810584_largerSome iOS games look outdated. They don't have the resources to create detailed 3D environment, so instead focus on creative art design, fresh ideas and strong gameplay. Then there's the "console quality" games. They heavily advertise their "immersive environments" and "console quality graphics," rehashing old experiences without attempting to blaze new trails. 2013: Infected Wars [Free] falls into the latter camp. It may seem ambitious, but in every way, Action Mobile Games have developed a safe, predictable, and mostly unsatisfying experience.

It's an over-the-shoulder zombie shooter. The gameplay is like a very early tech demo of Resident Evil 4. Going from one bland, bleak location to the next, players slowly run around environments, shooting (and backing away from) zombie after zombie, with the occasional mad dog or chainsaw-wielding freak. All the while you're guided by a horribly muffled voice barking orders through a walkie-talkie.

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Let me be clear. This is not an inept game. The 3D graphics are well done. They're just dull and dank, without even a minor spark of creativity. The controls work, and zombies can be shot in the body or in the head, and when their heads pop, it's kind of satisfying and fun. But after shooting the same zombies again and again, it becomes clear that this game is a one-trick pony. And the one trick is competent, incredibly boring zombie-killing action.

There's also a story. And oh boy, what a story it is. In 2013: Infected Wars, Al-Qaeda splices a virus developed by the Russian and Chinese governments, allowing them "to set in motion a follow-up attack to 911 that the world will never forget," according to actual words a human being typed into the game's website. Get it? It's 2013 so the threat is real and tasteless!

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It's not just that this is a terrible, ill-conceived story - although it is - it's that the story is in service of a game so utterly devoid of passion or energy. This isn't an over-the-top romp of tastelessness. It's a boring shooting gallery.

2013: Infected Wars has a nonsense system for weapons. Instead of picking up guns in-game, weapons and power-ups are mostly purchased in a store using gold and cash that are earned very slowly throughout the game, or by spending some extra real-life cash on an IAP. It takes a long time to earn the money to buy weapons, and if you die once, every weapon purchased, no matter how many, are dropped. This is a paid game, but it uses a system annoyingly similar to freemium titles.

You pretty much have to buy new guns to beat even the earliest levels, and levels are long. So when six bosses pop out and kill you because you couldn't understand the aforementioned walkie-talkie guy when he was ordering you to run away and not fight the zombies, it's a bit annoying that you've got to earn the money to rebuy decent weapons and replay the entire level. Oh, and replaying a level will cost you, too.

2013: Infected Wars is a meal cooked ten years ago, frozen and reheated five times over, and served on a plate made out of a laserdisc copy of Uwe Boll's Along in the Dark. You can keep your "console quality graphics and sound." Just give me some inspiration.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Based Xatu

    Repetitive garbage. I regret spending 99 cents.

    • iammane

      I bit at 99 cents also and then deleted about 15 minutes later. Does not pass the dollar per one hour of fun test.

      It's not the worst, but it's pretty bland. Review is fair IMO.

      • tinkie277

        I agree TA got this spot on... I haven't tried online, so I don't know if it gives the game a little more playability.

  • https://www.facebook.com/DigitalDistillery Scot Damn

    But, but..graphics are everything, right?

    • DannyTheElite

      Wonder why ib3 got a good review when it is all about the graphics, same as this. The game hasn't changed over 3 years. Not to mention it has timers and other freemium stuff .
      This is all my opinion.
      My review
      Ib3 - 3.5 stars (one more star than IW2013 for interesting story)
      This - 2.5 stars

      • Taclys

        You really haven't played IB3, have you?

      • Jake7905

        Actually, the story is the weakest part of IB3, but the gameplay is much stronger then in Infected Wars. And, as far as timers are concerned, they have no impact on the gameplay of IB3. They are certainly not freemium timers.

      • https://www.facebook.com/DigitalDistillery Scot Damn

        IB isn't only "all about the graphics" though. This game IS all about the graphics and relentless IAP. IB sports solid, innovative game play where this does not. You are being to general when mentioning IB, bringing up timers and "other freemium stuff". And of course you're entitled to your opinion and I respect it.

    • nini

      Around here, the inverse is true: a game can look like crap but add "indie dev" and "one person studio" (possibly even a retro 8-bit coat of paint) to the story, make it a hard as heck platformer or RPG with no learning curve and that'll earn it an extra star alone.

      • ngajoe

        As well it should.

