Infested Planet – Preview

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Infested Planet, developed by Rocket Bear Games, is an indie strategy game where you are in control of a small team of marines and need to clean out the teeming aliens who have overrun the landscape.  A familiar notion to us fans of science-fiction, with films such as Starship Troopers springing to mind.  Those of you who may be acquainted with developer Alex Vostrov’s work will notice it builds on the ideas of Attack of the Paper Zombies.

Aliens spill out of the hives right off the bat, and you need to deal with it!

Each scenario is randomly generated with your initial team of five marines gathered around your started point.  The task at hand is to progress through the region and capture each base by destroying the hive.  You’re not simply left with these five and their basic rifles though; through the wondrous field of research you can purchase new types of weaponry and soldier abilities to fight back the multitudinous hordes.  Sniper rifles, flamethrowers, fusion shotguns, medics who receive grenade launchers, they all have their purpose in the battle.

My favourite unit is the flamethrower, a vicious little soldier who can hold back the tide of an entire assault, has increased speed and more armour.  Its only real drawback is the lack of range, but when one unit has so much ‘firepower’, who complains?

Grenades, available to most units, become your best friend when dealing with this pest problem, and your soldiers know this, so they use them judiciously by taking out the structures, crucially the enemy turrets and smaller spawner buildings (which as you may guess, spawn aliens).

Plasma grenades on the other hand are used freely to dispatch groups with ease

As you start to get control of the infestation, you will start to lose control of the infestation. Or to put it another way, the more bases you capture the more the aliens will mutate. These mutations come in a variety of “Uh-Ohs” and will often force you to rethink your attack.  Luckily, the cost of making a unit into a flamethrower can be refunded and exchanged for something else at the click of a button.

The first few difficulty stages might not pose a terrible problem for you, but once you hit those higher areas you will very quickly be put under intense pressure.  This game is not easy.  In fact, it’s a great challenge for a tactical mind.  For a quick note on how numerous the opposing army is, in one of the easier areas I destroyed 9 hives and over 14,000 aliens, as well as nearly 100 other structures (which predominantly include spawners and turrets).  That’s a lot of alien to keep under your thumb.

The game is presently in beta testing, but available to play now if you choose to pre-order.  Because of this there may be bugs and client instability, and some features, such as a high scores board, are yet to be added.

If I were to sum it up in my own words, it would be an ‘offensive tower defense game.’  You need to constantly push onward while making sure the bases in your wake are sufficiently guarded, either by a lone soldier or a turret.  The game is certifiably fun and if you enjoy tower defense and/or strategy games I strongly consider investigating for yourself!

This planet is ours!