Outbreak! Zombies BETA Review

Outbreak! Zombies BETA Review

May 2, 2011

When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. Then, they’ll use their Android powered smartphones to play a geo-tagging game, where they attempt to infect other players by getting close enough to them for the zombie virus to spread. It’s almost exactly as George A. Romero predicted it would be.

Outbreak! Zombie Apocalypse is a smart looking, simple to play game that makes use of the GPS capabilities of your Android phone. It’s sort of like Foursquare, but with the constant threat of being eaten or attacked. Once you’ve chosen a username and logged in, you’re given one of two roles; either a clean survivor or an infected zombie and from there you can check your surrounding area, via an in-game map, for threats or your next meal.

On the map, you’re represented as a red or a green dot, depending on which side of the apocalypse you’re part of. Around that dot, there’s a translucent circle, which is your range. If any users check in inside your range, you can attack them if they’re a zombie and you’re a survivor, or infect them if it’s the other way round. More attacking and infecting equals more points, points which are spent on leveling up and gaining stronger attacks.

Survivors can even fortify their position, to better protect themselves against incoming zombie onslaughts. Your dot stays in the same place until you check in again, meaning that if you get lax with your gaming, you’ll probably end up a flesh-eating monstrosity before you’ve had the chance to complain about the unfairness of life.

The game’s UI is a lovely little thing; it takes the form of a disaster survival app and features a fake thumb scanner and all the statistics you need to play the game. There’s no sound, but that’s not really a problem. The app could do with some form of notification system, to let you know if enemy combatants are encroaching into your range, and a better in-app description of how to play wouldn’t go amiss either.

Outbreak! Zombie Apocalypse is a fun, diverting little app that turns going for a walk into a frenzied battle for survival against rampant undead hordes. There are a few kinks to iron out, but it’s a smart use of the tech in your phone. As more users join, the game is only going to get better – my advice, stock up on tinned food and shotgun shells, because the apocalypse is most definitely on its way.

AskTheLocals Review

Ask The Locals is a social networking tool with a difference; rather than connecting you with your friends, work colleagues or like-minded strangers, Ask The Locals connects you to specific places. You post a question through the app, then tie that question to a locale. Say, for example, you wanted to know if a bar you were considering going to was busy; post a question and anyone using the app in the bar would be able to give you an answer.

It’s a clever concept, presented to the user with the minimum amount of fuss. Once you’ve registered, you can ask questions, review the responses you’ve been sent and answer any queries that have been posted about where you are. The menu screen is uncluttered, with big icons and asking and answering are accessed with a single tap. Options and customization are kept to a bare minimum; your only real choices are whether to allow anonymous responses to your questions and whether to show notifications when you receive answers.

You pinpoint your question using an in-app map system, which is a little too vague for the precision that the app needs. You can zoom into locations, but it doesn’t allow you to tag your question to an actual business. You can mention the business in your question, but the app really needs a better way of making sure the question you’re asking is getting to the right people.

As with all social networks, Ask The Locals depends on a strong user base and at the moment, the major concern about the app is that it doesn’t have that. I’ve been using it for the best part of three days and despite asking numerous questions and checking in everywhere I went with my phone, I’ve not had a single response or a question to answer.

If Ask The Locals can get over this stumbling block and find a larger audience, then it has the potential to be a huge success. Because it’s so targeted, and because it’s entirely created by the people who use it, it stands apart from other geo-based networking apps. With a big community behind it and a better implemented geo-tagging system, Ask The Locals could well be massive.