About This Place

First started in late 2007, Kasey's Mobile Game Review (then just a regular feature of Kasey's Korner) started as a simul-post between here and IGN. Later I realized there's no reason to post it twice, when I can use the traffic on my own site. so, here we are, in 2010, and the mobile game industry has grown a bit. What do you think?

KMGR of "Zombieland"

Zombies at ZombielandImage by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

Zombieland's premise is simple enough... land overran by zombies, and the few survivors scrapping out a living by salvaging what they can and kill zombies in the meantime. Zombieland itself is an action game that features a relatively novel interface... two separate fire buttons for attacking left or right, and ability to move in one directly while attacking in another. This is basically zombie killing all the way. Is it fun? Yes, in a very "campy" sort of way.

Basically, this is a horizontal scroller. You move left or right. Zombies can appear from either side, and sometimes climb through windows or whatnot to get close to you. Some are fast, some are slow. All want a piece of you. You have various weapons... physical weapons, and guns. None last forever. Physical weapons can be damaged beyond repair. Guns can run out of ammo. It's best to time your hits as a headshot is an insta-kill, whereas chest shots may require multiple hits. You have to break open chests to find more weapons, ammo, and health packs. Some levels require you to climb and jump a little, but most of the action is killing zombies. In fact, the way the game works reminds me a lot of elevator action, the old arcade game, as you switch between sub-levels.

The interesting thing is the way the game lets you move in one direction while attack in another direction, as this wasn't done in a mobile game before. It's certainly a novelty to be in the midst of a zombie crowd and attack left, then right, then left, and emerge battered but triumphant. However, the guns don't auto-reload. You need to press the fire button one MORE time, or press the reload button, to cause a reload. If you lost track of rounds used, this can be a problem.

The graphics are nice and clear for 2D, though the enemies are repetitive. And just how MANY butcher zombies is there in a supermarket? Must have killed a hundred plus already... At least "gore" is relatively minimal, as bodies fade out of existence in a second or two. And zombies have green blood.

The between-level dialogue is pretty good, plenty of attitude and humor.

You actually have two separate attacks... the regular attack, and the kick attack. Mastering both is the real key to success. The kick attack knocks enemies down or back, giving you time to reload or do the smash attack / kick. However, don't do it too often as a zombie can just grab your leg and start gnawing. The key is combining both.

When you kill enough zombies, your "special attack" meter will fill. Use it in emergencies to kill all zombies on screen or some sort of a spectacular attack, like whirlwind kick, or Chow Yun Fat style dual pistol whirl... You get the idea. It's both interesting and cute.

Every few levels you also unlock "killing chambers" (total of 4) where zombies just come in waves and see how long you can last, great for mindless fun. All are named as cliche puns.

I finished all levels, and managed to unlock an even HARDER difficulty level. Yikes. I wish the default level is a bit easier, and it has somewhat more forgiving controls. It is fine as a mobile game, just wish it is more... accessible.

Overall rating: 8.0 out of 10
Pros: nice setting, nice control scheme, nice dialogue
Cons: a few too many weapons and whatnot, default difficulty a bit high
Verdict: enjoyable little zombie basher, until you get frustrated

Play tips:

* Try not to break open boxes/crates unless you *have* to. Once the "reloads" are on the ground, you cannot "not" pick them up. If you have an axe that's still 50% good, you don't really want to pick up another axe just yet.

* Kick occasionally (about once every 8-10 punches) to knock the enemy back. Remember to use it as you will need it later.

* the "boss" at the end, the Super Clown, is vulnerable to a kick, really. Smacking him doesn't help that much.

* All weapons need to be activated at the right distance (the green crosshair). One sure way to run out of ammo is to waste shots to knock zombies down with the shotgun shell, just to buy you time to reload another 2 shots.

* ran out of weapons? All is not lost. If it's just a few zombies, keep them all to one side, preferably closer to the edge of the playing field, and keep punching them, and hopefully when you knock one down, you can get close enough to kick the head off. This requires you to "push" them back until they fall close enough to your kick. Use the special attack if you got it...

* run AWAY from attacking zeds to gain the second you need to shoot/attack at the right distance. Just don't run INTO more zombies!

* stand next to a window or climb-over point should give you a way to attack the zeds that have JUST arrived without giving them even a chance to stand-up.

* The RELOAD key is your friend, as you need to keep the gun loaded without wasting ammo.

* remember, you can attack BOTH WAYS even if you're facing one or the other way.

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