So, you know when you’re watching a zombie film and you really just want that particular survivor to bite the bullet? Well, Too Many Humans, the reverse-tower defence game by RealityZ games aims to give you that power. Ever wanted to control a horde of zombies? Then jump right in folks…
…and then I recommend you immediately jump back out. This is not a good game.
The narrative, such as it is (does a zombie game really need a narrative?) is that you’re Phthisis, the god of pestilence, decay and death, which sounds just lovely, and you’ve decided to wipe out all humans for being polluting, awful little scamps. To do this you’ll unleash the dead to eradicate them all. #Evillaugh.
The ‘reverse tower defence’ moniker sums the game up pretty well, actually. The human foes, of which there are many flavours (see what I did there?) don’t really move. Their job, at least the armed ones that is, is to kill the Zeds dead. Your job is to get enough Zeds close to them to chomp them to bits. Their slightly munched corpses then join your army. All is well in the (undead) world.
Civilians are easy game, and a good way to replenish your hordes, but the humans, especially the military, are tough and will often take a good handful of your army down each attack. They also tend to hide behind barricades, either funnelling you through concentrated fire zones, or forcing you to break through said barricades to get at the tender flesh within.
Now, obviously only certain zombies can break through barriers, because shut up that’s why, and you need to spend mutation points (earned from the general chaos you cause) to mutate them. They can then break through and allow your hordes to attack. It’s an okay idea for a mechanic: it adds a layer of strategy to what could have just been a swarm-game. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work; largely because of the god-awful control system, but also in no small part thanks to the deeply flawed path-finding mechanics. The Zeds just don’t go where you want them to. Like, ever. You want them to attack on specific barrier to flank the enemy? Good luck, 9 times out of 10 they’ll attack every section except the one you want, leaving the humans to just kind of awkwardly shrug as they open fire and wipe out your horde.
There are ‘spawn points’ you can place, because of course you can. Now, you’d think these are there to allow a degree of strategy, but in reality they serve to replenish the horde you wasted trying to break down that one barrier.
Then there’s the control system, which is a thing to behold; alas, not in a good way. You have to make a ‘Screamer’ who, erm, quietly requests the Zeds follow them. There are different modes for the Screamer, attack and follow, and basically you waft it around the map for them to follow. You can place them down but it has a limited range and therefore can’t be used as a waypoint, and you can, for some unfathomable reason, have multiple at once but to move your Zeds you move the Screamer. Accidentally jiggle your mouse? Your Zeds will follow. This results in the ludicrous situation where I found myself holding the mouse with two hands just to make sure I didn’t accidentally twitch and send my Zeds wandering into a mine. It is not a fun system, nor an innovative one. It is a bad one. A very bad one.
All this combines to really make me ponder the word ‘game’. This, ostensibly, is a game, but it is so devoid of fun, of any sense of reasonable challenge or progress that I’m leaning more towards ‘art house’ project.
This game is pretty cheap (£5), with one chapter available already and another two promised for later, but even at that price I can’t recommend it. It’s one of the worst games I’ve played in a long old time, and given what I’ve had to play recently that’s saying something. Avoid.
Too Many Humans is now available on Steam.
Verdict: Crotch Shot
Platforms Available – Microsoft Windows, Macintosh
Platform Reviewed – PC
Review based on a review copy provided by developer. Please read this post for more on our scoring policy