UNKILLED Review

UNKILLED Review

Sep 14, 2015

No matter where we go in mobile gaming, there will always be a place for the undead.

UNKILLED highlights this, and helps underscore the civic responsibility of ridding the world of zombies.

Yes, it’s another zombie apocalypse trip, but this one puts the player in the professor’s seat as part of an elite team that takes the undead out. Completely, that is. If feels a bit like Dead Trigger, which isn’t too unexpected, given its pedigree.

The primary action is gleaned first person, such that one feels like one is carrying the gun used to inflict mayhem. The controls are pretty easy to navigate: bottom left invokes movement, while the other side allows the player to pan around in place, as one would do while looking around. Used together, it is possible to effect reasonably natural movement.

To begin, the game leads the player to a waypoint, and also shows how to shoot: simply getting the crosshairs on a target initiates the auto-firing sequence. After that, it’s of to find things — zombies, really — to shoot at.

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The zombies come in waves, and the basic premise is to shoot one’s way through them, and make one’s way to the level-ending location. Survive and move on, so to speak; the games inherent challenge is evident early on; navigating an urban area such as a virtualized New York City can be tough, what with tall buildings to peek around and tunnels to explore. Zombie hordes get more conniving, and there are even boss creatures to contend with. The developer adds in some other features, like a distance shooting challenge, and the quick transitions and vivid cutscenes help make the game feel less formulaic. The directions are clear, and the use of boosts (such as invulnerability, healing, multi-kills, etc.) works well.

The game awards cash for success, and this can be used to upgrade stuff. Real cash can be used to expedite the pace of improvements, but isn’t entirely necessary.

There is a little bit of gore, and there is the occasional salty word, but outside that, it is a nice looking game with a tested theme.

Zombie Volcano Review

Zombie Volcano Review

Dec 9, 2013

Zombie Volcano reminds me of Time Surfer quite a lot, although its style is a lot different from that. The core gameplay is basically the same. There’s a zombie head that flies out from a mountain. The player needs to tap at the right moment, so it would go out with the most speed, and then control it, as it stone-skips across the shallow water. Actually, it shouldn’t do that, as going through water quickly drains its “fuel” reserves. To not lose them the head should bump from the little islands. Even better would be to bump into some sort of object, like a human, or cloud, or many other strange little objects in the world of Zombie Volcano – it’ll get a slight speed and fuel recharge.

If the head bumps into an ascending cliff, it’ll get an upward speed boost, and if it falls into a lava, it’ll also replenish its fuel. The farer the head flies, the less land there is, and the harder it is to not fall into water. There’s a way to make it a bit easier, though. There are special offerings that are picked up upon start, and work through the level. They can be set before the beginning, and are bought with the coins. The real world US coins, I mean. They can also be gotten from the game, but I still can’t understand how.

The control is performed by an astonishing one button. Actually, there aren’t any buttons.Zombie Volcano 2 Pressing anywhere will make the head gain a downward acceleration, and fall straight downwards, bumping into whatever is beneath it. The player should notice the incoming islands, or objects, and press the button at the right time.

Although the controls and the core mechanics are more than basic, and the graphics – quite primitive, Zombie Volcano doesn’t feel like a cheap game. On the contrary, it’s surprisingly addictive and enjoyable, and has a nice, simple design that’s pleasing the eye. It may have something to do with the fact that there’s a very nice 8-bit remix of Edvard Grieg’s “In the hall of the mountain king” playing in the background, but I thoroughly enjoyed this little adventure, and think that it’s a nice way to kill fifteen minutes here and there.

Dead Ahead Review

Dead Ahead Review

Dec 5, 2013

Dead Ahead is an endless driver with some really interesting gameplay elements that definitely put it above the usual infinite platformers or actions. Well, it’s not like Dead Ahead doesn’t have all the usual routine like ads, special offers that ease up the gameplay, and a sprawling in-app purchase system, but in free-to-play games it’s always a matter of whether the gameplay is interesting enough to ignore these issues, and in Dead Ahead, it kind of is.

