One of my favorite types of games is real-time-strategy. It’s why I play Starcraft, Age of Mythology, and many other titles as much as I do. So, when I had a chance to play one that pits me against a horde of undead, I decided to buy They Are Billions.
And it truly didn’t disappoint.
In fact, it’s been one of the more frequent games I’ve played in the last week or two.
What is They Are Billions?
They Are Billions is an RTS game the pits your strategies against a massive horde of zombies. The premise is to build up your town and provide an adequate defense against an ever-growing swarm.
Set in Victorian Steampunk, They Are Billions is an exercise in tactics. And if you don’t pay attention, a single zombie can infect your entire town in a matter of seconds.
As the campaign advances, so does the sheer number of enemies.
What Will You Find in They Are Billions?
I picked up They Are Billions on Steam as I’ve heard a few people talk about it. Since I am a fan of RTS games, I figured I would give it a shot.
First off, I am a big fan of the soundtrack. The tempo is perfect for a zombie survival game. When the horde comes at the end, the music amplifies the anxiety.
And it’s easily become one of my favorites at the moment.
An Incredible RTS Zombie Game
The game reminds me of Starcraft with a Steampunk twist. The entire theme, layout, character models, and sounds are all something you’d easily attribute to the popular Gothic England playstyle.
Instead of fighting against various races and players, though, you’re pitted against the undead. Instead of an enemy base to annihilate, you simply need to survive the hordes of the “infected.”
And in each wave, you’ll defend against a growing number of units.
One of the things I like most about They Are Billions is how it’s connected to other players. Although there is no multiplayer support, you can still compete in weekly challenges in the leader board.
Another way the game interconnects everyone is the total number of zombies put down by all players of the game. Each time you load it up, you’ll see more people have contributed to the toll.
At the time of this post, I’ve contributed a bit more than 92,000 zombies killed to the 413+ billion total.
Many Skill Levels to Play
They Are Billions probably has one of the most expansive lists of skill levels. You can start off with a very easy stretch with few zombies in your path, up to more insane attacks.
Your score on specific maps depends on your skill level. If you choose an easier difficulty, your multiplier for the score is much lower.
And because there is such as wide scope of skills levels, multipliers, and a few maps available, those who love RTS games will surely get a lot out of this one.
No Multiplay Support
As I mentioned earlier, there is no multiplayer support for They Are Billions. This is a bit of a shame because most of us here groove on RTS games. It would be nice to collaborate and survive.
I only hope that someday, Numantian Games puts out an expansion pack or a sequel with multiplayer support. I know I would throw more money at them for doing so.
Editor Crashes On Me
From what I gather, the game comes with a map editor. However, it crashes every time I try to run the application. I haven’t had a chance to dig around to see if anyone else had the same issue.
This is quite the bummer for me as I love making maps. I’ve made a ton in StarCraft, and would like to add this one to my library of creations.
If I can figure out what is causing the crash, I’ll come back and edit this article.
Voice Acting is a Bit Questionable
Now, I know indie developers usually don’t have the bankroll for hiring professional voice actors. But my hell, at least put some effort into the process. I suppose it’s better than many anime I’ve watched on Netflix.
It’s not overly cringe-worthy to hear the voice acting. But, it’s definitely something that bugs me on a few levels. Mostly, it’s the cutscenes I’m not a fan of.
Can Be Overly Frustrating at Times
One of the things that makes They Are Billions great is also the thing that drives me nuts. It’s a game where you have to pay very close attention to the map.
Because if just one zombie eeks its way into your base and infects one of your tents our houses, the plague spreads like wildfire!
The other night, I spent a little over an hour playing only to lose my entire base in mere moments because one little zombie made it between two of my archers field of vision.
Is Easily a Time Sink
The game is easily one that will tap your time. It’s a slow-burn as you build up defenses, plan strategies, and wait for resources to become available.
And the slow-burn of the game is easily offset by the action of defending against a massive horde of thousands of zombies. But before you know it, time has melted away at a very quick pace.
For instance, I figured I would play for about 10 minutes before going to bed last night. Instead, it was two hours later! I finally hit the sack shortly after midnight.
This, for me, makes it an incredibly bad game to play on days I have to work. Before I know it, I’ve melted through four hours!
Would I Recommend the Game?
If you’re into real-time-strategy games, and an interest in Steampunk, this is definitely one you should add to your library. It’s engaging, challenging, and has quite a few different ways to play.
They Are Billions is easily among my favorite RTS games. So yes, I would whole-heartedly recommend the game. It was probably one of the better $30 purchases I’ve made on Steam in quite a while.
I just hope the developer plans on releasing more in the near future.
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