We're starting to get sick of Zombies. They're everywhere and those brain sucking beasts are getting tired out. Seriously, they've made time for movie appearances, a hit show on AMC, and target practice for defensive vegitation. If they still used their lungs, they'd be out of breath. Zombies just aren't that scary anymore. As much as I shutter to say this, they may be going the way of the vampire. No, not giving up brains for blood. I'm talking about the "sparkly" vampires. Like those other, more articulate, denizens of the night, zombies seem to have lost their bite. But, can they replace chills with campy chuckles? They've done it before and may do it again. Let's have a look at The Bowling Dead to see, shall we?
Zombies have been on the receiving end of all sorts of artillery. From cricket bats to flamethrowers, these poor walking dead have seen the worst at the hands of the living. But what if bullets and bats were of no use? They're still hungry for brains, but theirs are impervious to harm. In The Bowling Dead, your only defense from the hoards of shambling beasts are secret, government developed, bowling balls. Yes, this is a bowling-for-zombies game. Before you groan like the living dead, let me tell you, it's actually pretty good!
When you tap open the app, you're treated to a comic book style opening cinematic with a fantastic voice over to set the scene. Zombies have overrun the world, but messing with their heads does absolutely nothing. One man discovers a government issued weapon in the form of a bowling ball and strives to save his skin by never getting a gutter ball. It's now your job to make sure that the back alleys of the city have become bowling alleys splattered with blood and guts. The opening of each level has a short cinematic where a few more tantalizing bits of this strange zombie story are revealed. It serves to pique your curiosity and keep you moving from level to level in search of answers and not just a high score.
The gameplay is much like many other bowling game with a few zombie apocalypse appropriate tweaks. You pull back on the ball and flick it in the direction of the nearest shambling menace. But, you can hold it back to charge up for a power shot. You can also skip the pull back and just flick the ball in a bone crushing loft shot that bowling alleys always warned you about. The controls themselves are accurate and responsive. Their sensitivity allows you to toss some spin on a ball to take out as many zombies as you can and make their limbs go flying.
If you happen to miss a few zombies, don't worry, you have your trusty knife. This may be the most surprisingly fun bit of The Bowling Dead. The game switches instantly from bowling bonanza to a swipe-for-your life fighting game. You have to swipe in the direction of the icons on the zombie who is ravaging your body in order to finally divorce his undead soul from his teeth gnashing body. This strange turn of gameplay is enjoyable and serves to breakup the core mechanics quite well. It is so satisfying getting one more chance to take out the zombie that made you waste 5 shots because of his unbalanced juking.
The graphics are spot on for the grind house aesthetic of the game. It makes pixel peeping for tappable bonuses enjoyable. From beer, aka health, to extra cash for upgrades, you never know what might be sneaking around in each level.
Even if you're absolutely sick of seeing zombies everywhere, The Bowling Dead is well worth a download. It is a fun new take on zombie and bowling games. It deftly melds the two together into something that you're not likely to find anywhere else in the App Store.