Alien Zombie Death Hands-On Preview

We strive for honesty in these previews, so let’s put this up-front: We’re not wild about the name. But in terms of finger-blistering action, Alien Zombie Death looks like it will deliver exactly what we hoped for when we first heard that ridiculous title.

Instead of a twin-stick shooter like every other action game on the App Store, Alien Zombie Death takes place in a 2D perspective. You control a hyperactive spaceman with his finger perpetually on the trigger finger. Jumping up and down between levels takes place with buttons on the right side, while your movement left and right is handled with buttons on the left. Unfortunately, there’s no option for D-pad controls, which we hope will be included eventually.

With your character auto-firing, you can focus solely on your position. Enemies will swarm all around from the sides, hopping up and down platforms to box you in. The feeling of claustrophobia when dozens of enemies surround you is harrowing, and it’s even better to blast your way through to an escape route.

As you chain together kills, you’ll build up a combo meter, and you can pick up powerups for rockets, lasers, and a three-way shot. There are also extra lives (for a maximum of three) and coins to boost your score. Eventually you’ll die, and can upload your score to OpenFeint. There are also achievements for wiping out certain numbers of bad guys.

In our preview build, everything seemed to come together very nicely. The graphics, while not especially detailed, are incredibly zippy and never get in the way of the action. The intensity tends to ramp up quickly, even more so on the tougher planets, but we would still prefer an option to skip ahead right to the thick of things (which is quickly becoming a requirement for hardcore high-score survival games).

Alien Zombie Death doesn’t contain any zombies from what we can see, but it contains enough alien death to last you for a long time. Check back for more on this fun little shooter after it launches on the App Store.

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