MarZ Rising – Preview
Follow Genre: Tactical, Tower defense
Developer: doorfortyfour
Publisher: doorfortyfour
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

MarZ Rising – Preview

Good: Slick UI, neat graphics
Bad: difficulty curve too steep
User Score
(3 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Love is… working together on a game for two and a half years and finally releasing it on steam. That’s an achievement that the two-person indie game studio doorfortyfour can scrape off their list. They released their game MarZ Rising on steam on the 26th of September 2017 in early access. The tactical base defense game has a completely new view on the tower defense genre. In 2065, Humanity finally reaches Mars (thank you, Elon Musk), but they discover something they did not expect… There is life on Mars, and these aren’t just aliens, they’re zombie aliens, ready to attack your martian base! MarZ Rising is developed and published by doorfortyfour.


It’s the year 2065 and humanity finally reaches Mars and you have the task to build and defend your martian bases. But instead of colonizing the red planet, you stumble onto some alien surprises. Zombie aliens gather around in enormous hordes, ready to attack your base, and it’s your job to put a stop to them. Through a series of single-player missions, you get to build, manage and defend your base and solve the mystery of the undead. There is a decent story present, and although we get to see zombie aliens, the narrative gets easily lost in the gameplay. The game has its own lore and mysteries around zombies and the player can get two different endings in the campaign. But the main focus of the game is gameplay, rather than story.

The visuals of the game are neat and consistent, the game has a cool, futuristic vibe, especially the user interface has a cool and neat look. The briefing between missions has a MI6 vibe and feels very immersive. The overall look of the game is slick and polished, but it looks more like an impressive mobile game, rather than a PC game. MarZ Rising has some small graphical bugs that need to be fixed, like flashing images when hovering your mouse over building options, or flashing zombies in the distance. The environment in the different levels look repetitive and boring, there isn’t much variation, Mars just looks like a lame, red desert. The overall presentation is great, but they could improve in making their environment more interesting.


The high-tech sound effects in the game are futuristic and fit the picture perfectly. There is some average voice-acting, but it doesn’t add much to the game and often gets lost or ignored during the gameplay. The music helps with building up the tension during a mission, but sometimes the song track will end, leaving you to play in an awkward silence, waiting until the sound kicks up again. While the briefing looks awesome, their sound design is a bit off. Between all the little, high-tech sound effects, there is this constant annoying sound of an old air conditioner or a really old computer zooming in the background. This breaks the immersive feel of a futuristic space station and makes you feel more like your sitting in an old office behind a way older computer.

MarZ Rising is a strategy tower defense game where the player has to protect its martian base from hordes of alien zombies on Mars. While building your base, managing resources and researching new technologies, different kind of zombies will try to destroy your central hub. This can be avoided by upgrading and placing different kinds of turrets, ranging from simple machineguns to awesome, devastating laser beams. But nothing comes cheap, so you must mine the resources on Mars in order to grow stronger and build your base. And if you happen to get overrun by zombies, despite all your awesome weapons, you can always nuke them. What more do you need?


The core of the game is tower defense, but some parts are real-time strategy games inspired. You won’t be able to use a same tactic too often, as you have to adapt to different enemy waves. This forces you to rethink your strategy each level, keeping it fresh and challenging. For some, maybe even too challenging. The difficulty curve of this game is rather steep, the first few levels are fairly easy, although you can easily fail them if you don’t pay attention. But after the fourth or seventh level, it will get harsh or even frustrating, you rarely have the upper hand. Fully completing a level with all the bonus objectives, which is easier said than done, rewards you with a perk. And the success of some missions are really dependent on a particular perk. This leaves the gameplay relying on puzzle tactics to get that perfect score, instead of a more dynamic game.

Although the game is in early access, the game doesn’t suffer from a lot of bugs. Sometimes a zombie or two might get stuck in the fog or begin floating, but nothing serious. The unit controls are a bit wonky and often don’t work immediately. That’s not a big problem on its own, but it might get you in trouble in the midst of a wave of zombies. If you upgrade or repair a building while zombies are attacking it, they’ll just stop and move on to their next target. This could be seen as either a bug or something to use to your advantage.



MarZ Rising is an interesting change for a standard tower defense formula and has some new and fresh ideas for this genre. It has a lot of potential, if not limited by solely its missions, which doesn’t give it much replayability at the moment. But for a game in early access, it is really well polished. Surely the developers put a lot of love into this game, and it shines through.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
MarZ Rising - Preview, 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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