‘Zombie Road Trip Trials’ Is A Fun Free-To-Play Mashup For Brief Gaming Excursions

Universal
3.5
 

Zombie Road Trip Trials

Publisher(s)  Noodlecake Studios Inc
Developer(s)  SPOKKO

Platform(s) Reviewed  iPod Touch (5th Gen) • Genre(s)  Games • Arcade • Racing • Release Date  May 26, 2014 (updated) • Version Reviewed  1.0.2 • Price (as reviewed)  Free

Pros    Fun skill-racing gameplay    Cons    Uninteresting multiplayer mode  •  Best only in short bursts  •   Some iCloud syncing issues

 

zombie-road-trip-trials_761316246_ipad_01.jpgAdmit it. At some point when playing the smash hit skill-racer Trials, you thought: “you know what this game needs? Zombies.” (Every game needs zombies, for the record.) Well, prepare to be happy, because in case you couldn’t tell by the name, Zombie Road Trip Trials scratches that itch with a dismembered, gangrenous hand.

Taking its cues from its namesake in more than just the title, ZRT plays a lot like its massively successful spiritual successor. Using gameplay mechanics that consist of side-scrolling racing, and keeping your vehicle balanced as you maneuver your way around dangerous terrain, those who loved Trials will feel right at home as soon as they race through the first level. Each stage offers a series of objectives to complete, success in which earns you coins. The vehicle upgrade system relies on this virtual economy to level up your road machine, and if you want a faster, and just all-around better ride, this is where you’ll spend those tokens. Of course, you can microtransaction your way through, but where’s the fun in that?

In an effort to set itself (albeit only mildly) apart from other skill-racers, Zombie Road Trip Trials flings, you guessed it, zombies at the endangered racers. The addition of the famous squishy obstacles requires players to do more than just navigate their way through each track; it also requires some aggression on their part. Using any of the game’s various firearms, or even just flat-out smashing the undead with the grill of your vehicle, avoiding or killing zombies adds a nice, but small twist to the gameplay. Mixing the skill required to re-murder the undead, with the need to keep your ride moving for as long as possible, was enough to keep me entertained for a while.

zombie-road-trip-trials_761316246_ipad_03.jpgSpeaking of gameplay, players get two modes of metal-on-zombie carnage to zoom through. You have the single player, of course, which will hold most players’ interests for a bit. Unfortunately, the multiplayer mode will not be offering as much longevity as the fore mentioned.

The “multiplayer” mode is simply you racing ghost times of other players; there are no extra objectives present. You don’t compete for the most flips or zombie kills, instead you just race ghosts over and over. Of course you’ll be able to kill some time here, but overall the tacked-on multiplayer is inarguably bland at best. And the fact that this is a racing game, which in itself should indicate a good multiplayer facet, makes the lackluster showing all the more degrading to the game’s overall quality.

“Skill” games and virtual controls do not mix well, and the non-tactile buttons in ZRT are no exception. Players may come to be frustrated by the sometimes finicky buttons, and the placement of the fire button will cause more than a little irritation. The mild finger acrobatics required to shoot and accelerate at the same time are annoying, and at times the placement of the buttons seems to be what it is simply to add artificial challenge to the game.

In Conclusion

Zombie Road Trip Trials manages to successfully hold the player’s attention for short periods of time. When taken as such a micro-game, ZRT will garner the most enjoyment out of the player. However, even those who only find brief periods of respite in this app may, like this reviewer, recognize its limited enjoyability. The game offers fairly skimpy amounts of content, and overall it can’t claim much of its gameplay as new, and certainly not original. Unfortunately, even after some time playing it, it will more than likely be simply forgotten by the player; perhaps deservedly so.