In his wildest dreams, Santa Claus himself couldn’t possibly have envisaged the killing of dozens of people as being the perfect entertainment for the holiday season. But alas, December approaches and many thousands of Mr Claus’ subjects on Earth find themselves embroiled in their fifth-or-more consecutive level of Infectonator: Christmas Edition. A festive twist on the classic-yet-unorthodox Infectonator formula – the game’s highly specific style of entertainment is classified simply as “Puzzles – Other” on its Newgrounds page – this festive edition has you triggering on-screen epidemics in a tactical fashion to see how many people you can infect by proxy with as few clicks of the mouse as possible. Plus Santa’s involved and everyone’s wearing one of his bobbly hats.
A Bit About the Gameplay
Though the Infectonator series has come a long way in its time, it is still very much the same zombie game at its core, yet it still has its foot in the strategy door as well. Each level you play involves meeting an objective that usually states how many people must be infected for you to pass the level. To meet this objective, you’re given your main tool: your mouse. All you need to do is click on any one of the regular, non-zombie people on the screen in order to infect them. You then have to rely on the infected individual, who is now a zombie, to spread the infection to other people on the screen. Each infected person only stays alive for a limited amount of time, so it’s all about picking your victims strategically.
Other variables that make the gameplay more interesting are things like extra weapons such as grenades, which allow you to take out a group of people instantly. Grenades are great as a last resort, useful for when you’ve not quite managed to kill off that last person or group: all you have to do is use one and you’re suddenly a success once more. Regardless of how you get it done, you simply have to kill the minimum number of people required for you to pass to the next level, and that’s pretty much the gist of it.
Money and Upgrades
As is the case with many strategy/real-time strategy games, you’ll find a tree of upgrades to explore as you collect valuable coins dropped by your recently deceased zombies. These upgrades allow you to get the upper hand over your group of soon-to-be-undead-then-actually-dead people, with items on offer such as grenades and – actually, that’s it. Unlike other Infectonator games, this Christmas edition doesn’t quite have the arsenal available for you to pick from. You can however increase the efficiency of your pathogen by adding to its various attributes such as its deadliness and its lifespan. This becomes useful when you’re attempting to infect large groups of people in the latter levels of the game.
Presentation and Final Thoughts
What is most striking about Infectonator: Christmas Edition isn’t its strategic gameplay however, but the way it is presented. Its graphics are a clear nod to the pixel-laden displays of decades-old gaming systems, and this is quite trendy at the minute. The festive aspects of the game aren’t exactly central to the gameplay, but the santa hats and the appearance of Santa does help things along a bit.
If your holiday season is somehow lacking in entertainment, you should definitely choose Infectonator: Xmas to keep you going through the days of boredom that can be an unavoidable part of the holidays. While not quite as intense as more serious games like the sinister Pandemic 2.5, this is still a rather intense was to have some alternative fun this Christmas.