Zombies are a popular theme for casual videogaming. Considering that the iPhone OS is rapidly becoming the platform of choice for simple arcade action, it stands to reason that Zombie-themed games are quite popular on the iPhone, iPad, and the iPod Touch.
These three games are all top-rated titles for the iPhone OS. Each is perfect for a casual gaming break, while one of the titles, Draw Slasher, almost works as an elegant piece of art.
Killing Hordes of Zombies in BloodNGuts
BloodNGuns is a top-down arcade shooter where the protagonist must simply kill hordes of zombies using an array of found weapons and power-ups. The game’s 2D graphics are reminiscent of a “zombiefied” version of the old arcade classic, Gauntlet.
The game’s control scheme uses two virtual controllers overlaid on top of the iPhone screen. One control moves the player, while the other fires the current weapon. In BloodNGuns, it is easy to become surrounded by zombies, so being able to move in one direction while firing in another is essential to succeeding in the game.
New weapons are acquired by picking them up after they are dropped by a zombie. Some of the more advanced weapons, especially the Neutron Blaster, are quite powerful at killing multiple zombies. Certain power-ups increase a weapon’s rate-of-fire or increase their ammo. Other power-ups restore the player’s health or earn bonus points.
BloodNGuns provides little plot or storyline beyond killing more and more of the undead. Frankly, a plot isn’t really necessary in this game that was designed to be a quick stress relief more than a long-term quest.
The Beautiful Graphics of Draw Slasher
Draw Slasher (subtitled Dark Ninja vs. Pirate Monkey Zombies) features gorgeous cartoon-like graphics and an elegant use of the iPhone’s touchscreen interface for gameplay. The gamer takes the role of a ninja who moves back-and-forth on the screen killing zombies with the use of fast-paced martial arts.
The game is controlled through the use of two virtual arrow controls to move back and forth, while well-timed finger swipes trigger the ninja’s attacking moves. Killing multiple zombies with one swipe is a great way to score bonus points.
The graphics combine an elegant black-and-white Asian art feel with copious amounts of zombie blood and body parts. The gameplay is suitably fast-paced and relentless, especially when playing in “Hardcore” mode.
Like BloodNGuns, Draw Slasher sports little in the way of plot devices and is another title perfect for a quick stress relief. An expansion pack, available at the App Store, adds a new gameplay mode and the beautiful Sakura Garden game arena.
Making Pizzas for Zombies
Zombie Pizza, on the other hand, adds a sense of humor and takes away the killing from the gameplay. In this game, the user works in a pizza shop responsible for feeding zombies. The gameplay in this title leans more towards the pattern-matching puzzle game genre when compared to the other two zombie games.
The gamer must learn various pizza recipes that involve matching the right pizza toppings to the recipe. Since the customers are zombies as supposed to humans, these toppings include brains, hearts, stomachs, and so on.
The toppings move by on a conveyor belt and a quick finger swipe places them on the pizza. Once the pizza is finished, another swipe sends it off to the zombies. Multiple pizzas and special orders add to the fun, as well as a boss who speaks in Italian mannerisms. Zombies don’t like mistaken orders, so the player’s life (and score) depend on getting the pizza recipes correct.
All three games support the iPhone’s OpenFeint social gaming network, which adds replay value with achievements to earn and worldwide leaderboards to track. These are three fun titles, each with their own take on the Zombie-gaming genre, and all are perfect for a quick iPhone gaming break.