In case you can’t tell, the name Call of Mini: Zombies is a reference to another highly-popular iOS game. Although Call of Mini falls short in the originality department, it’s still highly entertaining, with addictive upgrades and a surprising amount of variety.
Call of Mini: Zombies is a third-person, wave-based zombie shooter in the most straightforward sense. You’ll survive by mowing down the rotting hordes by day, then laying down hard-earned cash for new weapons and upgrades after the sun sets. Death will set you back at the start of the current day, giving you the opportunity to try again with a different arsenal. Unfortunately, there’s no endless mode to complement the level-based campaign.
When the Call of Mini rings, you answer.
The inclusion of 13 distinct, upgradable weapons and eight unique characters means you can tailor the gameplay to fit your style. At any given point, you can have three weapons with you, one of which should be a melee weapon of some sort if you plan on surviving. When it comes to guns, you can take the spray and pray route, rely on powerful precision, or use rocket launchers and flamethrowers to roast those zombies. The controls work well enough to accommodate all three approaches.
Of course, this arsenal would be nothing without some interesting undead to shoot. Call of Mini: Zombies doesn’t come up short, offering 12 zombie types. This is where things get especially shameless, since most of the zombie types and designs are pulled right out of Left 4 Dead’s pool of infected. Fans of Valve’s shooter will immediately notice the hoodie-wearing Hunter, exploding patchwork Boomer, and menacingly massive Tank. That said, these copycats still feel right at home, and have strong enough AI that we can forgive the developer’s lack of creativity for the sake of fun.
A Hunter’s got Francis!
Holding back this game from reaching its full potential are the two maps. While both are fairly large and have great visual design, they eventually grow stale. With the obvious amount of effort shown in other aspects of the game design, this feels like a cut corner. If given the opportunity, we wouldn’t mind paying another dollar for a map pack.
Co-op, or the lack thereof, is a missed opportunity. The spacious maps and nods to other co-op survival games cry out for some form of multiplayer. If this is done correctly, we could see Call of Mini: Zombies turn into the iOS equivalent of Left 4 Dead.
Zombie shooters on the iPhone have been done to death, but for $.99, Call of Mini is hard to turn down. That is, unless the real zombie apocalypse starts tomorrow, in which case you should probably focus on that instead.