abominations banging on your doors, is enormity itself.
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse.
So the world has recently succumbed to a zombie outbreak. These things happen and thankfully you are in the enviable position of being one of the few survivors. As such, State of Survival places you in command of a small base and puts you to work right away. It is your job to train troops, upgrade facilities and manage research. As is typical in most base-building strategy games certain buildings will have conditions that must be met in order to upgrade them further. Higher-level buildings mean higher-level troops, more advanced research options, and more resources.
Along with managing your home base, you are also in charge of leading trails as the main story of the game. These sections are some of the most enjoyable, as they tend to require a bit more thought to succeed. That is not to say that they are hard. Let’s just say if you neglect any thought of strategy you will find the later missions quite vexing. On these missions, you’re in control of a number of “Heroes” special units who operate independently of your regular troops.
Each Hero has a unique ability such as placing a turret. As stated before, this is a fair bit of fun as your Hero placement and skill usage can greatly affect the outcome. This attention to strategy makes the game far more immersive than many so-called mobile strategy games that will have you create a team and then simply return a result of success or failure. It feels more like Plants vs. Zombies than Azure Lane.
The Cost of Survival
Here is probably a good place to mention monetization. Yes, the game is free to download, but like most free games there are in-app purchases. It is entirely possible to play the game without spending any money. But as things progress, upgrade times and training times increase. Eventually, you’ll find yourself having to choose between spending $4.99 or waiting for a few hours.
The game does take the opportunity to “suggest” these purchases, most often after you return to game after minimizing it. However, it seems to rely more on the player’s desire to continue playing to sell its wares rather than aggressive advertising. That is to say, after playing for a few hours you might find yourself with little to do (thanks to long completion timers and construction limits) and therefore you would be expected to make a purchase to continue playing right away. As a free game, it makes a good time waster. Those wanting to get more out of it will likely need to pony up some cash.
Not Such a Small World After All
While State of Survival doesn’t have multiplayer in the same way Left4Dead does, it does have a fairly large and active cooperative/competitive scene. It’s made apparent right away that your base isn’t all on its little lonesome. Oh no, in fact, there are hundreds of others. State of Survival places your base in the midst of other players’ bases all in a larger game world called “The Wilderness.” Players can attack each other if they so choose but sometimes working together is a far more profitable venture.
Very early on players are introduced to the “Alliance” mechanic, whereby they can join a player alliance. Once in an alliance, players can receive aid in the form of research or construction boosts and can participate in rallies against other alliances. The best part of this system is that your level of involvement is entirely up to you. Being highly active nets more rewards but the base benefits are not taken away for inactivity, so really there’s no reason not to buddy up.
Sometimes You Miss the Forest for the…Zombies.
So, why State of Survival? Simply put, the stand out feature of this title is the amount of content it offers. This, however, is both a blessing and a curse. Those who only want to have one game on their phones to which they dedicate all of their playtime will likely enjoy this game. However, those looking for a quick pick up title they can spend 5 minutes a day on during their lunch break aren’t going to get much out of it. Rating a game like this can be hard, there is little technically wrong with it and in fact, some things like sprite animation are quite remarkable, but even so, it’s not for everyone.
Is it Hardcore?
Only if you are.
State of Survival offers a huge amount of content for an Android game and refuses to be put down. Those who put in the effort will likely find great value.