The main hero is a young man, who was unlucky enough to survive a zombie apocalypse with a still-beating heart, and now needs to escape a zombie horde that’s chasing him at a surprising pace. He’s smart enough to not go by foot, though, and is riding a kick-ass Vespa. Maybe not really kick-ass, but it does get the job done. The player needs to control the vehicle as it swerves through ghoul-infested highway. To do that, the player needs to keep a finger on one side of the screen and swipe it up and down to turn the bike. There are also two buttons on another part of the screen to accelerate the bike, and to shoot your weapon. Did I mention there’s also a weapon? The trick is that the weapon isn’t used to kill the zombies in front of the hero – the vehicle handles them more than fine – but in the back.

The hero can die from two things: either he smashes head-on into some debris on the road, or the zombies behind him Dead Ahead 3get to him. They can be killed with guns, but the guns aren’t perfect and require reloading, so it’s really handy – and fun! – that the zombies are , and don’t have a problem running into different obstacles themselves. With correct leadership, they can actually smash into the inert zombies that you’ve missed, and smash into a happy red pulp together.

I didn’t mention a lot of things, because there’s too many of them to mention. There are missions that give gold and unlock new gear, different levels that are more challenging, and offer more gold. By the way, gold in Dead Ahead is relatively simple to obtain. There are power-ups that give a temporary boost, and if you missed them, can be blown up, along with zombies in the back. Dead Ahead is ripe with interesting mechanics, and I liked it quite a lot. If you’re not too irritated by the free-to-play mechanics (and they are kind of irritating), this game is great.

Zombitsu Review

Zombitsu Review

Nov 22, 2013

In Zombitsu, we get a running game, a ninja sword and zombies.

Our ninja (Hiro) is outfitted with a sword to begin, and runs slicing up undead villagers and avoiding hazards that creep up along the way to stop progress. The view is an abbreviated top-down and behind angle, and this is affected by some game actions for brief moments. The zombies are all over, roaming on the sides of the running area and even directly in front. The base zombies are remarkably spry; there was a time or two I thought one was out of range only to have it knock me down behind some serious closing speed.

The controls are sparse, which is good. Tilting controls the direction of the perpetual runner, and there is an attack zom1button as well as an jump button. Now, the jump button can be used to avoid aforementioned monsters, but jumping over monsters continually has its drawback, especially with a zombie or two potentially waiting at the bottom. The built-in teacher shows how to double jump, and I found out in later levels that timing jumps can be very, very important.

The playing area is varied enough to keep players on their toes, with narrow bridges, huge bodies of water, walls and stuff like spikes making up a backdrop of helpers and dangers. Running into an immovable object or a zombie does damage, and this is denoted by a red glow around the fighter. Sustained safe activity can replenish the life bar though. There are also gold coins that line the running area and can be collected. As the game progresses, zombies get tougher, and the runway gets more treacherous.

The game employs the use of several arcade staples: upgradeable attributes, mini-challenges, diverse scenery and combo bonuses.

The game artwork is fun and functional, but I think the animations are a bit stilted. I think there could be more collectible gems and I feel the bigger the screen space, the more enjoyable it will be.

This won’t — it shouldn’t — distract from the understated charm of this title.

Pro Zombie Soccer Review

Pro Zombie Soccer Review

Oct 2, 2013

Before I started playing Pro Zombie Soccer, I thought it was something totally different than it actually was. I thought it was going to be more like a soccer game against the group of zombies. When I started playing it was a lot different. In actuality, the main characters use the soccer ball as a weapon to kill the zombies.

pro-zombie-soccer-12The ball gets kicked at different speeds and either injured or kills the attacking zombie. The zombies come at different speeds and angles so it takes a little bit of planning and timing to get all of the zombies before they start chomping on the kicker. Once the zombies are right on the kicker, there isn’t really a good way to get them off of him quickly. Just keep kicking and hopefully things will work out.

While playing Pro Zombie Soccer , there are different special skills to acquire. They can be really helpful. One will slow the zombies down but not the kicker allowing the kicker to hit more of the zombies in a shorter time. Another will let the ball go through the zombie instead of just hitting the first zombie in line and bouncing back.

