Zombie Cure Labs is a new strategy base building game in which you are tasked with running a science lab built to capture, cure and reassign zombies to work for you on a variety of tasks such as being able to defend your base, or research more advanced tech to improve efficiency. It stands out from the beginning due to its unique combination of mechanics and innovative ideas. The basics are a mixture of base defense and resource management, which keeps the gameplay mixed and interesting.
Swapping between working on base building and the tower defense elements keeps the game interesting because you can always mix up what you choose to devote your time to. As long as both are at a reasonable level, swapping back and forth is easy because they also work hand in hand as you progress through the tech trees. Expanding your base comes with harder assaults of enemies and bosses that come in waves based off of a timer.
It has potential to be a satisfying base building experience, but Zombie Cure Labs currently has too many issues for me to fully recommend it. Firstly, the tutorial is poor because it throws you in with a lot to keep track of from the beginning, and it doesn’t explain the mechanics or resources very well. The game is unforgiving even on low difficulties where simple mistakes can result in losing a scenario or having to reload previous saves as you can’t recover, and your resources start spiraling.
On top of the game being as difficult as it can be, there are a number of bugs that make it even harder. This can be things such as jobs not getting done due to workers just stopping entirely, the priority system getting ignored by workers, and worker pathing working one day then completely breaking the next. On its own this would be annoying, requiring relaunching a save or completely removing the buildings that the workers are set to interact with, however this gets significantly worse when it also fails to alert you to your trapped workers. When in a larger group of workers all darting around doing their jobs, a small number get stuck, and go unnoticed until it is too late, which then makes the entire production process of your lab grind to halt.
Another key flaw in is the significant drop in performance over time. When you get far into the game and have developed a large base, the frame rate can begin to drop to new lows. This is all the worse with numerous character models on screen, the lag creeping in and then swiftly making things permanently unplayable. I thought that this might have been an issue that I could fix with a bit of research, but I couldn’t locate an immediate fix for it other than to reload from a stable save hours ago or start again.
The game has a cartoonish art style, with the humans and zombies looking like puppets, which makes the game feel goofy. Personally, it is not a style that I enjoy, but it fits the theme and knows not to try too hard when dealing with a silly take on curing zombies.
I am interested to see what changes come to Zombie Cure Labs in the future. The team behind it have a lot planned out that hopefully help to develop into a more well-rounded and enjoyable game. The game is getting updates and announcements constantly, and they look to be working on feedback from players, so hopefully the necessary improvements are made to turn this title around.
- Good mix of mechanics
- Poor performance late game
- Common glitches