Zombie Gunner Review
Shooting zombies in video games is a time-honored tradition and the App Store is full of great examples. Gamevil's Zombie Gunner arrives right in time for Halloween, but is it worth playing or should we just go for the double tap (and hold) to delete it?
"Everything happened as slick as nothing at all." Wait, what? The intro to the game should have been the biggest tip that I was walking into something terrible. Never have I been so irritated by a game where you shoot zombies. The formula is simple! Zombies + Great Gamplay = Success! How do you fail?! Publisher Gamevil has always been hit-or-miss with me, but this has to be one of the worst releases I've ever played. Poor translations, weirdly-blurry graphics, controls that make me want to bash my head into a wall, and an overall lack of polish make for a serious waste of time. The screenshots in the App Store had me excited because it looked like a Metal Slug clone with zombies, which is something I would totally love. If only it had been a clone, instead of some watered-down rip-off that leaves the taste of disappointment in my mouth. Every time I saw the "skip" button during the intros, I always hoped it would just skip through the game and apologize for wasting my time and shattering my zombie-killing dreams.
You play the game as Andrew, who is some dude with a smirk, Guile's hair, and presumably some military experience. Andrew's hanging out at home when suddenly, zombies! His daughter Lisa has been taken by the undead fiends and it's up to him to get her back while helping other survivors of the zombie apocalypse. Sounds somewhat compelling on paper, right? It's a shame the execution is so bad. The screenshots in the App Store must have been touched up, because everything on my screen looked like I was viewing the game through a haze. Character designs look like something out of a late 90's Flash movie designed by students. But the most glaring issue with this game is the horrible translation and text. All of the speech bubbles and dialogue boxes have text that is spaced haphazardly and features horrible translations. They could have at least used Comic Sans to jazz it up a little, because I wasn't taking this game seriously anyway.
The bad translations and lack of presentation polish would have been forgivable if the game was fun to play. Unfortunately, it isn't. You move Andrew from one end of the screen to the other using a virtual
bandaid thumbstick, going at a ridiculously slow pace and being unable to jump. You can fire your weapons (or punch), diagonally and to the sides to take out the dead. I have no idea why they don't let you fire straight up at slow-falling zombies, but I guess it's because it'd make too much sense. The dead drop coins when you drop them, which you can then use to purchase new weapons and upgrades. Or if you're lazy, Zombie Gunner does what any good freemium game (which this is not), does, and offers a cash shop for you to buy your way to success.
The bottom line is that this game is a mess. There are a lot of great free games out there, but this isn't one of them. Its one saving grace was the fact that I could punch a ton of zombies until they exploded, but the novelty wore off quickly. My only hope is that it doesn't adhere to the zombie mythos and come back once I delete it from my iPad.