App of the day: Zombie Master World War review (iPhone)
Zombie games are fashionable of late and when done right they sure can be a lot of fun. Zombie Master World War is more than just a blood-splattering shoot 'em up - it's a deep, varied and complex game which, considering it's free to download, has a lot to shout about.
Zombie Master World War
In the future, you guessed it, there are zombies everywhere. Good job, then, that there are armies out there to fight off the undead. That's exactly what Zombie Master World War is all about - you play the lead in not only shooting (almost) everything that moves but also building up an army to maintain your defence.
The bulk of the game is a third-person shooter, but there are 45 game sectors, each of which can be built upon and needs to be maintained and defended. It's this creation aspect of the game that brings in the management side - you'll need to be frugal with money, create the right forces and buildings and be ready to go back in and defend at a moment's notice when the zombie threat gets too high. A bit Command And Conquer in some respects.
There are upgrades aplenty too: medical supplies, armour, firepower, higher-ranking officers and so forth all come into play. But all these come at cost and poppin' heads can only earn you so much cash. Persevere through the levels and you will earn enough dollars to propel you forward with the right gear purchased but, as per that typical "freemium" model, there's also an in-game shop to convert your real-world cash into non-refundable in-game cash. Ugh.
But it's not about getting bogged down in building. Sim City this isn't: Zombie Master World War will see you running around on foot, speeding around by chopper or rolling along in a tank, all the while with a gun - however big or small - in tow to dispatch the advancing undead.
Controls are built around two virtual pads - one to the left for movement, and one to the right for aiming and firing. The combination of the two is quite tricky to use on a touchscreen device such as the iPhone, which adds to the game's difficulty. You won't be swooping around corners Call Of Duty style here - there's lots of walking backwards into walls and clumsily turning around with the aim cross-hair miles off target. But that's all part and parcel of the frantic nature of the game.
As well as zombies in various forms - and some are far harder to mow down than others - there's also a multiplayer mode where you can play against the rest of the world in a huge world war.
Scenario and multiplayer combined makes for one huge, near-endless game that'll keep you dipping in and out for ages. What we most like about Zombie Master is that even once a game sector is secured you'll need to keep returning to it and playing a game section with a different goal to keep in play. This can vary from lasting for 90 seconds in a single room with dozens of zombies, mowing down a given number within a given time frame, defending groups of survivors or making it from A to B, among plenty of other goals.
This is one massive game that will need an equally massive amount of investment time to get deep into it. But it's oh so worth it.