Alright, I'm not going to take a huge dump on an Alpha product of a game that's not even done yet...actually, I kind of am..
See, this game has A LOAD of potential! But there're issues with it that I can't shake. For one, the difficulty curve. While I most certainly enjoy a challenge, there's a difference between a challenge and trying to bash a wall down with your own face. resources are WAY too scarce! I end up spending more time trying to find supplies to keep my team alive instead of taking the time to build up projects due to lack of time and necessity! If I even spend a day not scavenging, I won't have the resources I need, and my group will tear each other apart! However, continuing to scavenge, I can't find enough because either RNG hates me, or the game just doesn't allow the leniency to find more than that! The difficulty curve feels a lot more like a difficulty Everest, because learning an effective strategy to maintain your team can be maddening, and it doesn't improve well with time.
Also, and this is what really, really bothered me: the defense-style missions. The hunt missions I was fine with, it allowed me a sort of free reign to explore, get supplies, and aid my group on my own time. But the defense missions feel too rigid! You'll rarely find the time to scavenge everything, especially with those wave timers ticking down to imminent doom, and if you JUST so happen to have a downed teammate as you JUST so happen to finish the last wave of a section? NOPE, LEAVE HIM, GOTTA PROGRESS. This happened to TWO of my heavy-hitters in the group, and I just couldn't progress at that point. At the very least, the option to progress shouldn't be FORCED, at least if you already have a pending action with your crew.
To summarize, I enjoy the idea of micro-managing your team, but there was just little ability to make it work, and I felt every answer I had to the problem always was the wrong one to choose. Now, I DO enjoy the roguelike element, to a fault. And I DO enjoy the defense element...TO A FAULT. But combining the two, with the fact it's hard to find new survivors, and the defense levels being really time-restrictive to do your thing, it all just leads up to a volatile combination. It's like mixing together your favorite ice cream and sherbet: it may SEEM like a good idea in your head, but it just leaves a bad taste in your mouth, and you were probably never meant to conceive it to begin with.
Now, to recap: does this game have problems?
YES. GLARING ones.
Does this make it a BAD game?
Not in the slightest.
I know so far, I haven't been positive, but this is where the negative (mostly) ends, and the praise begins. I like how the characters have personal stats that can be tweaked as they level and progress. I like the music and how it sets the atmosphere well. I like the sprite animations and the impressive amount of work on the visuals without sacrificing the retro-pixel stylization. And I like how your profile accrues experience across each playthrough, not only improving your game, but improving yourself.
Now, like I said before, this game has problems. In my opinion, the dev tried mixing real-time strategy with rougelike failure state to a mixed bag of results. I honestly feel the roguelike vibe fits better in the stages where you're allowed to roam the map freely, hunting down zeds as you go. Either make all the stages defense, and strip down the failure state a little, or all free-roaming, and keep the roguelike penalties, but perhaps make finding survivors a bit easier. But with the current state right now, I honestly think it's in the line for major improvement on the formula.
Alright, so I know this is in Alpha, and that this IS a demo. And the argument can be made that "Well, this isn't done yet, so why are you complaining?" It's a lack of criticism that can stagnate a game before it even gets out of development stage. It's because I WANT this game to be good; and if I have to butcher an early stage of it for that to happen, or, at the least, come closer to, I'm most certainly going to do it. Think me as harsh, but think about it: what would be better? critiquing the problems of a game before the final product, or critiquing the same problems with the full game? Better now than later, I always say.
So, in summary: Infectonator: Survivors has an interesting concept with some semi-sloppy execution. I want to see this go places, and I know it can. I'd say I would go grab the Early Access version, but that's only if the problems I mentioned are, at the least, addressed in some manner, and even then, I may steer clear of it, as with the concept of Early Access, there isn't any guarantee that the game will ever be finished. In all, good game with good visuals, but glaring design flaws. Hope to see this improve, toge-games, and I wish you the best. Until then, LEMME REVIVE SYD FIRST, DERNIT