I think one of the reasons people are drawn to certain formulas in gaming is because they flick some silent switch within them, and from then on, it's forever in the on position. Clearly birds and physics are one of those irresistible combos, and for me, there's something about zombies and anything that should not be a zombie that is like a drug I must get my hands on. In this case, it's zombies and the elderly, apparently. Which is why I had to find out what was going on behind the clever and attractive look of a game with a name like Corpse Granny [$.99/HD].
I mentioned earlier that Corpse Granny was a nice looking title, and I feel like I have to repeat myself on that because this is an unusually good looking game. Like, if it was a girl and it walked past you at a party, you'd turn around to look again. But could you catch up with said girl and have a worthwhile conversation? Well, yes, you could, but how long the conversation would remain interesting for, I can't say. Or let's throw that metaphor out the window and say that we've seen some of this ground before.
Corpse Granny offers three worlds to explore and a total of 45 levels to make your way through. Each level is very simple: You're presented with a puzzle which you'll need to solve, and you'll need to use the world's items to do so. This mostly means cutting fireballs free and aiming them at unsuspecting zombies, but as the levels grow more complex, you'll also use other obstacles such as boards, bombs and boulders to make sure you take out everything in your path to clear it.
As you progress, three different types of fireballs will be at your service: orange ones which are ... well, basic fireballs, blue ones which you can tilt the phone to move, and green ones which you will inevitably hate because they will vanish after touching anything near it three times. As annoying as they are though, the green fireballs do add a level of complexity to solving these puzzles that I enjoyed, as I had to work harder to think through how I would complete each of these levels once they came into play.
The game dices up the formula a bit by tossing in some boss levels that allow you to actually go up against the decaying grandmother of the title, who moves around as you try to use your environment's advantages to take her out. For an old lady, she's pretty spry. Must do yoga or something.
A cool extra is that you can unlock levels players have created, and there's also a little sign that gives it away that more content is coming later down the line, so if you're a fan, you can look forward to more zombie bowling in the future.
The heart of Corpse Granny is trial and error, and it works as long as you like to play in bite -sized bits and puzzle your way through how to solve each level. This game is chock-full of personality, and it also uses OpenFeint to track scores and such so you can compete with your friends. The art style is really cute and reminds me a bit of the The Behemoth's humorous take on character design, but it still has its own unique bend. I think personally I'm a bit burnt out on trial and error titles, but that doesn't mean I can't call something quality when I see it -- and Corpse Granny certainly has it in spades.