When I saw the Zombieland game iZombieland [App Store] show up in my RSS reader, I couldn’t help but groan. Historically speaking, movie games have generally ranged from bad to mediocre with a few rare diamonds in the rough. Movie games ported to the iPhone so far have been leaning towards the “bad" side of the spectrum, so naturally I wasn’t expecting much of iZombieland. (Especially with the “i" prefix plastered on the front.)
Much to my amazement, the game is actually a lot of fun and seems slightly reminiscent of 16 bit side scrolling gore-fests like the Splatterhouse series. Of course, like all movie games, iZombieland attempts to introduce the plot of the movie in to the game, but these giant blocks of scrolling text add very little and are easily skippable to get to the next level with even more zombies to mow down with the various weapons at your disposal.
iZombieland is controlled with a set of virtual buttons on each side of the screen. Instead of any kind of D-Pad, the right and left side each have their own corresponding buttons to shoot, move, or kick in that direction. When zombies are in range to shoot, targeting reticules appear on the available targets. If a zombie is too close, you won’t be able to shoot its head off. In that case, kicking usually pushes them away enough to get a headshot.
If a zombie grabs you, a button will appear along the bottom of the screen that can be tapped to break free. As you kill zombies, a meter slowly fills that allows you to unleash a devastating attack that can clear the entire screen of zombies.
A variety of ranged and melee weapons are included in the game. Ammo is plentiful and is found in barrels and crates that can be broken open along with health packs and other weapons. The one slightly irritating side to iZombieville combat is dealing with melee weapon durability. There are few things more awesome than cutting down entire zombie armies with a chainsaw in each hand, but that fun quickly comes to an end as your chainsaw’s durability runs low.
To replenish your weapon’s durability, you have to break open crates and barrels to find another one. This can sometimes lead to annoying situations where you need to replay levels because you burnt through your melee weaponry too quickly and eventually come across a room that is too tight to use your guns because you will be mobbed by zombies before you have time to reload.
Here is a video of the most awesome weapons in the game, the dual chainsaws. The percentage that is constantly decreasing is the durability of my chainsaws, so you can see how fast it decreases:
If you like killing zombies and having the screen of your iPhone filled with zombie blood, chances are you will enjoy iZombieland. The game doesn’t feel like it’s trying to cash in on the movie, and actually could stand alone as a fun sidescroller if you removed the Zombieland references.
App Store Link: iZombieland, $3.99