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Red Colony Review

Official Score

Overall - 30%

30%

Even the most devout survival horror fan will have trouble enjoying Red Colony. The overly basic puzzles, broken combat, and cliché plot all come together to make this a low point of the genre.

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Although there is no shortage of zombie-based games on the market today, Shinyuden and RunicCodes toss their hats into the ring with their new title Red Colony. A 2D survival horror game with a sci-fi twist, does it manage to do enough to stand out in a saturated market?

Red Colony Review

Things go from great to awful right from the get-go in Red Colony. The titular area on Mars has spent 100 years independent from Earth, and a celebration is underway. Maria, the CEO of LAB is about to go out to celebrate, only to find herself in a warehouse. Things aren’t what they seem – zombies have taken over, and it’s up to Maria to find her daughter, figure out what’s going on, and survive in one piece.

It’s a basic tale at its core, and that normally wouldn’t be a problem if the execution wasn’t so poor. The blow-up doll characters and incessant swearing are a ghastly stain on the overall package, making it feel like a Newgrounds-era cheap teenage fantasy. The plot likes to meander as well, forcing Maria to go to locales like malls, schools, airports, and labs with only a phone call to go off of. The worst part is the leaps of logic in the plot – without spoiling too much, the major twists of the game are incredibly dumb and farfetched.

The gameplay of Red Colony is poor as well. Players will have to contend with a number of zombies along the way, with fighting or hiding being the only two options. There are a ton of conveniently placed tables players can crawl under, along with 3D printed weapons with limited ammo. Never fear though; the knife can work for all sorts of situations. We were able to defeat nearly every zombie in the game by timing our knife strikes, requiring almost no use of the game’s firepower. Combat is broken at its core, and something as simple as this should have been tested before it went out the door.

Outside of combat are a number of simple puzzles. Red Colony loves its PIN codes, with lockboxes, vending machines, and computers all requiring a combination. It’s not challenging to track down a number to unlock content; it’s just tedious. There’s also puzzles that require the right combination to unlock something, but these too are drawn out. When the answer to a solution is a few feet away in the same room, it’s just busywork. Players will also need to upgrade their SIM card along the way to unlock certain doors, but this comes without too much effort for the player.

We were able to finish Red Colony in a little more than two hours, taking our time to read out text messages, explore, and read the occasional piece of dialog. There’s no replayability, so what you see is what you get.

Even the most devout survival horror fan will have trouble enjoying Red Colony. The overly basic puzzles, broken combat, and cliché plot all come together to make this a low point of the genre.

This review of Red Colony was done on the Nintendo Switch. A digital code was provided by the publisher.
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Casey Scheld

Drawn to the underground side of gaming, Casey helps the lesser known heroes of video games. If you’ve never heard of it, he’s mastered it.
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