Review Date: October 21, 2010
Developer: Broken Bulb Studios
Publisher: Broken Bulb Studios
Zombies are everywhere. From movies and television to comic books and video games, it seems like it's impossible to get away from the shambling, undead hordes. And now they're on Facebook. Only in Broken Bulb's Braaains, you don't fight against the hordes, instead you amass one of your own. The result is a nice blend of action and role playing game elements, though it does tend to get a bit tedious after a while.
Let Them Eat Brains
There's no story to speak of in Braaains, instead you just have one goal: to amass as large, and as powerful a zombie army as you can. You'll start out with just one undead soldier, but after a while your ranks will swell. You can upgrade your zombie's abilities and gear, making them stronger and more agile, and providing better weapons and clothing. The game features two types of currency: money and brains. Money, along with experience, can be earned in battle, while brains are earned both over time, and by leveling up and by completing achievements.
The battles in the game are completely hands-off, and pit your zombie (or zombies) against another squad. In the beginning these are simply random undead opponents, but after a few levels you'll be facing off against zombies created by other players. You'll get to watch the zombies duke it out in a brief battle, and the results are based on both the number of zombies you have and their various abilities. The more powerful your zombie, the better chance you have of winning. And once you reach level 10 you can face off against powerful bosses.
Leveling Up The Undead
Like most games on Facebook, as you progress through Braaains and earn more experience, more content opens up. You'll have more weapons to purchase--from hammers to wheels of cheese--and more clothing options to choose from. You can also use various formulas to improve your zombies, and there's a hospital for healing them after a losing battle. There's a lot for you to purchase, though unlocking everything takes quite some time and quite a lot of battles. And eventually, the fun of zombie versus zombie action becomes a bit stale.
Braaains does have a great sense of style, though, and the goofy cartoon zombies are every reminiscent of Plants vs Zombies. Some of the weapons and outfits are absolutely ridiculous, which is a large part of the appeal. The game also looks great, with plenty of different stages to battle it out in and subtle effects like a constant day/night cycle in the background. It should also be noted that, unlike most games on the platform, Braaains doesn't limit the amount you can play each day.
The Bottom Line
Because of its rather repetitive nature, Braaains is a game best played in small chunks. The RPG elements are solid and engaging and the production values are charming, but the actual gameplay is a bit too repetitive to play for extended periods. But for a quick dose of undead action, Braaains is a great option, and the process of building up your own zombie army is very satisfying.