They Are Billions Review - Read Before You Buy

"A steampunk apocolypse" - the game's developer, Numation Games, calls their newest addition to their portfolio. It involves killing zombies while building a tower defense system
Zombies will feast on your flesh in a new survival and soon to be campaign game: "They Are Billions"

They Are Billions Review - Is It Worth It?

Interested in purchasing They Are Billions? Then this is the article for you. In it, we will give it a fair review, dissecting it and looking at the gameplay from all angles. We have no affiliation with They Are Billions or Numantian Games and will present you with the unbiased facts.

About They Are Billions

They Are Billions is a real-time strategy game that pits players against relentless hordes of zombies. There is one goal: survive.

The game  was released in Early Access by Numantian Games on December 12, 2017. It immediately began garnering positive reviews, and it has continued to do so. Based on almost 10,000 reviews, the game scores a 9/10 on Steam. The developers have stated that it will remain in Early Access as long as needed, but that they hoped to have two modes of gameplay (survival and campaign) complete by winter of 2018. Instead they are still working as of May 12, 2019, providing updates on the game via their website:

They Are Billions Story

Currently, there is no story mode for They Are Billions. All you have to do is survive the decreited territory of zombies. Simple right? Wrong. You start with only a small group of villagers. Good luck. There is, however, a campaign mode is in the works. This should introduce some story for us to follow. In the meantime, survival mode feels plenty compelling.

Terrorizing the village: a massive zombie tears through a crowd of citizens.

They Are Billions Gameplay

They Are Billions features an interesting hybrid gameplay that combines elements from real-time strategies games and tower defense games.

The game can be paused at any point. While paused, move orders can be given for units, and build orders can be given for buildings to prepare for the fight ahead.

From there, the gameplay is simple and straight-to-the-point. Train soldiers, build buildings, advance technology, build train better soldiers, build better buildings, repeat. Oh yeah, and kill zombies! The idea is that as you are scaling up your settlement, the hordes of zombies also are becoming bigger and badder. Be sure not succumb to their grimmie undead grips.

You have manual control over your soldiers, but not your villagers. The villagers automatically work in buildings as they are built, so you’ll want to protect them at all costs to have a functioning defense. The soldier control is where the RTS feel really shines, as you can engage with hordes of zombies in different ways depending on the scenario. You can kite them, swarm them, pick them off one-at-a-time, etc.

However, you've got to utilize your time wisely, as you are also managing the building of a village and its defenses against zombies. That's when the pause function becomes so important to the game. Finding the right balance of macro and micro management is key to getting things done in time.

The maps you play on are big. They take some serious effort and attention to completely explore, but the payoff is worth it. There are free resources that lie scattered throughout the map, waiting to be found. Additionally, every zombie you kill while exploring is one zombie less that you have to worry about showing up at your gates later on.

The game is highly replayable and very addicting. The maps appear procedurally generated, so the challenges are different each time, even if the gameplay is largely the same. At the end of a game, you are given a score. Competing against yourself for a new highest score retains its freshness for hours on end.

A word of warning: They Are Billions is hard. It is a difficult game, period. Expect to face frustration and ruin with some regularity. There are good guides out there for making the best of your time, but the bottom line is that this is a challenging game. One single zombie can infect your settlement. One single mistake can ruin all of your efforts. Beware!

Vivid gameplay imagery: Thousands of zombies flood a settlement's defenses.

They Are Billions Combat

Combat in They Are Billions is very simple. It combines RTS micromanagement with tower defense planning. There is a total of six different combat units in the game. These soldiers each have strengths and weaknesses, and they play very differently. For instance, the Rangers move very, very quickly, but they do comparatively little damage. They're good for kiting zombies. The Snipers, however, are extremely slow, but they do a lot of damage per hit. They're much better suited for putting in a tower to guard a wall.

To engage in combat, you simply select your unit and then right-click the enemy you want to target. Alternatively, soldiers will automatically engage zombie targets that come within a certain range of them. You can set them to automatically target the closest units or the most dangerous. Finally, you can place up to four basic soldiers (Rangers, Soldiers, or Snipers) in a guard tower to protect a certain area. The guard tower gives extra line of site and weapons range to your soldiers.

The combat ultimately feels very intuitive. There's not much to it, but it doesn’t take away from it being an interesting game. It is very satisfying to watch hordes of the undead get blasted to bits thanks to your infantry.

They Are Billions Quest/Mission System

At the time of writing (May 12), there is no quest or mission system for They Are Billions. As mentioned above, the developers have stated that a campaign mode will be released in the winter of 2018. Until then, we will have to stick with survival mode, which sort of has a quest in it of itself: survive.

They Are Billions Graphics

The graphics for They Are Billions are surprisingly good, but not in a realistic way. Rather, they are beautiful hand-drawn images that depict a steampunk era settlement, surrounded by wilderness, with  zombie hordes continuously approaching trying  to feast on your people.

The graphics have been rendered in 4K, so you can zoom in extremely close on them and they still look gorgeous. Clearly, a lot of effort went into drawing and designing this game.

The same level of detail is seen in the combat animations. They are lively, and they communicate action whether zoomed in or out. Given how far you can zoom in and out, that's actually a really impressive feat.

Line of Defense:  A titan soldier patrols a settlement, ensuring its safety.

They Are Billions Developer

They Are Billions is being developed by Numantian Games. They are an indie developer, but they've achieved a surprisingly polished product here, even though it is in Early Access. I've run into no bugs whatsoever, which is shocking. The developers seem to be in good communication with their community, and updates come out regularly. It does not appear to be a game that will end up stuck in Early Access limbo for all of eternity.

They Are Billions Price

They Are Billions currently costs $24.99 while in Early Access. The developers have stated that the price will be higher once the game has been officially released. The cost is a little higher than I think would be typical for such a game, but given the polish and the bright future of this game, I'd say it's worth it. They Are Billions is currently only available on PC. No mention of future ports has been made. There are no pay-to-win elements or in-game transactions. Buy it once to buy it all, it’s a pretty good deal overall.



  • ·       Fun blend of RTS and tower defense
  • ·       Easy to get started
  • ·       Gorgeous graphics
  • ·       High replay value


  • ·       Very difficult to win survival mode
  • ·       One single mistake can ruin all of your work
  • ·       Slightly expensive

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When she's not driving her tractor to the Newsroom, Madison can be found traversing abandoned hospitals, reversing time, and annihilating the undead.
Gamer Since: 2012
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
Top 3 Favorite Games:Batman: Arkham Asylum, Life is Strange, The Walking Dead