As you can imagine from its title, i-Free’s I am Vegend: Zombiegeddon ($1.99) doesn’t take itself seriously. Blatantly spoofing tons of references from popular mobile gaming titles, Vegend also employs this philosophy in its gameplay, combining action with tower defense elements from a multitude of sources. While this leads to a game that should be innately familiar to those that have played iOS tower defense titles, Vegend still manages to leave its own mark as an enjoyable and amusing game worth checking out.
I Am Vegend tells the tale of a zombie apocalypse that threatens to destroy the whole world. It’s up to the ‘Vegendary Heroes,’ a group of vegetable heroes to take on the enemies and save the world. Players control the Vegendary Heroes in a pseudo-tower defense like manner with each mission giving you control of up to three Heroes. Players switch between each hero and simply tap on the screen to aim and fire each of their weapons. Each hero also has to reload between volleys, encouraging folks to utilize each of their three heroes strategically as weapons are reloaded.
Each mission tasks players with simple objectives such as ‘rescuing’ other vegetables (which have you launch your weapons at cages), rescuing escaping hostages (aim at the charging enemies while avoiding the allies on screen) and simply taking down the opposition. Regardless of each mission, players are always charged with guarding sacks of seeds which the zombies are trying to get — lose all your seeds and the mission ends. At the conclusion of each mission, players are rewarded currency which can be used to buy power-ups or upgrade your heroes. As far as the gameplay is concerned, I’m a fan of what Vegend has to offer as there’s more to do than a typical tower defense game while there’s still some strategy that needs to be employed.
If you look at the screens, one might think that Vegend looks (and plays) similarly to other tower defense games such as Plants vs Zombies. However, this is really not the case. For example, each mission’s heroes are pre-determined — there is no choice as far as which weapons to take into each mission. In addition, the locations of your heroes are also pre-determined. Also, rather than straight lanes of attack for the zombie enemies, Vegend has platforms which zombies will jump to and fro, forcing players to take a bit more care as far aiming their weapons as enemies can jump up and down platforms with ease. These changes seem small in nature, but cumulatively, these variations make Vegend play a bit different than other, similar titles.
Visually-speaking, while the whole ‘battle-hardened band of vegetables’ motif is nothing new (in fact, we covered a castle crusher game with a similar theme awhile ago), Vegend still does a great job with its own style and artwork. Graphics look crisp and clear on retina devices, while the game’s overall tone does a great job of being dark and comical at the same time. Meanwhile, some of the game’s enemies manage to successfully (and at times, hilariously) spoof other popular iOS series while not being overtly reliant on other games.
There are a few pet peeves with Vegend that deserve some mention. For one, the game isn’t balanced towards being able to upgrade all your units in a single playthrough, forcing players to either go through each of the three sets of missions (players can cherry-pick specific missions) or spring for the IAP. While having all the upgrades isn’t anywhere near essential to beat the game, it’s still annoying nonetheless. In addition, while the game features 45 missions spread across three chapters, actual gameplay translates to a relatively short experience. Most folks can beat Vegend in a couple of hours, and while you can go back to replay sections and earn more currency for upgrades (see above), there’s very little in terms of replayability.
Still, for a action/TD hybrid, I found Vegend to be pretty enjoyable. Sure, a lot of the game’s themes have been done before and a lot of the core gameplay elements are relatively familiar, but everything Vegend does is accomplished well. When it comes to any game, that’s the most important aspect, and in that regard Vegend is certainly worth a recommendation (at least for fans of the genre).