When I watch zombie flicks I am usually struck by how damn stupid the humans tend to be.
Running about not properly boarding up a building to make a proper last stand. If no humans fall to the infection there can’t be more zombies so it is just a matter of time, and using your brain. The goal has to be survival, and to keep the brain inside the container it came in at all times. For some reason the people in the movies have to find a girlfriend, a child or some other thing vital to a plot but detrimental to survival. In the game Brainsss people are even worse at using their brains. They aren’t even hiding in buildings, or listening to gunfire or screams as indications to leg it inside. Nope these humans simply idle about on their daily walk, as if the world hasn’t gone insane.
In Brainsss you get to control the infection from an evil point of view. Each level starts with a limited number of stragglers that have to get in contact with humans to get more soldiers in the war against the living. In some instances the humans have actually understood that there is a threat, and you have to stop them from escaping by means of a chopper. There are also armed cops, soldiers and rogue elements that can easily kill lonely zombies.
The game is controlled with swipes, and taps. Swipe across a number of zombies to select them, and tap where you want them to go. There is also a button that lets you quickly deselect half of the currently selected troops. I found it slightly wonky at times to use this method of selecting, and deselecting. Especially when trying to corner, or flank humans where quick actions are needed. I would have liked to be able to assign my troops into two to three smaller teams with their own hotkey. To scroll around the map you use a two-finger swipe. For the most part this works really well, but when the going gets tough it is easy to send some zombies in the wrong direction when I was trying to pan the map. Overall I think the controls could be improved, but the basic idea is good and suitable to the touch screen.
One thing that I dislike about Brainsss is the fact that the game is quite heavy on wanting you to use IAP to succeed. If you fail a level you can upgrade your zombies to make them quicker, stronger or give them other abilities. These upgrades are level specific only. You have a limited number of in game credits from the start, and gain more when you complete levels. If you start to rely on these upgrades to complete levels you will need to buy more credits quickly. It would have been nicer to have different levels of difficulty instead.
The presentation in Brainsss is not that good, and both the maps and characters feel barren and simple. The comics between worlds are fun, but also a bit too simple in graphical design. It gives the game an own style, but that style is not that interesting. Just like that classmate you never talked to who had his own style, and smelled funny. The sound effects could be a bit more gruesome as well, and there is definitely room for one-liners when humans run away. The person, or thing controlling the game ergo you doesn’t have any sort of avatar at all. Some wicked laughter would have gone a long way. Strangely enough the music isn’t really matching the game, and feels more at home in a game like Sally’s Spa or Diner Dash.
Brainsss is based on a cool idea, but the execution isn’t there yet. The presentation is a bit too simple, and the controls are in need of some tweaking. With more than 50 levels you do get a lot of content, but the question is if you like me will tire of the game before the halfway mark. The idea to use IAP to complete a failed level is an eyesore. And finally the fact that the AI is more stupid than people in zombie flicks from the seventies gives me grief. There is still fun to be had, but it is marred with issues.
Brainsss $2.99 Universal for iPad/iPhone/iPod
Seller: Lonely Few LLC