Driving through a wasteland of broken cars, and only the dead to accompany the lonely road. As the speed increases so does the snarling of beastly exhumed corpses. The SUV once so shiny, and great for picking up chicks is now a mere shell of it’s former self. Broken windows where flesh has smashed through, or where I have fired my snub-nosed shotgun in the face of someone’s husband, father and child. This is no ordinary ride I am on as I travel the Zombie Highway.
I have a soft spot for zombie flicks, and usually one of the parts of them that gets my blood pumping is the escape scenes. You know the scenes where the heroes pack up, and leave a quite good fortified house to go to that clean zone. And usually I swear at them for not getting all the guns for the trip. In Zombie Highway you get to play that exact scene, and you only have a maximum of three weapons to bring along. With limited ammo death is certain.
An ever accelerating SUV is controlled by tilting your iDevice. The controls work quite well, and the car handles realistically to hard turns. It is also impossible to save a poorly planed route between wrecked cars, and often I find myself smashing into a parked vehicle. It is ok to scrape against parked wreckages, and it actually lowers the speed somewhat making life more manageable. On the other hand that means it will take longer to reach the longer distances travelled. The second part of the game is the zombies attacking the car. They stand around along the way, and jump onto the car with a roar. By tapping the area occupied by a zombie you can fire your equipped guns. Scrapping off zombies against obstacles is a good way to save some of the limited ammo. When too many zombies climb onto the car they try to turn it over, and eventually succeeds in doing so.
Zombie Highway is a simple game in the vein of Canabalt, Dead Runner and a ton of other games on the App Store. The longest distance travelled is all that matters, and game over is inevitable. I have played a lot of these games lately, and Zombie Highway really sticks out as it adds real excitement. It is a true rush of adrenaline when I manage to blast away a couple of fat regenerating zombies as I swerve between wreckages. As with all of these games the game ends in a bittersweet fashion. At times it is really addictive to go again, and at other times the slow build up feels boring. In Zombie Highway I can stomach the slow introductory miles as the road is randomized, and the zombies as well.
The presentation is quite good with vague zombie characters, and a hazy hot road to travel. There is definitely room for improvement to make the game varied graphically, but when blasting zombies the graphics take a backseat alongside a heap of brain matter. The lack of music is annoying, but at least the latest update lets me play my own stuff. Sound effects of weapons, and zombies are good. The engine noises could be better, and feel less like a small Fiat.
If you enjoy high score games with online leaderboards I can definitely recommend Zombie Highway. It proves how important game play is over presentation. Now you can finally at least try to make that escape the heroes in all those movies tried to do.
Zombie Highway $0.99
Seller: Kevin Pazirandeh