For starters, board game ports to mobile remove the need for players to deal with (perhaps) clumsy peripherals, and setup time for the game itself. And of course, players take the game anywhere when it is downloaded on their phone. I’ve also found that for myself personally, a couple of games have proven fun enough on mobile to lead me to buy their physical counterparts. Thus, Zombies!!! had a chance to not only win my approval as a good mobile game, but it also might have made me click “Buy” for the physical copy on Amazon.
Zombies!!! Makes you a “survivor” in the zombie apocalypse, with endurance against the titular enemies as the goal. You and a few other AI players play through a procedurally placed “city”, either trying to make it first to a helipad and receive rescue, or slaughter twenty-five zombies before the others empty their ammo into the flesh-eaters.
The game, based around dice rolls for movement and zombie combat, also brings “event cards” into play, which can have effects ranging from granting movement bonuses, to giving your player a zombie-game-requirement chainsaw. There is very little difference between the core gameplay on the mobile version, and the gameplay from the physical version. So for those who enjoyed the physical copy, this port is already a good choice for your iPhone.
However, there are some rather irritating flaws present, mostly in the “polish” department. The overall look of the buildings and large structures on the board are a bit jagged for my taste, and in dire need of some anti-aliasing. The game’s frame-rate also has lag issues, and tends to drop most noticeably when zooming out on the whole game board. The touch controls are also a bit unwieldy, and make maneuvering around the board a bit more of a task than it should be.
The lack of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi multiplayer is also disappointing (although single-device pass-and-play has been implemented) since you can only have so much fun with computer players. If you ask me, (and no one does, thankfully) digital ports of board games that were designed for multiple human players should have multiplayer from launch (I’m looking at you, Catan). But, what are you going to do?
Zombies!!! Is a port that successfully carries over the fun of its physical predecessor, and at the same time, removes the need for tedious setup and peripheral maneuvering. The lack of wireless Multiplayer is a shame, and there are some polish flaws that will hopefully be smoothed over in a future update, but fans of the original board game will find a satisfying port despite a few flaws.