Infectonator: Hot Chase is an sequel/expansion to Armor Games Inc.'s first Infectonator. Sure we've played endless runners before, heck, we've even played zombie-based endless runners, but not one where you're trying to get the girls! It's up to you to assemble a horde of the undead and aim to finally get that hot chick. With adorable, 8-bit-like graphics and some bizarre character mutations, Infectonator: Hot Chase runs in a lane all by itself.

As an advocate of both 8-bit gaming and modern titles that attempt to recreate the 8-bit experience, I absolutely loved the graphics, sounds, and overall feel of Hot Chase. Surprisingly, Hot Chase was a lot more difficult and in-depth than I expected. There are obstacles to watch out for, mutations to induce, zombie hordes to amass and a news reporter in a helicopter to chase.

Infectonator: Hot Chase menu sets up its backstory: there's a reporter doing the news, you (a zombie) attack, she gets away and you want to finish the job. You must bite and convert as many females you can grab along the way. At first, there are only bystanders, pedestrians and obstacles (like traffic cones or boxes), in your path. Afterwards, expect to see police, the military, etc.

The actual gameplay of Infectonator: Hot Chase Review is rather simple. You must guide your zombie throughout the streets in order to get as many women as you can. With each person you bite, you gain an additional member to your own group of zombies. Unfortunately, this posse has a relatively small max number (which you can easily upgrade using the coins you gather), but the hordes are used to widen your size in being able to grab coins and bite humans.

You must tap and touch the screen in order to guide your character through them. While Hot Chase's controls seem simple, it was quite weird to see my character keep falling to the bottom part of the street while running. Touching/tapping brought my zombie and his horde up towards the top, but he still kept falling. I honestly believe that this style of controls could have been done a little bit tighter, such as holding your finger on the screen in order to guide your group where to go. This "always falling" mechanic got rather annoying, but I can see why it was implemented, it keeps you focused on whats in front of you and made me feel like I was platforming in order to keep reaching the girls on the screen.

From the start of each race, your health continuously drops. This acts as both incentive and a timer for your race. Each person you come into contact with not only warrant coins, but refill this HP meter to a degree. The resulting effect is that you must ALWAYS be grabbing people due to the speed of your plummeting health. The problem with this lies with the randomized layouts of the women on the street.

The randomized locations of people to eat results in open areas where there is no one at all to eat. I have encountered this numerous times throughout my playthroughs. I understand that this is meant to encourage you to save your one-time-use speed boost (which you sometimes can refill during the races), but I found this occurring much too frequently. It is rather underwhelming to break your record over and over, break through numerous barricades, just to find zero humans, boost, and still reach a screen where there weren't any humans within reach.

The coins you gather throughout your runs can be spent to upgrade and for the various skins you can put on your character. The upgrades are a necessity and the high price of the skins reflect that this is a free title and that there are expensive incentives to gain through normal runs alone. The idea that you could have your zombie disguised as a Xenomorph is rather amusing.

Despite the shortcomings and annoyances of its randomized areas with no people in them, Infectonator: Hot Chase Review is still a great and addicting game. Factor in its price tag (it's free, with a small pop-up ad occurring once at the end of every other race), and Hot Chase is a must have for fans of endless runners, zombie games and the 8-bit era. Once they iron out all the small kinks, I believe that one day the Infectonator series will be able to deliver a flawless zombie runner. While today wasn't that day, Armor Games definitely got extremely close to the helicopter.


App Store Link: Infectonator: Hot Chase for iPhone & iPad | By Armor Games Inc. | Price: Free | Version: 1.1 | 19.4 MB | Rating: 9+

8.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating