Zombie Misfits From Nexon Is a Facebook Defense Game to Die For

Just in time for Halloween, Nexon and Antic Entertainment have launched the beta version of Zombie Misfits on Facebook. The latest “casual-core” title from Antic, the game belongs to the emerging castle defense subset of the strategy game genre, in which players defend a base from attacking hordes in real time.

According to our traffic tracking service AppData, Zombie Misfits currently has 8,000 monthly active users and 2,000 daily active users.

Set in America following the zombie apocalypse, Zombie Misfits sees players defending locations across the country from horse of the undead. From gas stations to bars and more, the hand-drawn levels can be quite large, with players have the ability to scroll around the play field to follow the action. Action is viewed from a side perspective as players place defenders at various points in the levels in order to prevent zombies from reaching their goal.

At the start of each level, players have a set number of brains, which represent how many zombies can reach the goal before the game is lost. In order to defend against the flesh eaters, players place various defender characters at marked points. Each defender has a unique use, with some — like the Biker — dealing more damage per second, while others, like the police Trooper, possessing the ability to shoot at flying zombats, and so on. The defenders also have a range of attack that zombies must venture into before they’ll take action.

Zombies come in various shapes, sizes, speeds, and strengths, but they all reward players with zombie energy that can be used to place more defenders. Each type of defender requires a minimum amount of energy to place. Once players have upgraded defenders outside of combat by feeding them cupcakes (earned by winning battles) they can be leveled up a number of times during combat by spending more zombie energy. As they perform more attacks, defenders power up, filling an energy gauge. When it’s full, they can unleash a brief flurry of attacks. Defenders also have health bars and can be destroyed, or sold to recoup zombie energy.

To aid players in battle, the game features a variety of additional weapons which, using the mouse, can be used directly on zombies. The include chainsaws, slingshots, bombs, and more. Each of these items has an initial charge up time and cool down time once used. They can be unlocked as players add skill points to the weapons category. Skill points are awarded to players as they level up and can be assigned to weapon making, upgrades, and contraptions. As the weapons skill is upgraded, new mods are unlocked that can make them usable for longer, etc. Multiple mods can be assigned to each weapon, and even moved to other weapons when players acquire them.

Contraptions are one-use devices, such as spiked walls, that players can build once they’ve acquired the required components. These are dropped randomly by zombies as they’re killed. Players can craft contraptions in-between battles and use them at any time. They will wear out, however, and more must be built.

New levels are unlocked as players complete existing ones and level up. Each level has several stages, along with survival and challenge modes. In survival mode, players fight to defeat as many waves of zombies as possible for a high score. Challenge mode enforces various conditions and limitations on players, which they must play under.

Social features in the game range from sharing accomplishments via viral channels to sending gifts and requesting aid. Players can ask for help from friends playing the game in order to gain additional defenders in battle. The game has a tightly integrated friends scoreboard and the ability to brag on the player’s Wall when they’ve bested a friend’s high score.Zombie Misfits is monetized by players using Facebook Credits to buy upgrades to defenders, new weapons, mods and other items. Players can also spend Credits on bags of random pieces for building contraptions, and raffle tickets that can be redeemed for random weapon mods.

Developer Antic Entertainment is continuing to add features and fix bugs in Zombie Misfits during the game’s beta phase. One upcoming feature being teased in-game is an almanac that will collect details on all of the different zombie types players have encountered. A full-screen mode is also a possible update.

Speaking to Inside Social Games, Nexon’s VP of Business Development Won Il Sue explains that Zombie Misfits marks the first Nexon game ever developed by a Western studio. The co-development partnership with Antic Entertainment was born of the Nexon Initiative, a program setup in 2010 to support indie developers with funding, publishing or distribution deals via Nexon. The studios selected from the 2011 Nexon Initiative submission pool have yet to be revealed, but more social game developers could be in the mix.

ETA: To clear up any confusion, Zombie Misfits wholly owned by Nexon.

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