Of all the genres we feel are underrepresented on the iPhone, it’s shooting gallery games that make us the most nostalgic for the arcade heydays. N.Y.Zombies is sort of like a 3D lightgun game, where you can rotate your character’s viewpoint but must stay frozen in place while you survive waves of the undead.
N.Y.Zombies takes you to some familiar New York locations, like Central Park, but is otherwise fairly generic in its environments. You’ll blast away at zombies inside an apartment, on the streets, and in cliched horror movie scenes like a cornfield and graveyard.
Zombies ate my neighbors!
Once you get past the fact that your character is frozen in place, you’ll probably start to enjoy N.Y.Zombie’s frantic style. Zombies will rush you suddenly from behind, and entire hordes will appear from behind a corner that you can’t quite peek around. In a true survival situation, the first thing we’d do is put our back against the wall, but the main character is apparently braver (or stupider) than we’d be, standing in the center of a wide-open area in each level.
Compounding the tension are the long reload times for your guns. Between levels, you’ll need to keep upgrading and buying new weapons from the store to make them more effective. Switching between weapons is a snap, and there is a great feeling in unloading an uzi clip, switching to your boomstick to clear out nearby monsters, and then tossing a grenade at a slowly shambling clot of the undead.
The weird people you meet on the subway.
Since zombies will often appear way off in the distance, they can be little more than specks until you zoom in and out with a pinch of your fingers. If you can, you should play this game upscaled on an iPad, since it allows you to target more precisely without covering up the screen with your fingers.
N.Y.Zombies is a quality shooting gallery game, and even if all you do is tap to kill, it’s still a lot of fun. If you’ve ever lost your allowance to the House of the Dead arcade games, try this one out.