Every Day I’m Shufflin’ – Kevin Beimers Vs. The Zombie App-ocalypse

Every Day I’m Shufflin’ – Kevin Beimers Vs. The Zombie App-ocalypse

art courtesy of http://www.wickedzombies.comWell, thought I, since it’s the Month of Love, maybe I’d nip into the App Boutique on my way home and pick up a heart-shaped little something to put you, your girlfriend, and your iDevice into some sort of alternative experimental mood for threesome digital romance. But then, retorted I, who seriously says to themselves “I need to inject a little romance in my life. I wonder if AppAddict has anything to say about it?” That’s right. Nobody.

You’re reading about apps, because – let’s face it – if romance were available to you right now, you’d be doing that instead. So why don’t we just talk about zombies?

Why zombies, you say? I could probably cook up some loose connection about zombies being anathema to romance, or play the card that it’s the second most popular visual content for a Saturday night houseful of dudes… but that’s not how I ended up on the Z-list.

No, see, the fellows over at AppAddict told me to have a peek through the requested reviews submissions list to see what caught my eye. Those same fellows, obviously modest about their own popularity, cleverly omitted the fact that the submissions list had upwards of 900 apps in it. 978, to be exact. And, while looking at the number 978, I happened to notice the bulk of the 970s had a similar theme.

So, in an effort to clear out AppAddict’s Z-backlog, let’s take on some zombies. This month I’ve punctured, squashed, sliced, hacked, decapitated, perforated, mulched, impacted and eviscerated the following games:

Never did I realize there were so many ways to visualize the undead, never mind eliminate them. But, you know what they say: If you need a fix of squishy, blood-soaked slaughter of mindless marauding hordes and don’t wish to dwell on the moral quandary or regret, you can’t really go wrong with zombies. Or is it Nazis? I can never remember.

Okay, let’s assume you all know the story: in the wake of [some unforeseen apocalyptic event] which you have somehow survived, waves of soul-leeching, cannibalistic [beings] are now attacking [your haven], within which you must defend yourself with a [continually replenishing arsenal of weaponry and cash somehow dropped by the zombies themselves]. Anything on top of that is gravy.

I’ll start by knocking Zombie Vendetta off the list. Just… don’t bother. Right. That’s one.

Number two: Zombie Ball. Interesting idea. Rather than, say, a Desert Eagle, chainsaw or armoured Hum-V, the zombie-fighting scientists of this universe have opted for… an enormous volleyball. There was a nicely illustrated comic-style intro that explained exactly why in a manner which I can’t help thinking was a bit self-mocking, but I forget the details and can’t seem to find the place to watch it again.

Anyway, it’s not just a ball, it’s a fully-upgradable ball, in case that was your next question. You can pour tar or napalm behind it, or shoot bullets or electrodes or lasers or mines or saw-blades. And you can get paint jobs! (If you can figure out how to use the store, that is.)

As game play goes, it’s satisfying enough if you can get past the absurdity of the whole thing. I mean, I suppose they could use the same engine and make you roll around and collect flowers or coins or something, but they opted for squashing zombies. Give the people what they want. At the very least, the sound design is pleasing. Whoever went trawling for squashes and choking sounds on the web, give that guy a raise.

Next: do you like Fruit Ninja, but secretly wished that instead of fruit, it was actually the undead? If this is you, why not grab Zombie Juice? It’s even juicier than fruit juice, and does wonders for your urinary tract. I’m not sure what I’m trying to say by that. Sometimes the words just come out.

In Zombie Juice, friendly neighbourhood zombies come at your house, like paperboys and street punks and a hunchbacked old nanny and the like, and you stop them from reaching your house by slicing through them with your finger.

Unlike the precision and concentration required in other produce-slicing games, the mass population of the zombie onslaught is less about a clean cut and much more about finger waggling endurance. It’s like watching a four year old trying to colour a hippopotamus before Ben 10 comes on. After a round of Survival Mode I was surprised I still had a fingerprint.

But it’s still kinda fun, and the production value’s pretty decent (considering it’s free). If anyone gets the upgrade, let me know if it’s worth the extra dollar.

Next up is Zombie Panic. If you ask me, the panic comes from trying to figure out what the hell you’re supposed to be doing. It certainly gets points for innovation, though whether it’s innovation in a direction that anyone wants to follow is anyone’s guess.

Here are the basics: There are nine doors, but you can only ever see three on screen. You can shift left and right to choose which three. People come out of the doors, and they’re either people, or zombies, or they’re people who may or may not turn into zombies. Shoot the zombies but don’t shoot the people, and if the people are changing, make sure they fully change before you shoot them. If there’s a happy face on the door, you’ve gotten all the people out (even though more people may still come out of that door). Once all the doors have happy faces, you’ve completed the level!

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