I’m sure you, the discerning reader, are well aware of one of the great ironies of the AppStore: that for every zombie game that appears on it, seven more pop up, almost as if the store itself was being invaded by the undead. In fact, I fully expect a game to appear any moment now which depicts this very scenario (hint to developers: do this, and give me my royalties).
While I wait for that, I’ll briefly tell you about yet another new zombie title, Nightmare-athon. It’s based on a popular Cartoon Network programme I’ve never seen, The Regular Show. Zombies are attacking a screening of the new Zombocalpse 3D film, Mordecai,who I presume is the bird, and Rigby, who in that case must be the Racoon, are armed only with some old sports equipment as they fight for survival. I hope I got those characters right. Perhaps I should have watched an episode before writing the review.
You take control of both characters at once, tilting to move as the zombies file in from the other side. Tapping anywhere sees Mordecai chucking assorted weapons to slow them down while Rigby waits for a power meter in the corner to fill up. Once this happens, a quick swipe will allow him to dash across the screen armed with his stick to beat them down like…well, like a Racoon with a stick (if he’s not a Racoon, my game reviewing days are over).
As each level passes,the zombies increase in number and become quicker. If they make it through your defences and into the crowd, it’s game over. It’s also right back to the first level, which in my mind is a little unfair. You may not be bothered to slog all the way back through. Checkpoints or even lives would’ve helped, although where lives are concerned, I can imagine the zombies are saying the same thing. Ho ho.
A number of weapons can be used to your advantage though. Mordecai begins with rocks, and Rigby with the rudimentary stick, but take enough enemies down and more powerful ammunition begins to appear: a javelin for Rigby, a discuss which slices the heads off the zombies for Mordecai. (I’m glad this doesn’t happen in real life or the 2012 Olympics will be a rather macabre disaster). There’s also a smart bomb where their mate Skips barges through in a golf cart to take down everyone in his path.
It looks nice and sharp, and the occasional quips Rigby makes during play can be amusing, but it’s hard to get too excited about this. There’s better out there (the cream of the crop still being ‘Zombie Smash’ for me) and to be honest, we’ve seen it all before. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll likely get a kick (or a decapitation) out of it, but with The AppStore creaking under the weight of current zombie titles, it’ll take something with a little more of a twist to stand out.
Like I said at the start, I know exactly what that twist is. To the developer reading this who wants to make that ‘Appstore Under Attack’ zombie game, email me, I’ve got some great ideas. As long as I get my royalties of course.
Nightmare-athon is out now $0.99 on the US AppStore.
Developers (and anyone else) can follow Kevin on Twitter. And give him his royalties, naturally: @dreagleg