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Specific tags for the title's features


Similarity & Review


Multiple Sources


Compared to VS. Not a review!

Similarity Scale

Percentage of possible points earned scored -1 to 1 in tenths in 60 categories

Genre Controls Modes Progress Builds Stages Content Aesthetic Vibe


Free Available Released

Very Different. FPS / Tower Defense Hybrid. This zombie shooter was in the Steam Bullet Heaven Fest so we checked it out. It's definitely not a survivors-like or a bullet heaven. It's a more oldschool wave defense game, with a really frustratingly obscure and tutorialized set of features instead of a way to easily drop into action. It probably won't satisfy survivors-likes fans, but you could check it out if you liked older games like Orcs Must Die. I had a lot of quibbles around this one that kept me from putting more time in, but I think it's ok since it's not as related as other games anyway. Correct me if I missed any features!

Base Building First Person Shooter Story Rich Tower Defense Wave Survival
1.8 Combined Ranking Score
70/72 Ranking Position
775/1600 Total Points
4.5 Final Review
85% Steam
2.1 Scale
3.0 Vibes
131 Steam Reviews
236/400 Review Points
-1.0 Similarity Score
45% Diagnosis:
Very Different
539/1200 Comparison Points
50% Genre 0/8 genre
7% Simple Controls -6/7 move
69% Survival Modes 1.5/4 modes
25% Power Progression -2/4 level
47% Buildcrafting Depth -0.3/5 build
61% Stage Features 1.6/7 stage
61% Content Breadth 1.9/9 stuff
47% Aesthetics -0.4/6 style
42% Gameplay Vibe Check -1.6/10 vibe vibe

GROSS Ranking Notes

- +

Scaling and Review Notes

Personal Hours Played: 2.7

Every game ranked was played, but also scaled based on research, talking to developers & your feedback. The priority with the scale's initial design was to compare similarity on relatively objective features - so it doesn't claim to include reviews of the depth and clarity you'd get at a games journalism site, nor the intensive time played you might get from player reviews on steam. We try to incorporate and link all of that along with a 'review scale' that checks for bugs. See the heatmap and breakdown! Time played noted so you can take any notes with a big grain of salt! I can't get to high level gameplay in 850+ games so I heavily research every game. Over 80 game creators let me interview or survey them! I Hope to go back and refine. Please argue or submit your own scores and reviews to be incorporated with credit into the notes and score numbers.

Added or last checked on 11/6/2023

This is an FPS Horde Shotter / Tower Defense hybrid we're comparing here relatively early in our process because it's listed in the Steam Bullet Heaven Fest sale. (In the long run I'd like to add more horde shooter and tower defense games in general, but we're still usually focusing on survivors-likes until we get those filled out.) I don't think it's a bullet heaven though. I don't think it's a rogue-lite either.

A lot of fans mention Sanctum in reviews as similar, but I haven't played that. It leans more on the FPS side, according to reviewers as well and I might agree. Early game it's best to just use barriers and kill them yourself. But the first person view makes making paths annoying especially since and instant refund costs you half for a mistake. The "You Must Leave A Path" limitation is janky and weirdly applied.

The main event is a "story" mode and honestly has quite a lot of text story. Pretty long winded but honestly I thought it was fairly well written for something like this. This one certainly tasks you to survive waves, but don't expect as simple an arcade gameplay loop since you need to pick them out and install them from a menu, run round prepping a bit in first person between fighting.

You pick from and unlock things through play, but there doesn't seem to be randomization or any sort of meta progression in the roguelite sense.

Controller navigation for building leaves a little to be desired, it says on screen "press E" to start instead of the controller button etc. Didn't realize I had to literally point at the RV etc. So much trouble trying to figure out where weapons are to equip after accidentally switching a slot during the tutorial. Incredibly time wasting and frustrating. Visually it feels like a less interesting Plants Vs Zombies (the 3D spin offs) with kind of similar gameplay too. Much more confined map, though, and the grid to construct on. Once into the match the gunplay is fine but the enemies aren't really visually or gameplay distinct for the first while at least.

You start with three guns already equipped which was nice, I don't love how some of these FPS zombie games make you hold a single one at a time. But then how to select them is totally crazy requiring in game walking. Overall the time I spent was mostly frustrated, often incredibly frustrated. It tells me to make a path of barricades and then tells me I have to leave a path while there are 4 openings and won't let me place more. It tells me to switch guns by finding them then doesn't tell me where my old guns went. Totally unclear and unexplained UI elements.

Much of this hidden or unavailable to use during the tutorial, which is a pet peeve for me, because when you have a long and unskippable tutorial and then some of the buttons don't work, you spend the early game simply confused as hell. Often the tutorial asks me to press a keyboard button while using controller. It made me go through the tutorial twice, again after selecting the second mission. And there's another tutorial in the menu. And tutorial bits during a plot segment. And it gives you a mini tutorial and shows you training dummies at your "house."

Devs enabling buttons and menus one at a time during a tuturial has got to stop imho. Stop changing the UX around at the start of the game when it's most confusing! Just let me jam the buttons and figure out what they do! Don't make a tutorial that takes place with limited access to game function through an entire full survival session and definitely don't spread it accross multiple long stages. These games should be hop in hop out imho. If valheim can be you can be.

I'm not really sure how it has so many positive reviews, the basics are just frustrating. It gets easier to find your guns and figure out the menus of course, maps open up a bit, but it still just felt very awkard and janky to me. In any case, it's not a survivors-like and there are better horde shooters out there too.