The graphics of Pro Zombie Soccer are pretty good. They kind of have a urban Japanese comic book feel to them. The music is decent but gets a little repetitive. I like the sound effects, it has some pretty good zombie sounds.

The controls for Pro Zombie Soccer are pretty easy to use. There is a button right behind the kicker is that if pressed the ball is kicked. If the button is pressed and held, energy is stored up and the kick is harder. Dragging finger up or down will change the angle of the kick.

After getting through the first couple of levels, the game did get quite a bit harder. At first Pro Zombie Soccer was almost too easy. However, it was great way to learn the best timing for some of the specialty skills.

Dead Trigger 2 Release Date Is Announced

Dead Trigger 2 Release Date Is Announced

Sep 20, 2013

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Dead Trigger 2, which is a successor to a famous zombie-murdering action, now has a firm release date, and is going to hit virtual shelves on the 23rd of October of this year. It’s promising to deliver pretty much, more of the same, but better, and will be available for download on Google Play. So far, though, there are only a couple of screenshots and a trailer available.

Infectonator Hot Chase Review

Infectonator Hot Chase Review

Sep 19, 2013

Infectonator Hot Chase has a tough legacy to follow. The o riginal Infectonator was an insane stew with zombies, tactics, humor and originality. This game only has zombies. Being worse than Infectonator still counts as a praise, although I’d much rather have original gameplay extended. But oh, well, maybe we’ll see that later. Infectonator Hot Chase is still fun, though.

If you played Dead Ahead, then it’s easy to understand the concept of this game: it’s the same as Dead Ahead, but the heroes are zombies, not the survivals. The main zombie is running constantly to the right, just as the still-surviving humans do. He is also steering automatically to the bottom of the road, while pressing at the screen makes him strafe to the top. The player’s task is to “catch” the humans as the main zombie runs past them, and infect them. The freshly-infected start running alongside the main zombie, and help infect more people, or pick up gold and power-ups. The zombie slows and loses health over time, both of which can be replenished by eating people, or picking power-ups. When the main zombie dies, the gold he picked up is added to the bank, and can be spent to upgrade himself, or special mutations that temporarily imbue him with new powers.

Infectonator Hot Chase 1The game is a constant re-run of the same bit of road over and over again, until the zombies get powerful enough to run through it and unlock new roads. Although it sounds incredibly boring, the game is catchy, and grinding for upgrades doesn’t really feel like one. The mutations and random boosts definitely help, but I’d also like to see some additional game modes, or heroes, or generally some more variety. It’s not like Hot Chase is lacking content, but replaying it over and over again gets tedious after a while – not until the fun is had, though.

In general, I liked Infectonator Hot Chase, and my primary issue is simply that it’s not in the slightest like the original Infectonator. Besides that, it’s a casually interesting runner, with repetitive, but working gameplay mechanics.

KickStarter Spotlight: Death Road to Canada

KickStarter Spotlight: Death Road to Canada

Sep 4, 2013

While I personally am not a big fan of the whole zombie genera I certainly know plenty who get their fair share of excitement from the hordes of the undead. While not the most realistic end-of-the-world scenario they do seem to be the most popular based on the number of books, movies, TV shows, and games focused on the “forthcoming” zombie apocalypse. Adding to this pile of zombie flavored media is an ambitious KickStarter project that aims to combine the classic gameplay of the Oregon Trail with modern permadeath zombie survival games, and it wraps all this in a badass name: “Death Road to Canada.” The storyline here is simple from afar; drive from Florida to Canada as quickly as possible all-the-while collecting randomly generated companions and going through randomly generated cities.

What makes everything much more interesting is that each character, along with looking different every time, makes realistically rash and selfish decisions throughout the journey that the main player must deal with. This really ensures that each play-through behaves as a completely different animal compared to the previous one; which, I think, will ultimately give Death Road to Canada a surprising amount of replay value. Another feature that will keep players coming back for more is the fact that there is no second life. Death is permanent here, which should have frustrated gamers immediately starting a new game to avenge the loss of their fallen avatars.

