Tower defense is something that you’re either a fan that spends hours exploring and planning the next strategy, OR a player that finds that after a few waves you start to get bored pretty quickly and never go back to again! Last week saw the release of “Hell Warders,” a tower defense game that developers expanded by giving players the opportunity to move the main character around the screen, interact with the environment and action, and place a further RPG element to spice things up. Its Diablo-esque story and characters and demon waves of enemies made these additions help and contribute something a bit different and indeed..unique and interesting.
Next week sees the release of BLOOD WAVES, a similar take on Tower defense and main character interaction, but with waves upon waves of the Undead! As you can see from the picture above, your main character is a Lara Croft look-alike, plunged into a “Resident Evil” gameplay scenario with the tower defense elements adding the filling to the sandwich!
From the start, you will notice there is no story mode or further modes but you literally start in the middle of a temple arena, with doors located around the area. Pressing B will start the action and zombie “waves” will commence.
Inventory is poor to begin with. You have just a machete and handgun to dispense the first wave of advancing zombies, and once complete, a cutscene will show a statue moving backwards to reveal a hidden staircase. Let me say now, its very important to follow the staircase as it will lead you to an area for essential preparation before the next wave. At the end of each wave, you are also given “stat points.” One for character builds and the other point for weapon and trap item builds. Money is also randomly dropped on zombie kills as well as ammo drops and sometimes temporary ability perks like invincibility.
The secret area reveals a weapon counter in the centre containing guns, machine guns, flamethrower and grenade launcher. To the right are 2 workbenches to spend your stat points. The character bench will allow you to spend points on things such as increased health, increased stamina, reduced damage from zombie attacks, and better movement and reduced repair bill perks to name but a few. The second workbench will allow you to upgrade your weaponry with increases in damage, ammo capacity, range etc., but also upgrade the traps you may buy and use. These traps include wooden spiked barricades, gun turrets, fire throwers and my personal favorite, the “Zombie Grinder,” a pillar with revolving blades!
Graphics are above average, with no excessive gore and blood, but just enough for everything to feel satisfying enough. Zombie horde variety is kept to a minimum at the earlier levels, but later arrives the inclusion of acid spitters, explosive split headed zombies and electric infused undead. Sound is an 80’s “zombie movie influenced” electronic score, with decent weapon sounds, zombie groans and squelching on body part removal, so all in all, very well done. Gameplay is very satisfying, with zombie movement not too slow that you can easily pick them off, but not too quick in that you don’t have chance to move and reload and prepare.
So in Summary,BLOOD WAVES arrives on the Switch with average to unfavorable reviews on the other static Pc/consoles available. No story, no bosses, and lack of modes or any kind of idea of who you are and where you’re going makes the whole thing feel quite linear, and i can fully understand the criticism and low reviews. Having spent the last week with correspondence from the developers to clear some points I had, it’s pretty clear that i can now fully understand this game and its standing on Handheld. The game will not tell you if or when it saves, but it’s revealed that it’s actually after each wave, and also there is no ending but infinite waves. Bringing those points into the equation, for this reviewer anyway, puts this game into a different light on a portable handheld. You want to kill zombies in a limited time, like a lunch break or whilst on public transport? You can do it here! You can basically fit this game into any time frame you want. You can place this title between other titles in your library as a quick “run and gun,” and as it saves after each wave and feel free to go and play something else! Its easily adaptable and in my opinion…An addictive and complete BLAST to play..I LOVE IT!
BLOOD WAVES has stumbled on its way to Nintendo’s handheld, but at last its found a meaning and a spiritual home here that allows it to SHINE..and at a third of the price of the upcoming RESIDENT EVIL series, there’s not too much to fault it. Maybe a future update with some Online Leaderboards perhaps? But overall…..
Out on 15th March in e-shop.Thanks to Light Road Games/Sometimes You/Evgeniy Kolpakov for their time,Game and Code.