GROSS Similarity Scale Heatmap

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Measured in 60 categories via likert-scale style options -1 to 1 in tenths, how does this game compare to Vampire Survivors. This allows 1200 total "points". It's easier to have a point of comparison and we just picked Vampire Survivors since it's the most popular and commonly referenced game in the subgenre. For detailed methodology read the explainer. For in depth examples at score value, see the scoring guide and for term definitions see the key.

-1.0 Similarity Score
45% Diagnosis:
539/1200 Comparison Points
Rogue-lite 0/1
Auto-Fire / Auto-Battle -0.8/1
Real Time 1/1
Top Down or Isometric -1/1
Direct Control of Single Avatar 0.8/1
Arcade Style -1/1
Bullet Heaven A (Many Player Bullets) 0/1
Bullet Heaven B (Few Enemy Bullets) 1/1
One Handed Play (w Controller) -1/1
Move Only -1/1
No Dash 0/1
No Trigger -1/1
No Special Move -1/1
No Aiming -1/1
No On-Aim / On-Fire Movement Penalty -1/1
Timed / Boss Ended Survival 0.5/1
Endless Mode 1/1
Organic / Unannounced Waves -1/1
High Enemy Count (Horde) 1/1
Level Up on XP Gain Event -1/1
Streamlined Level Choices (Simple UI) -1/1
Currency Based Meta Unlocks 0/1
Goal Based Meta Unlocks 0/1
Build Crafting 0.2/1
Weapon Combination / "Evolution" 0/1
Interesting Item / Weapon / Ability Synergy 0/1
Broken / Invincible Builds Possible -1/1
Explorable Map 0.3/1
BIG Maps -0.5/1
XP on Ground 0.8/1
Health on Ground 0/1
Temp Powerups / Items on Ground 0/1
Treasure Chests and/or Loot Events 0/1
Vendor / Merchant on Run 1/1
Enemy Variety 0/1
Bosses / Elites 0.2/1
Many Interesting Characters -0.5/1
Many Challenges 0/1
Multiple Stages 1/1
Difficulty Modifiers 0.2/1
Bestiary / Lore 0/1
Achievements 1/1
Secrets 0/1
Retro / Pixel Art -0.5/1
Damage Numbers 1/1
Lofi Charm 0/1
Bumpin Music 0.1/1
Fun Writing -1/1
Subtle Humor 0/1
Panic & Zen Duo Vibe -0.5/1
Over the Top -0.5/1
"One More Run" / Short Runs 0/1
Difficulty Ramp -0.5/1
Fun Ramp -0.5/1
Low Price -0.2/1
Technical Check 0.2/1
Controls Check 0.2/1
Fun Check 0.2/1
Feels like VS -0.8/1

GROSS Review Scale Heatmap

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The review scale is judged from -1 to 1 in 10 categories, with 200 possible "points" earned. Steam review positive percentage is worth another 100 points, and a "ten point" pure vibe review number adds extra subjectivity. Converted into points, that's 400 points total. The points aren't used directly in the ranking, though, which averages the three number scores for the final review score listed in the game line above.

4.5 Final Review
85% Positive Steam Reviews
131 Steam Reviews
3.0 Pure Vibes
2.1 Review Scale
236/400 Review Points
Not Buggy 0.8/1
Not Janky -0.4/1
Good UI 0/1
Controller and Deck 0.3/1
Lots of Content 0.7/1
Good Theme 0/1
Good Graphics and Sound 0.4/1
Fun Feel 0.2/1
Unique Twists 0/1
Vibe Check 0.1/1

GROSS Tag Cloud

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More sortable taxonomies and categories associated with the game (genre tags are available in the main game table line!) We've just started adding tags to enable more sorting options, this section will get more filled out as we go!

Release Tags

Steam DeckWindows PCFree AvailableReleased

Sorting Categories

Very Different

Genre and Control Style Tags

Base BuildingFirst Person ShooterStory RichTower DefenseWave Survival

Aesthetic Tags

3DCell ShadedLow Poly

Setting / Story Tags


Control Styles


Game Mode Tags


Features and Extras

Steam AchievementsSteam CloudSteam Leaderboards


hangry owl gamesHawthorn Games

Game Features

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Listing various features we've got info on.


  • Local: No
  • Online: No
  • Player Count: 1
  • Leaderboards: ?

Steam Features

  • Steam Cloud: Yes
  • Steam Achievements: 56
  • Steam Leaderboards: Yes
  • Steam Workshop: No
  • Steam Trading Cards: No

Extras, Etc.

  • NSFW: No
  • Demo Available: No
  • DLC Available: No
  • Soundtrack Available: No

Marketing Blurb

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Some description of the game and its features from the creators.

"In GROSS, you are tasked with defending your base against waves of enemy attackers in classic tower defense fashion. You have the freedom to build barricades and turrets to create mazes and launch attacks on the enemy, as well as place traps on the ground for added defense.

During the construction phase, you can experiment with different combinations of turrets and barriers to come up with the most effective obstacle course for your attackers. And don't worry about time limits or wasted resources - you can sell everything you build for a full refund until the next combat phase begins. So if you love the strategy and satisfaction of building the ultimate tower defense setup, GROSS is the game for you!

"Once you are done building your defenses, get ready for intense, fast-paced combat! With a huge arsenal of guns at your fingertips, each featuring different ammo types, you'll have to make split-second decisions to take down waves of zombies."

Run Times & Speedups

- +

Average Run Time:

Run Time Notes


Speed Settings


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