In an effort to extend the life of Death Road to Canada, the developers are making a concerted effort to include as many ‘rare’ citizens and events as possible in order to ensure that each play through is not just different from the last, but also includes some scenario that has not been seen before. Personally, this is a huge selling point because if this game can offer a unique but similar gameplay experience every time it will most certainly become a classic game that is synonymous with the best mobile gaming has to offer. This, even though Death Road to Canada is not just a mobile game, the developers are working on versions for PC, Mac, Linux, and iOS.

In conclusion, anyone who is a fan of the undead or just survival games in general should really consider supporting Death Road to Canada at their KickStarter page. I am stoked to see this game in it’s final form and unfortunately my college budget does not allow me to fully fund this project. So get to it internet and help make this game into the reality it deserves.

The Tapping Dead Review

The Tapping Dead Review

Aug 27, 2013

There are two main ways of making free-to-play games. One is making the game progressively more difficult to play, so the player would spit out some money on upgrades. Another one is ads – a more bold, but a bit more fair way to get some money, without restricting anyone’s freedoms. There is, of course, a third, much better way of doing this – making the game so good, people would want to buy stuff for it, even if they don’t need it – but come on, we’re talking about mobile videogames here. So, let’s combine frustrations of the both ways and hope for the better! To be fair, I wouldn’t be so bitter about it, if The Tapping Dead wasn’t featuring frustratingly flipping insane difficulty as its core.

The Tapping Dead 1The Tapping Dead is a one-button arcade that consists of dozens of small levels. It takes about ten to fifteen seconds for hero to make it from start to finish for each of them, but it can take a whole lot more to actually do it, since the levels are filled with zombies of different kinds. Walking, flying, shooting, you name it – there are threats of all kinds in there, and neither of them can be stopped. Touching a screen will make the hero stand in is tracks, and that’s it. The zombies should be avoided, and if the hero bumps into one of them, he gets back at the start. While there’s almost no penalty for failing, the coins, which are absolutely needed for eventual completion of the game, disappear after a minute and a half. So, it’s really important to think through and complete the course in this time.

There are, of course, special items that can help the player, but they are scarce and have to be purchased for the coins. Eventually, the levels become almost impassable without them, so it’s better to stock up on them. Not that it’s easy, since the coins are very limited, unless purchased by real-world money. Generally, The Tapping Dead is overtly simple and not very original to be worth spending any money on, but it’s worth a shot. Although it’s a bit too eager to throw ads at the players, it’s nicely done, and if frustration isn’t an issue, there’s a lot of simple fun to be gotten from it.

Zombie Highway Review

Zombie Highway Review

Jul 29, 2013

Driving and zombies are like peanut butter and jelly of gaming. No one thought about mixing them together, and when they did, everything became right in this world. Even the games with below moderate quality are somewhat awesome, if they are about driving in a car through a zombie apocalypse. Zombie Highway is exactly about that, and while it doesn’t boast with variety, it’s sufficiently interesting, and pretty well done.

Zombie Highway 1Zombie Highway is devoid of story or characters, and instead, drops the player right into the action from the very start. The task is to drive a car through an infinite highway, filled with crashed cars and zombies that are way too eager to jump on the bandwagon, and eat everyone inside. The car can only be steered sideways, using the tilt controls. The zombies are spawned randomly at different points of the road, and when passed, jump at the car and try to attach to it. When attached, zombies start rocking the car, steering it off the course, and eventually – knock it over.

This means that the goals of the game are to evade the obstacles, and try to throw the clingy brain-eaters off the hood, before they roll it over. There are two ways of doing it: scraping the side with the zombie into debris on the road, and shooting it off. There are plenty of guns that are slowly unlocked, as the player progresses through the game, along with various cars, and even different highways. There can be up to three different cars on the car, and the player should tap on the side, on which the zombie is attached, to shoot him.

Although it’s quite challenging to drive the car, watch out for incoming zombies, and figuring out where to shoot, there are more challenges waiting ahead. Not only are there different kinds of zombies that are getting more ferocious after each passing mile, but each highway also has a slightly different, equally challenging gameplay. Although Zombie Highway looks like a pretty casual experience, it’s actually quite demanding, as every mistake on the road can lead to a crash.

