Let’s just skip the fact that the following app is a zombie game. Honestly, it’s just another drop in the ocean at this point, so anything with the fun-dead needs something to stand out. Zombie Highway 2, the sequel to the massively fun Zombie Highway, blends the endless feel of games like Temple Run with a helpful dose of brain-munching and car smashing. Will it bring as much addictive fun as its predecessor?
Zombie Highway 2 very closely mimics the gameplay of its first iteration, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The game is an endless runner (or driver, in this case), wherein you have to speed as far as you can along an infinitely generated highway before the undead inevitably flip your car over. To combat the brain-munchers, you’re given various firearms and beefy vehicles to both shoot and smash with. Light RPG elements pop up when you are given the option to upgrade your ride and gear. Fairly standard fare, of course, but the frantic multitasking you’re forced to perform as you both maneuver and shoot is still loads of fun. Zombie Highway 2 manages to again emphasize the survival aspect of the endless runner to an excellent degree.
Aside from repeating the core run over and over again, the game offers longevity in the forms of “daily challenges”, friend leaderboards, and expert mode. The “daily challenges” question players as to whether they can complete very specific goals along the highway, and they offer a neat diversion from the main mode. Friend leaderboards are integrated in both the menus and the game, allowing players to challenge themselves against their Game Center friends if the game itself can’t provide enough of an incentive to keep playing. And for those with an appetite for difficulty, “expert mode” will significantly up the challenge early on, with bigger, stronger zombies making a quick appearance before you can get comfortable.
Sequels do demand a certain level of advancement, and Zombie Highway 2 delivers, sporting generally better polish and graphics that are a big step up from the first game. The only mark against the app I have in regards to upgrades is that the environments in Zombie Highway 2 tend to be more repetitive than the first game. The same highway/tunnel/foggy road can grow old, and here’s to hoping more environments are added in future updates.
I’ll admit, I was nervous when I saw this outing was free, but Zombie Highway 2 manages to mostly keep the microtransactions out of sight and out of mind. You can buy retries, which start you back from a few seconds before you crashed, and of course, you can unlock weapons earlier than you would if you just worked your way through the game. But these easy-out options are unobtrusive, and thankfully aren’t shoved down the player’s throats.
If you loved the gameplay of the first, you have literally $0 reasons to not pick up this one. And if you missed the first outing, this is a great place to jump into the series. If you don’t expect huge advancements from the first game, you’ll be very satisfied with what you find. The free-to-play elements keep nicely quiet, and the repetitive nature of the game is cushioned by the addictiveness of the core gameplay. If you’re craving an endless “runner”, look no further than Zombie Highway 2.