Friday, 8 March 2013

Plight of the Zombie Review (iOS)

Plight of the Zombie Review


Genre: Puzzle / Strategy / Line Tracing
Developer: Spark Plug Games, LLC
Version: 1.07
Mode: Single Player Only
In-App Purchases: In-Game Currency (Brain Bucks)
Price: USD2.99

You guide your Zombies through maze like levels with the purpose of nom-ing every human in sight while collecting brains along the way, making your way through 6 stages with 10 levels in each, a total of 60 levels. To win each level, you'll have to bite and infect every human in the level, if all of your Zombies get killed, you'll have to restart the level losing any brains you may have collected in that level. Zombies are controlled by drawing a path from the Zombie to where you would like it to move to by sliding your finger. Walking into a human makes your Zombie bite and infect them, regardless of which type of Zombie (there are 4 different Zombies in PotZ) bites them, the human will be turned into a basic standard Zombie, similar to Craig, the first Zombie that you'll get to play with. Tapping a Zombie that's making it's way down it's finger drawn path will stun it, making it stop temporarily, tapping the Zombie again, will get it moving again. This comes in particularly useful in later levels where you'll have to avoid some humans. However, if you don't "unstun" the Zombie, it will "unstun" itself after about 10 seconds and carry on down its designated route.

If a Zombie's route has been drawn but you decide to change it, dragging from the Zombie and creating a new route cancels the old one. Although we feel that the in game tutorial does a good job of explaining the different abilities of the Zombies and how to play the game, we did feel that some information was lacking, like the info about Zombies "unstunning" themselves and how to change routes.

Levels although small - fitting within the screen of your iOS device - can be rather challenging in later levels, though the early levels are rather easy. The defenseless humans in early levels are quickly replaced by ones that can and will fight back. From handgun wielding humans to long ranged snipers, the humans are determined to not be munched. Armed humans have a cone of fire that is visible to you, stepping within the cone alerts the humans and they'll start firing away at your Zombies. Some of them even patrol their area, while others survey the surroundings, turning frequently. These alert armed humans give a new twist to Zombie games, zombies are typically portrayed as mindless and relying on toughness and numbers to overwhelm the humans. In Plight of the Zombie, sheer numbers and toughness might not be enough. You'll often find yourself sneaking by alert humans to get to those tasty brains.

Plight of the Zombie Review

Collecting Brains - there are 3 in each level - counts towards the total number of brains needed to unlock the next stage. Collecting them also gives you some Brain Bucks, though it might not be easy as some brains have a timer, when the red circle below the brain disappears, so does the brain. The first brain gives 10 Brain Bucks, second one gives an additional 20 Brain Bucks and the last brain gives you 30 Brain Bucks. Collecting all 3 gives a nice 60 Brain Bucks per level.

Plight of the Zombie Review

Brain Bucks can be used to buy invincizombies, they can also be used to unlock costumes for your Zombies. The costumes have no impact on your Zombies in terms of stats or abilities that we could tell, they do however make them look a lot more hilarious and definitely increases the fun factor of Plight of the Zombies.

The levels have lots of immovable objects that form a maze and some movable objects like traffic cones and doors that can be knocked over or pushed open when a Zombie walks into it. We noticed that Zombies sometimes got stuck on movable objects like doors which caused our Zombies to get gunned down and we had to restart the level.

Plight of the Zombie has good graphics, nice light hearted "spooky" music and sounds that suit the theme of the game well.

With a three Brain scoring system, and with incentives to actually collect Brains (to unlock stages and earn Brain Bucks), Plight of the Zombie has a high replayability level. 

Controls are pretty intuitive (tutorial however could include a bit more info about controlling Zombies), smooth and with decent precision (difficult to select a specific Zombie when many of them are grouped together). Zombies when walking too near to the edges of doors and traffic cones occasionally got stuck and spasmed like they were tasered.

The game crashed only once throughout the entire time we were playing it, it was not laggy or choppy.

500 Brain Bucks for USD0.99
3000 Brain Bucks for USD4.99
6000 Brain Bucks for USD9.99

Items in the store cost from 100 Brain Bucks to 950 Brain Bucks. We like that you won't have to spend any money (other than the initial purchase) to get lots of enjoyment from Plight of the Zombie. In-App purchases are a little on the expensive side, however, since they're completely optional and not necessary to play the entire campaign, it's really up to you.

You'll probably like Plight of the Zombie if you like puzzle games. This game is suited to gamers of all skill levels. If puzzle games leave you frustrated, this might not be the game for you.

The product(s) featured in this review were purchased/obtained by ice cream when the sky is grey.

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