Zombie Highway is quite primitive, but it has enough content and variety to be interesting for quite a long time. It has somewhat empty environments, but there are different settings to spice things up. Although it’s free-to-play, and can get quite stale after a while, it’s simply interesting to drive down the highways, claimed by the walking dead, to notice the repetitiveness. Anyway, even if someone has doubts as to whether they’ll like this game or not, there’s nothing to stop them from checking it out, as it’s free to download.

Parallel Zombies Review

Parallel Zombies Review

Nov 8, 2012

Apocalpyse again…

I will never tire of zombie titles. There is something to be said for annihilating flesh eaters, and in handheld gaming, ’tis the season. The influx of games in this genre means that the ones worth playing tend to be really, really good to make the cut. Perblue, with its Parallel Zombies, definitely wants the crown, what with its foray into joining destruction of the Undead with MMO gameplay.

On paper, I thought it was a novel concept. The only thing better than splattering zombies is being able to share in the fun with others. Making it mobile is the ultimate cherry on top. Thus, I was quite intrigued going into this review.

Showing that zombies are no discriminators, the first option for my character was to pick gender. I was also able to customize my game character down to mouth style (or you could randomize the face). I was tempted to go for Sisqo blonde, but resisted the urge. Next, I picked occupation for the choices of soldier, hunter and doctor, and then picked a name. Voila. Off to battle zombies.

The intro cutscene hinted at the horrors to be beheld. The music was appropriate, and the storyline useably brief as I made it to the tutorial and rendezvous with Kate. The graphics were quite unexpected. While some will take pause with the ungainly size when compared to background, there was a certain elegance to it. Control-wise, I made use of two thumbs: one to maneuver, and the other to attack the marauding zombies with whatever weapon (i.e saw, gun, etc) that was handy. I had the requisite damage meter, and dying zombies sometimes left valuable health packs, which I “picked” up by going over the health packs with my character.

The gameplay was what was to be expected: plenty of zombies to kill, based off of missions like defending a house. Getting through missions garnered me Experience Points. The game actively looked for members to join my team, and I could choose to be notified when teammates were online. I felt the MMO portion was probably the best aspect of the game.

The in-app purchasing functionality was well developed. I saw where I could buy accelerated accumulation of XP, or basics like food and weapons. There were also time-sensitive specials; other features, such as chat, in-game mail and global accomplishment tracking added to the allure of the game.

While the graphics did not put me off, I thought that they could be better. I also though this is the one time a real full tutorial would have helped to let players the goodness therein. All in all, though, this game deserves a look, and it will appeal to plenty of folks.

+

Stupid Zombies 2 Review

Stupid Zombies 2 Review

Oct 23, 2012

With Halloween right around the corner, seems like more zombie games are coming out. Stupid Zombies 2 is a fun zombie game that’s not quite a physics-based game and it’s not quite a puzzle game. What I mean is, the zombies are just standing there (in the beginning). To shoot zombies use walls to ricochet of bullets to reach zombies.

The different levels of the game offer different challenges by the way the barriers are position. The barriers and metal and sometimes have small gaps in them for the bullets to go through. These holes are both a benefit and a disadvantage because as the bullet ricochets around it might unintentionally sneak through one of these openings. Only a set number of bullets are given her round. When the bullets are gone the level needs to be reset.

The beginning of the game starts out super easy but even just a few levels in it gets pretty complicated. Part of the complication comes from the way the barricades are set up and also the zombies begin to move. Some of the zombies will climb walls and use their arms to move across the ceiling. This means not only does the angle and the ricochet need to be accounted for, so does the timing of their movements.

A set number of stars is given based on how efficiently all the zombies are killed. This is a combination of how many rounds of ammo it took to kill the zombies and the time it took. When the required number of stars is gathered, the chapter is complete. Multiple rounds in each chapter give plenty of chances to earn stars in advance quickly to the next chapter.

More points for killing more than one zombie with a single bullet. Higher scores are also given for killing the zombie with a headshot. When the level just does not seem possible to beat, there is an alternate weapon. From the start of the game there is a bomb to use which will kill all of the zombies in one use. The downside to using the bomb is only one star is given.