Zombies are everywhere. Somehow they’ve become the “it girl” of monsters and the app store is positively infested with them. GOGN Entertainment recently launched their take on good-game-plus-zombies, Zombie: The Rescue, and I have to say, this zombie filled casual puzzler is a winner.
Zombie: The Rescue places you in the role of hero… and not just the simple sort who blows zombies away. As the name of the game states, there’s rescuing to be done. This involves more zombie dodging than zombie killing (though there is some of that along the way too), which is how the game earns its puzzling cred. Each stage is a sort of obstacle course viewed from above, complete with partial walls, patrolling zombies, and hostages to save (as well as cash to collect and various other items as you progress). You don’t want to let zombies see you (or the hostages), because one bite and you’re kaput. The primary goal is to get the hostages out of the marked exit. Each stage completed receives a 1-3 star grade based on time, getting your hostages out, and income.
To master your catlike moves (okay, not all that catlike, it’s a good thing the zombies don’t register footsteps because you stomp everywhere), you trace your route and then lift your finger from the screen to set your hero in motion. Along the way, you should be intersecting with coins, items, and hostages that need collecting, while avoiding the zombie gaze.
This is a well presented game, and the puzzle complexity and pacing is sophisticated enough to provide challenge, but like any great pick up and play, starts slow enough to get you addicted long before you’re frustrated. There are two simple things I absolutely love about Zombie: The Rescue. One is that the star system is explained—your scores for each component that goes into determining your grade for each stage are shown. The second is that this is not a physics based game. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy slinging grenades or birds, cause I certainly do. But it’s nice to see a real casual game contender that requires reasoning rather than a blend of trigonometry and luck.
Aesthetically, I’m also pleased with the efforts put forth by this game’s developers. There’s an absolutely fantastic comic/manga type intro that sets the mood for the game, and every aspect of the game ties in to the same quirky cartoonish style. The audio is a perfect complement, with over the top band music a la action adventure movies from a bygone era, which is mercifully shut off during the parts of the game that require intense concentration.
For $.99 (iTunes Link), I don’t think there’s a better casual combo of action and puzzle genres in the App Store. Consider the zombies to be thrown in for free, with this one. Zombie The Rescue is available right now for your gaming pleasure, pick it up!