Operation: Eradicate ($1.99) by Skejo Studios is a universal turn based strategy game for fans of zombie invasions and serious tactical planning. Think ahead, but don’t fall behind or the hordes of undead will infect the world.
Players are given control of up to four Special Forces military personnel, each with special abilities. The assault commander can wipe out a horde of zombies with a single attack. The transport pilot helps get team members to infected cities without using up action points. The engineering expert can place an airfield in any city. The logistical coordinator can transfer resources between members, regardless of location. The research analyst can stabilize a region with only four city resources.
Each team member gets four actions per turn. It is up to the player to decide what those actions are. Choose to either eradicate a zombie horde invasion, transfer resources to a teammate, or fly to another destination. Special moves can also be used to control the onslaught of the undead. Special moves are things like placing a garrison in a city to protect it from a zombie invasion, or using an interdiction to stop additional invasions for one turn.
City resources are needed to stabilize a region. All team members but the research analyst must have five city resources and be near an airfield in order to enact stabilization. Once that is done, the region will not be victim to new infections and existing hordes are wiped out quickly.
In order to win the game, all four regions must be stabilized. Players can earn a partial victory if eight spreading infections occur, but one or more regions (but not all) have been stabilized. There are also a limited number of turns for each game. If a player runs out of turns, a partial victory is earned if at least one region is stabilized. Players can also team up with others online through Game Center for collaborative attacks on the undead.
This game is extremely hard to play at first. There is a tutorial that is clear and helpful, but strategic planning is on your shoulders. I played the game five times before stabilizing a single region. Sometimes it is difficult to understand why a team member can or can’t perform certain tasks, but it eventually becomes clear.
Like a game of chess, it is imperative to think ahead two or three moves. The more times you play, the more you will understand the tactics. Then, the fun really starts to pick up.
This game is not for casual players. It takes time to understand how to keep and transfer resources, when to play special moves and which cities need the most protection. It is loads of fun for fans of turn-based strategy games. It scratches that tactical planning itch. It is priced just right at $1.99. Do you have what it takes to stop the infection?