The tower defense genre has had a heavy presence on the iPhone. As a tried-and-true TD enthusiast, it’s a fact that I take great pleasure in – but it also means that wave after wave of mundane copycats are cluttering the AppStore. That’s why it’s such a relief when a TD game comes along that really breaks the mold. BioDefense: Zombie Outbreak may sound like another generic undead-battling TD, but get past the name and you’ll discover a frantic exercise in survival unlike anything you’ve ever played before.

BioDefense: Zombie Outbreak blends basic real-time strategy elements with open-map tower defense. You’ll be tasked with defending your headquarters, which is set up in the middle of the playing field, from hordes of zombies that can approach from any direction. The game is kind enough to tell you how many are coming from which side of the map, but due to the game’s inherent darkness you won’t really see them until they descend upon you.

With the exception of your headquarters everything around you starts out shrouded in darkness. Since your towers can only fire at what they can see, this can be a little problematic when it comes to setting up a solid defense. The only way to see what’s out there is to build a network of floodlights – which the zombies can destroy. You might have the perfect layout of guns and missiles dotting your map, but it just takes one clever zombie to take out a light, rendering all surrounding towers useless.

Building new towers, whether it be floodlights or missile launchers, requires you to spend resource points. All around you are pools of ‘toxium’ which you’ll need to mine by setting up collectors. Toxium is the resource you’ll spend to build new buildings – and it is limited. There are only so many pools of toxium on the map, and once you’ve tapped them dry don’t expect any more to magically appear. This means that if you can survive to the 30 minute mark, you’re going to wish you’d spent your toxium a little more wisely 15 minutes earlier. Toxium isn’t the only resource you need to worry about, either.

Buildings need energy, and as soon as you start to run out you’ll need to spend toxium to build generators. If the zombies wipe those out, you’d better hope you have the toxium to spare to buy new ones. Mining toxium, building a network of weapons and floodlights, and surviving an ever-increasing zombie onslaught – these are the basics that make BioDefense: Zombie Outbreak such a unique experience in the world of tower defense gameplay. But once you get past the basics, things start to look a little skimpy.

Of the five towers you can build, only two are weapons. And while they can be upgraded, the visuals never change to reflect their newly earned destructive power. 10 missions can be unlocked that offer up unique scenarios, but you’ll rarely ever play them. The main draw in this game is survival mode, and while enjoyable, it remains an unchanged experience throughout.

It may not offer a great selection of maps or weapons, but by bringing a white knuckle survival experience to the well-worn tower defense formula BioDefense: Zombie Outbreak proves itself to be a worthy addition to the AppStore. What it lacks in variety, it absolutely makes up in fun. Tower defense fans should be delighted by the zombie-slaughtering good times that lay ahead.

App Store Link: BioDefense: Zombie Outbreak , $2.99, BioDefense: Zombie Outbreak Lite, Free

TouchArcade Rating

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  • wegmans

    This game is great, I definitely recommend it!

  • wegmans

    This game is great, I definitely recommend it!

  • Artfoundry

    I tried the lite version, and it was a lot of fun. I plan on getting the full version once I've finished some of my other games.

  • Artfoundry

    I tried the lite version, and it was a lot of fun. I plan on getting the full version once I've finished some of my other games.

  • Anonymous guy

    Omg I can't wait until the zombie games on iPhone stop

    • wegmans

      True, just like the Doodle franchise is all overkill at this point..

    • Adams Immersive

      As a TD fan, I’ll buy this... in spite of the zombies, not because of them!

      They should have a mode where you defend against an onslaught of iPhone zombie games.

  • Anonymous guy

    Omg I can't wait until the zombie games on iPhone stop

    • wegmans

      True, just like the Doodle franchise is all overkill at this point..

    • Adams Immersive

      As a TD fan, I’ll buy this... in spite of the zombies, not because of them!

      They should have a mode where you defend against an onslaught of iPhone zombie games.

  • Icarus

    I'd take zombies over random shapes or whatever.
    And yeah, this is a damn fun game, the light and resource stuff is a interesting twist for a TD.

  • Icarus

    I'd take zombies over random shapes or whatever.
    And yeah, this is a damn fun game, the light and resource stuff is a interesting twist for a TD.

  • Dan

    This is almost an exact clone of the game Harvest: Massive Encounter out on PC, only zombies instead of aliens.

    Check it out if you want to see the gameplay.

  • Dan

    This is almost an exact clone of the game Harvest: Massive Encounter out on PC, only zombies instead of aliens.

    Check it out if you want to see the gameplay.

  • Tutt22

    Great game! I'm addicted! The game has a great feel to it. Are there any similar games on the iphone that I can try. I know Space Station Frontier is similar. Any others?

  • Tutt22

    Great game! I'm addicted! The game has a great feel to it. Are there any similar games on the iphone that I can try. I know Space Station Frontier is similar. Any others?

  • Spocket

    I played lite, pretty good game. I'll wait for a price drop however.

  • Spocket

    I played lite, pretty good game. I'll wait for a price drop however.

  • OhSoleMio

    Looks great but will it work on the iPhones limited real estate? Dare I say it, this would be great on an ipad. Not that I'm going to buy one. Still resisting the urge.

  • OhSoleMio

    Looks great but will it work on the iPhones limited real estate? Dare I say it, this would be great on an ipad. Not that I'm going to buy one. Still resisting the urge.

  • Howard

    Tried the lite and bought the full version.

  • Howard

    Tried the lite and bought the full version.

  • usher

    pretty interesting!! simple mode of Red Alert or something like this ..

  • usher

    pretty interesting!! simple mode of Red Alert or something like this ..

  • H.O

    I got this app for free. It's pretty good but I can't seem to gt further then 60 mins :/

  • H.O

    I got this app for free. It's pretty good but I can't seem to gt further then 60 mins :/