      • https://www.facebook.com/DigitalDistillery Scot Damn

        I hear you. However I am a strong believer in game play trumping graphics. In fact, that just basic fundamentals in game design. I don't wanna risk sounding like a damn broken record but, pretty graphics can only enhance good game play. The IB series is a fantastic example of this. Solid game mechanics with polished visuals equates to high profits and fun times. Although games can have less than "cutting edge" graphics and still be totally excellent ie 868 Hack, Heroes of Loot, Dungeon Plunder, Gurk 3, Tower of Fortune and tons more.

  • Lohengriehn

    no word on multiplayer mode means to me this isnt a good review. sorry to say. recently i noticed the same on several other reviews. possibly the reviewer simply doesnt like the overall setting of the game?

    • David Clarke

      I actually did play the game on multiplayer. It was competent but didn't do anything for me either way. It's the exact same campaign, but with another person. All the things mentioned my review are what bothered me, while multiplayer didn't really add or subtract to the experience.
      The multiplayer was fine and the mechanics were fine. But I'd rather have a game with some mad energy, but clumsy mechanics, than something competent and completely lacking inspiration.

  • Chq

    Three days ago TA recommended this game for new iPhone5s-users. Remember the eighties: "Such a shame!"

  • NickyNichols

    This has been in hot new games to so long that it nearly tricked me into buying it.

  • Maglor

    2013 SOTY. I mean Scam of the Year.

  • JBRUU

    The ignorance and gross exaggeration on display here, from both the reviewer and quite a few of these comments, is astounding.

    Not one mention of the fully cooperative campaign (which is how the game's meant to be played). A blanket, "this story is tasteless" instead of a, "I personally found the story to be in poor taste" - and an explanation of why? Whining because YOU didn't bother to listen closely to the narrator? (For the record, I died there too. Got greedy and thought I could go after some armor before I ran away, but got my ass handed to me instead). Accusing the game of having a poor cash drop rate without mentioning that you can sell used weapons - a critical part of raising dough for better gear? Omitting that the "power ups" purchased with gold are also available in out-of-the-way locations on the map? (Besides the cheats). Complaining about losing your weapons on death, calling it a 'nonsense' system when other games do this as well? (The excellent Killing Floor comes to mind).

    Not since the Limbo review have I disagreed with a TA review more (though the far too glowing IB3 review is up there). Did the reviewer even try the co-op out once?

    • wimbuytaert

      The reviewer sir is a moron

    • jeffyg3

      I totally agree with the review tho. The story feels ridiculous with the al-quaida tie-in and the narrator of the story has a way of making the game feel...cheap.

      There are games where going back and starting over is warranted, like good gameplay, something fun to start back over with, etc. this game however, the gameplay feel tedious especially it starts u off with a gun that's no fun to play with and when I play for a long while to save up that $4,000 carbine only to lose it, it doesn't feel like I worked up to progress through the game, it felt more like I went through this game's tedious gameplay, played for awhile to upgrade, lost it, and it expects me to drudge through the game with a crappy no-fun weapon to try to get a good gun again and lose it. The game doesn't feel worth continuous playthroughs. If it let you keep the guns when u die, maybe...maybe I would have kept playing, but the game doesn't have what it takes to keep playing to get that higher cost weapon back you played awhile just to lose it in the end, lose that hard earned time to get that weapon, and start back over with that horrid gun

      2/5 is the perfect score for the game. The developer needs to allow the player to keep the weapon when the players dies, maybe get a new narrator, and start the game off with a decent gun, cause starting over with that gun is tedious.

      • madreviewer

        That's a good point

    • Karzay

      It's kinda funny that Heroes of Loot out scores Limbo. People comparing scores here might think lesser of Limbo. Oh, well.

    • Hoggy110

      The way I see it, a game which is hard should be reviewed by someone who can play through hard games, not by someone who gave up at level 2, which is what the review sounds like to me.

      I think this game perfectly shows how the modern gamer is becoming lazier and lazier. When Killing Floor uses the system, noone complains. When it is used here 4 years later, the system is a complete piece of crap. And of course it is all about the totally forced, in your face in-app purchases that everyone except from me seems to be experiencing

      • jeffyg3

        I play my games on the hardest settings, my XBL are filled with those kind of achievements. The games difficulty isn't the issue, it's the tedious gameplay and loss of weapons is the main issue. Going to level 2 isn't the issue, it's actually wanting to continue to level 2 in this game that is

      • madreviewer

        For the lost of weapon just close the app every time you lost. And if you bought a weapon in the level you died you will still have it after you reboot the game.
        Simple

      • iammane

        But Killing Floor is a lot of fun, and this is not...

      • Maniacfive

        I don't care whether a game is challenging or not so long as it is fun.

        This game wasn't fun. Style over substance.

    • Holcman

      You've really never played IB3 have you?

  • Zeldaniac

    I don't have this game so I can't confirm or deny this opinion, but I have to say this was an excellently written review.

