The only thing preventing the zombie apocalypse is 90 million tons of nuclear warheads. And you.
A real time strategy game by Blendo Games, released in 2011. Included in the third Humble Indie Bundle.Set in the 1960s, in Nuevos Aires, AZS tasks the player with evacuating as many people as possible, before they're overrun by the emerging Zed hordes.To accomplish this, the player is given control of a rescue helicopter, as well as various mercenaries, capable of fighting the Zed.That... and orbital nukes.
Provides examples of:
Alternate History: It's 1961, electrical computers have been around for decades, and you were trained in orbit. The Zedpedia is almost too seamless to look like alternate history, but one of its fake references slipped up and calls an European city by its real name.
Anti-Frustration Features: One new game option guarantees you will have at least one "offensive" unit in your monthly roster (read: artillery, infantry or snipers).
Apocalypse How: As a game mechanic, even! There are four levels of infection in an area, the bigger it is the harder the map is. The descriptions of the levels match up with ours, with level 1 representing contained outbreak and 4 being a total infection of the area.
Cruelty Is the Only Option: Most often than not, you will just have to sacrifice some civilians to rescue the rest, especially at the very first mission, which cannot be won perfectly (this is by killing all zombies, which automatically saves all civilians).
Death or Glory Attack: Landing the helicopter near zombie entry points may let you save more civilians... but if you mismanage it could also mean you just fed people to the zombie horde.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: It's highly improbable that there are no territories with Zeds on a given turn, but there are small scientists bonus and dedicated messages there just in case.
Diminishing Returns for Balance: Upgrading the same asset repeatedly costs more tech points and the improvement is smaller each time. Mercenaries with more than one stat also suffer from this if you raise one high enough.
For Massive Damage: Your artillery not doing enough damage to the bunch of enemies there? Rescue some more civilians and kill some more Zed, unlock a firing of the Catbird Cannon and pulverize everything in a large radius.
Then there's the "Elephantbird," a massive artillery gun that replaces all other mercenaries on your roster. Both fall under Macross Missile Massacre, with the Elephantbird firing more shells with far greater accuracy and reloading near instantaneously. It's sadly only available for use once an in-game year, while the Catbird is available every round after being unlocked.
On the other hand, high level artillery with researched upgrades can be potentially more powerful than Elephantbird. Then there's the Triplets mutator, which lets you take more than one of them...
Game Mod: There's an in-game official mod loader and tools to make your own. The unmodded game also ships with a sizable array of gameplay altering options, such as choosing your mercs each month, or an Ironman mode where restarting a level is unallowed.
Geo Effects: Weather forecasts, which affect primarily sunset and sunrise times, zed behavior and your evac helicopter's performance.
Kill Sat: As mentioned above, Catbird Cannon. Results in a barrage of missiles.
Last Stand: The infantry can't get infected, but you may often find yourself defending the last pick-up point with it until all civilians are zombified.
Lightning Bruiser: With hardcore enabled on the standard game, zombies during Firecane move extremely fast. Since Firecane also reduces daytime, missions on those settings are practically impossible.
Luck-Based Mission: The random unit lineup and level generation sometimes results in cities that are very hard to clear (though it's hard to find an outright impossible mission). Level-4 outbreaks are a different beast entirely, and one might want to stay away from them until weather and roster are ideal.
Pyrrhic Victory: Rescuing just the minimum amount of civilians required will often result on the zeds outscoring the player on that mission, even though it was "won"note Should you lose and/or concede defeat properly, though, your mercs will not earn any experience. On the late game, not scoring a huge amount of points can feel like this because the zeds will catch up quickly thanks to them infecting territories for free each turn.
Randomly Generated Levels: A large part of the challenge. Individual levels will persist if you withdraw and return later (or reload the game).
Real Time with Pause: Actually slows down to 10% game speed, but for all intents and purposes works like it.
While you can restart a mission, the permadeath option prevents you from doing so. However, there's an exploit (save the game via the menu) that bypasses this no-restart restriction.
Sniper Rifles: One mercenary unit is a team of snipers set up on a rooftop. While you can tell them which direction to shoot in, you can't target individual enemies, and they stop shooting while rotating to a new position.
Sniping Mission: If you end up with only a sniper team and barricades/mines/bombs.
Soundtrack Dissonance: This game is in love with this trope. The entire soundtrack is super-cheery beach music, perfect for blowing up cities and watching little dots get eaten by Zeds to.
Unstable Equilibrium: There are Victory Points milestones rewarding each side at determined amounts. The game tends to snowball in favor of whoever reaches theirs first (the tech tree for the player, increased amount and virulence of zombie invasions for the zeds).
Veteran Unit: All mercenaries level up. Even barricades.
May be explained as the increasing experience of those who set them up, allowing to make more in shorter timeframe.
Videogame Caring Potential: So you've evacuated the city, but there is still one little fellow left behind. You'd better try your hardest to save that little dot from a terrifying death by zombies.
Videogame Cruelty Potential (as well as Sadistic Choice): ...on the other hand, accidentally (and "accidentally") blowing up civilians close to the zombies is not infrequent. The nature of the game also means choosing which civilians to evacuate, and which become zombie fodder. The author has stated that putting the player in a position of making difficult decisions is part of the design.
You can accidentally blow up your snipers or infantry, too. They get better.
Weaponized Animal: Llamas. Wipes out all infected within an area, and leaves humans alive. It even fixes a class 4 outbreak. Given that class 4 is total infection of the area, it means they can cure zombification somehow.
Zerg Rush: At night, zombies come swarming in from every single entrance to the city.
There are also monthly modifiers that can shorten the length of a day or make the zombies run even faster (thankfully, you can't get both at once, unless you turned on the Hardcore mod).
Zombie Apocalypse: Played with, as some of the background material that can be unlocked suggests people have been dimly aware of the zombies' existence for decades. They've simply never posed a threat to civilization before.