Hunters of the Dead is a lane defense game featuring an overhead map in which you decide which buildings to capture. No idea why its tagged as a tower defense game. It is set in a steampunk universe in which you are tasked with destroying Dracula and various undead creatures. You will need to build a squad of Hunters to accomplish this and you acquire them by rescuing them from their homes. They can not continue fighting indefinitely, they will need to rest after too many battles. It is a neat feature but also a double edged sword. It keeps the game from being too easy but it is also frustrating when you lose the game because half of your troops couldn’t be bothered to fight the undead that are about to destroy humanity because they have one more day off work. It doesn’t help that each day only goes by once you occupy a building but there is no way of knowing the chances of a random encounter so a lot of the times you will end up having to futilely throw your inexperienced rookies to the slaughter. You are expected to lose time and time again since this game doesn’t really have balancing, requiring you to gather up money and upgrade your units and troops for the next play-through.
Gameplay consists of trying to keep your Hunters rested and healthy while capturing buildings surrounding your base. Not even sure why they bothered with a base, it doesn’t matter if you are fighting on the far edge of the map, if a enemy reaches the end of a lane your base will somehow take damage so it may as well just be called a health bar. The actual fighting is rather simple you defend 5 lanes with the very small variety of Hunter with certain weapons including a Sniper, Machinegun, Shotgun, Sword and the basic handgun unit. Those are all the units in this game excluding a certain powerful Swordsman you unlock by gathering enough gold through consecutive deaths. You can use abilities during battles like healing units or destroying enemies but these cost gold you use to be stronger in future playthroughs. Each unit has its own use on the battlefield and none felt useless and they will level up after killing enough enemies gaining extra life and AP points. Action Points are used every time you send a unit to battle and every time you move them between lanes.
The town is randomly generated every time you play but it doesn’t matter much since there are only 6 buildings and the bland gray background never changes. It also only has one very dull map for all the battles which further worsen the feeling of repetition and tedium. Dracula himself shows up randomly and is a very powerful foe but will not take to great a chunk of health if he reaches the end of a lane so it may be wiser to build up your forces more instead of confronting him right away. You should also keep a very close eye on your units AP or you may run into a situation where most of your units are resting and lose the game from a random encounter. Healing a unit doesn’t rest his fatigue and resting doesn’t heal the unit so if a unit is out of AP and heavily injured he will be out of action for quite some time. Other than that there is not much strategy and mostly consists of dumb luck and how much you have upgraded stuff through previous attempts.
Visuals are not awful or good, they simply do the job and do nothing to stand out. Though all that gray is rather unappealing to look at after a time. Same with music and sound effects, they are just there. User Interface is pretty decent and makes it easy to see how your units are doing and simply clicking on a portfolio of a character lets you make him rest, heal him or equip him all on the same screen. There is one nasty thing about the UI that the devs overlooked, you can’t see a section of the health and AP of your unit on the bottom lane due to the healing ability button covering the bottom part of your unit’s bar. That means you don’t know how close he is the death and if he has any AP to move before he dies. Animations are all right but if an enemy dies mid attack he continues attacking but does no damage to your unit thankfully, it is a small nitpick but I found it fairly annoying since it can distract you from enemies that are still a threat.
Yes, even after all that I still had some fun with it. It is not a bad game but it is seriously lacking in content and quickly grows tedious. Play it for 5 minutes and you will see all it has to offer. All that is left then is to lose time and time again in an effort to upgrade and get a bit further each playthrough. So pretty much the whole game is one huge grindfest to finally have a chance at winning. That in itself wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t so bare-bone and repetitive. I would not recommend this game to anybody unless it receives a significant content update in the future or those that got it as a gift and don’t want to seem rude by not playing it.