From Night of The Living Dead to Zombie Wonderland, movies have shaped our perception of that most intriguing of undead adversaries: the zombie. The App Store is crawling with zombie games—more so than the Tetris and Jewel derivatives. Here are a few of my favorites. Each one offers something unique to the genre; they'll provide you with hours of gruesome fun.
Zombie Flick is one of the more original games I looked at. As with other zombie games, you're the lone survivor fighting off hordes of the undead. But this one lacks guns or any sort of traditional weapon.
Zombies come at you from all directions, and all you have to throw at them are items from the pile of junk you're standing on. You fight off the moldering crew with rolls of toilet paper, old guitars, and an occasional cat. The targeting is also interesting; you simply swipe a line between the object you're holding and the zombie you wish to attack. If you angle the line just right, your object will ricochet off one zombie and destroy others.
This is definitely one of the better looking 3D zombie games, in large part due to the vast variety of zombie types. You're attacked by dead cheerleaders, moldy quarterbacks, and a variety of decaying Village People. Deadly Elvis impersonators even get into the act. The characters and objects in the game are varied and detailed. About the only thing missing from your junk pile is the proverbial kitchen sink.
Zombie Flick is one of the most original and engaging games in this genre. Just when you think you've mastered the technique of flicking objects to kill zombies, a particular variant of the undead will come along to throw a wrench (or dumbbell, more appropriately) into your plans.
The more you play, the more determined you'll become to reach a higher score with less tosses. Grade: A-.
You start out with campaign mode, which takes you through 28 days of mashing the undead in several locations throughout the city. When you make it through the 28 days in one location, you can play that same location in survival mode. To rescue the innocents, you need to draw lines from them to the choppers. You also need to use the civilians to pick up supplies that are dropped for you. Your armaments include a sniper rifle, a small bomb, and my favorite—a piece of meat to distract the zombies. (You can also use the meat to lure the zombies into a group so you can destroy them all with a single bomb.) Controls consist of swiping to draw lines or tapping to use weapons; it's pretty easy to figure out. The challenge of this game is to manage the frantic innocent bystanders while dispatching the zombies at the same time.
The graphics are sweet but a tad gruesome. (You get to watch as the zombies devour the poor souls that didn't make it to the chopper in time.) If you're a bit squeamish or want to save your children from the spectacle of splattering blood, you can turn off the blood. The sound effects are a bit eerie and include the screams of innocents and the zombies chomping on unlucky victims. The background music helps fuel the tension in the game.
Zombie Escape is a fresh take on the whole zombie infestation genre. It brings some much needed change to the whole line drawing concept as well, especially since it doesn't involve vehicles. I really like the fact that you have to manage both the survivors and the army. It gets hectic at times, but in the end it's quite rewarding. Grade: A
I can't think of a much more amusing scenario than a trailer park being overrun by alien meteors that produce nasty zombies. While there are times when this game starts to feel like just another shooter, it has enough quirkiness to stand on its own.
In this game you're redneck, Tucker Ray trying to rescue your sweetheart, Betty Sue from the menacing zombies. In true dual stick fashion, you use one thumb to move your character around the screen and the other to fire your weapon. You can auto-target, which in effect turns the weapon joystick into a simple button; I highly recommend this for everything except the boss battle. Your basic weapon is unlimited, and you'll get the chance to use three special weapons, including a squirrel blaster—by far the best weapon.
Unfortunately, there are only three levels to the game, so seasoned gamers will probably beat it in an hour or less. This is especially true if you take advantage of the fact that you can always go back as far as the last save point, and weapons regenerate after you've used them. In other words, always go back for the good weapons to defeat the tough monsters. If you play like me, you'll spend as much time running backwards as forwards.
The graphics aren't bad, especially when it comes to the surroundings. I especially like the trailer level with the flamingos and toilets littering the landscape. Tucker Ray and Betty Sue look pretty decent as well. The zombies look a bit on the stiff side (pardon the pun) and look like blocks with skins painted on. I wish the comments that Ray and Betty made were louder and a bit more frequent, but the sound effects are decent enough, the best being the squirrel cannon.
A couple more levels would be nice, or the developer could have broken up the three long levels into smaller segments. It would make the game feel like there's more to it. There are better dual stick shooters out there, but this is one of the best with a zombie theme. Grade: B-.
Rednecks Vs. Zombies
- $0.99 (iPhone/iPod touch only); app2.me/3127
- Free version, app2.me/3148
- Frozen Giant; http://frozengiant.com/tucker-ray-in-rednecks-vs-zombies/
Zombie Line isn't all that compelling, but I haven't regretted buying it for one second. Its unique visual style sucks you into the game and the interesting array of weapons continues to surprise you and make you wonder what's coming next.
In this game, you must protect a damsel in distress from zombies as she tries to get to the door at the end of each level. Shoot everything that's not the damsel, collect money to buy weapons and health, and get to the exit on each level. You can't be injured by the zombies…but the damsel can!
There are no fancy 3D images; all the elements of the game are rendered as red outlines. What makes it a treat is the fact that the characters and the zombies are all extensions of the line that represents the floor (hence the title Zombie Line). It's so cool to watch the zombies rise up out of the line and move towards you. This is certainly not the most graphically sophisticated game out there, but it has one of the coolest visual styles. It may not keep you occupied for hours, but it's worth the experience. Grade: B.
- $1.99, app2.me/3135; Free version: app2.me/3149;
- iPad version: $0.99, app2.me/3150; Free version: app2.me/3151
- nabil chatbi; FBS Software; http://www.fbssoftware.com/
More zombies lurking in the App Store
Beware! There are more zombie games lurking in the App Store. Type "zombie" into the App Store search engine and have at them! You can't go wrong with big name titles like Resident Evil 4 (Free version, app2.me/3138; iPhone/iPod touch version: $4.99, app2.me/3136; iPad version: $6.99, app2.me/3137) or Zombie: Infection ((Free version, app2.me/3141; iPhone/iPod touch version: $2.99, app2.me/3139; iPad version: $6.99, app2.me/3140). However, there are a few that I'll never go near again.
If you're looking for some gruesome entertainment, check out these games. They're not the best known titles, but they'll provide you with hours of fun. Happy zombie slaying!