  • gandhimonty

    That was my biggest mistake buying this scam game that just concentrate on money... And no gameplay...

  • gandhimonty

    Iphone used to be a fun game platform, but now games like these takes all the fun from gameplay and now make me think about buying any games just because I HATE HATE HATE IAP

  • Vithar

    In their defense, they didn't say which console...

    • Taclys

      This game would be incredible on an Atari, it might even beat ET in gameplay quality.

  • Phil Atomik

    I think there is something weird going on here from even before it was released.. I noticed there was no coverage from TA who are normally all over games coming out. Then when it did come out they kind of rubbished it from the start but then this review... it should win "Brutal review of the year 2013"! It has to be the harshest review I've ever read although it did make me laugh. I do wonder if there is an underlying motive between TA and the developer or something?

    Having said that, the game could do with tidying up but isn't that standard with all games? Release then update soon after once feedback is forthcoming?

    Talking of IB3, mine is crashing pretty regularly on my 4s but I imagine an update will sort that out.

    Anyway, after this review, I really feel for the poor developer(s) that busted their ass to make this game only for it to get decimated and shot down in flames just after launch... I'll be playing it again when the difficulty level gets dumbed down.

  • Amenbrother

    I bought it at 99c and still regret it.

  • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

    We covered it back in October of 2011, we did a TA plays of it upon release, we included it in the new release roundup with all the other games that released the same week, we recommended it as a game to show off the iPhone 5s, and now we've reviewed it. It's gotten quite a bit of coverage actually, and no we have nothing against the guys who made it. I wouldn't feel bad for them, according to their post in the forums the game is selling really well and they have a lot of ideas for improving it with updates.

    Just saying, not everything has to be a conspiracy theory =P

  • dariusjr98

    So, guys, uh...how 'bout that Grand Theft Auto V? It's a good game. Really good game...

    'Kay, bye.

  • Crazy Hinkal

    "2013: Infected Wars is a meal cooked ten years ago, frozen and reheated five times over, and served on a plate made out of a laserdisc copy of Uwe Boll's Along in the Dark"

    These words are meant to be a box on the ear I guess. But actually if you would dive into the co-op mode they will be more of a compliment and even add an extra star here.

  • newjorg

    I wish they'd review Gameloft's derivative junk using the same standards...

  • iLLcAtTiViSsiMo

    wasn't this game featured in the "show off your iphone5 capabilities" write up? now it gets a bad review? i agree the game sucks but have a little consistency man

    • yaboyrasp

      It was recommended based purely on graphics and it was on sale. They never really touched gameplay as it was games to show off on iphone5 not play if that makes sense

      • iLLcAtTiViSsiMo

        yes that logic is not arguable. however, as a gamer i use touch arcade as my gaming source for the ios platform. why showcase a game on iphone5 that overall is a disappointment? "hey man check out how my iphone5 runs this game. it was on sale so i bought it purely to show people what my new toy can do. just so you know i will never play it and you should never buy it. unless of course you wanna show off your iphone5's processing power." i guess the conversation would go something like that? shouldn't have been on the list.

  • zerilos

    I hated the game. Even with the massive IAP the game sucked.

  • doublezz

    Know what? I purchased this game when it came out with the full price: $7.49

    Later on I just more and more realized how stupid I was. This game has need DELETED which I never want to see again.

  • bigjack66

    I couldn't agree more it was so annoying I was looking forward to this and it turned out to be the most annoying game ever. Especially when you died as you said you lost all the weapons that you bought with the tiny trickle of money you earned and had yo pay to play again till it got to the point where you had to restart the game because you didn't have enough money. And killing zombies was a chore with three to five head shots before going down and half a dozen running zombies who could outrun you! Fortunately Dead Effect came out and showed how to do it properly. It didn't do anything new but it did it well!

  • Lamar Taylor

    This game is garbage and not very fun. I don't care how great a game looks if the gameplay is repetitive and not fun to play.

  • gandhimonty

    When i wrote my bad review in app store about this game, they didnt even bother putting on the wall... Cause there was a lot of good scam reviews there....
    Jizz i mean come on... Scam like this on App store? Never think of it

  • phillippeo

    After commenting that the review was "suspicious" I concede... I had to delete the game yesterday because it really is not great. I couldn't put dead effect down and completed that and with the prospect of dead trigger 2 coming something had to give. Sorry TA, you were right!

  • madreviewer

    Really 2 star
    That game is scary, wit e lot of enemy that's resident evil on ipad for me, how ever it's a .99 $ game not 6$

2013: Infected Wars Reviewed by David Clarke on . Rating: 2