Exclusive: Stenches Hands-On Preview

The team from Thunder Gameworks asked us: What happens when the minigame you included as an afterthought becomes the most popular part of your game? Simple: You give the people what they want, and make it a spin-off. The result is Stenches, a standalone expansion of the unlockable zombie mode from WWI strategy game Trenches.

Stenches, like Trenches, is a real-time strategy game where you deploy units from the left and march them to victory or defeat on the right. In the WWI original, bombs and guns were your soldiers’ biggest threats, but Stenches is all about the zombie hordes. Slow-moving (but plentiful) zombie minions are interspersed by tougher special infected, a nod to one of the developers’ favorite zombie games (and ours), Left 4 Dead.

The only special infected we encountered in this early alpha build was a fast-moving zombie that bounded along like a cheetah, leaping ably over our trenches. We’re told that in the final game, he’ll receive a blur effect to emphasize his agility. Other special infected that are planned for Stenches include a bloated, gas-filled zombie, and a larger tank-like creature that can sustain a lot of damage.

It’s not clear yet what shape the final game will take, as it may be include a combination of missions where you have to reach the end of a long level, and missions where you have to withstand a zombie attack. It’s still early, but we think this is a great gift for anyone who enjoyed the zombie mode in Trenches, and the clever title alone cracks us up. Look forward to more Stenches in the coming months.