MarZ: Tactical Base Defense is a non-traditional Tower Defense game with a lot more real-time micromanagement of the towers because you will need to assign personnel to man each functional structure. For the most part the limited number of people that you have on your team is going to be your biggest challenge, because the enemies come in waves from multiple directions and you may need to switch frequently the assignment of your crew.
As with any Tower Defense game, you will need to make strategic decisions regarding use of resources, whether it is building more towers, upgrading towers, building extractors to gain more resources, etc. You can also easily sell your structures, but of course you will not get all of your funds back. So cost-benefit analyses are constantly running inside your head as you play.
Each level, you will need to build those turrets because they are going to be your mainstay of defense. Otherwise, you will be building extractors, tech centre, energy hubs, etc., among other things. The challenge comes from the shortage of crew members that will need to actively man each of the buildings in order for it to function. The micromanagement in this game is much more intense than regular tower defense games.
The game offers 2 game modes, campaign and skirmish. There are also 3 difficulty settings available for each level. Each level has three goals and you need to fulfill all of them to unlock some perks that you can use. Of these perks, you will only be able to pick one of the available ones when jumping into a campaign mission.
During gameplay you will have 5 different speed options. You start on normal and you can speed it up by two settings. But most likely you will be needing to pause to think or put it onto slow motion options to act a little more efficiently with your limited time. The pause function completely stops everything and you can go out and take a break, but you really cannot do anything in-game.
Here's a first-look gameplay video that my friend made, it was a first look and on the third mission, he was not aware that he should have been able to recruit more personnel:
The game can be played completely with a mouse. There are some keyboard shortcuts that may make the micromanaging more efficient, but not necessary.
The graphics are outstanding, and I really love the way everything looks. There is a large range for zooming in and out. Zooming in gives you so much more detail.
Almost all of the text have been voice-acted, and that is a really nice touch. The music works really well for this game.
+Graphics are so nice for a TD game. +Very unique feel, because of the way it keeps you busy. (Great for those who feel that some TD games may have too much down time.) +Game is primarily made by two developers, that is pretty amazing given the quality of the project. +Steam achievements. +Steam workshop.
-For those people who want to stick with traditional TD games, this will seem like a bit too much micromanagement. The continual need to move crew members from one task to the next can become tedious in feel. -Some levels are very tough to fulfill to 100% (all three objectives), even on the easier setting.
MarZ: Tactical Base Defense is a non-traditional tower defense game that is definitely not for everyone. You may be disappointed or feel overwhelmed by the amount of micromanagement required to play this game properly. If you are into real-time strategy and love micromanagement but find TD games to have too much down time, this might be a great addition to your library. Personally I prefer a traditional TD game, but I still think that this game is quite deserving of a positive recommendation.
I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.