Friday, May 17

Review: Undead Horde [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Usually when I think of the folks from 10Tons I immediately dial into blissful feelings revolving around shooting things up top-down arcade style. That said, sometimes you want to break out of your comfort zone and try something else to play and the same is likely true of developers as well. With that we come to Undead Horde, a sort of strategy title where you’ll command minions with different attributes and skills tied to their former living selves to overtake enemies, find loot, and continue to build your powers further.

After a relatively quick tutorial (in which I managed not to pick up on the fact that you have an attack of your own, my bad to anyone watching the first 20 minutes of the video) you’ll be off to the races and in general there’s not much to understand here. Fundamentally you’ll want to summon up an army, preferably with a bit of a balance of skills or matching up with your mission, and then command them to victory. Most of the time that’s just a matter of engaging in some open combat, needing to balance killing foes, wrecking their spawn points (or they’ll keep coming forever), and raising more undead as you go to replenish the units you’ve lost.

As you move along there are some variations to this, and you’ll certainly need to be smart about your selection of undead units to deal with specific circumstances, but your role is as a ringleader. You’ll gather your units together, send them in a direction (on occasion through a sort of minefield which requires some careful guidance at times), and support them by slashing away yourself, casting support spells, and summoning more units. If you find yourself all alone it will make you pretty vulnerable but you’re always able to run back to your home base of operations and summon more dead.

Some customization comes into play the further you get through the selection of the units you prefer (always take along a bear or two, they’re great damage sponges though a little expensive), which weapons you choose and the perks associated with them, your spell of choice (there are both offensive and defensive options), and secondary gear that will boost certain traits. In general I’d consider it a pretty light affair, and not necessarily highly strategic, but the emphasis seems to be on chaotic fun and experimenting.

While I wouldn’t say Undead Horde is a revelation of any kind it does scratch a middle-of-the-road strategy itch and there aren’t many titles on the Switch like it. Accessible, having relatively quick skirmishes, and offering you numerous ways to do battle it can be satisfying as long as you don’t put too many lofty expectations on it. If you’ve always dreamed of commanding a growing army of zombies that include all manner of units, with some chickens thrown in for some good and silly measure, it’s worth checking out.

Score: 7.5

  • Has strategic elements but keeps things light
  • A variety of weapons, spells, and gear that will help you cater play to your liking
  • Plenty of quests, secrets, and side missions to complete for more loot and gear

  • If you were hoping for real depth there’s not much here
  • Aside from switching up your gear and picking different sets of units to fight with there’s not an incredible amount of variety to things