Zombies and path drawing are two of the most overused cliches on the App Store. But after spending some time with Zombie Escape, we think it does enough to differentiate itself from other games in those categories.
The path-drawing gameplay is best described as 33rd Division meets rotten corpses. You must escort survivors to helicopters as they run onto the screen, while avoiding the cones of visions of zombies. In order to help your cause, you have a slew of weapons that both kill and distract the mindless flesh-eaters.
Some of the items you have at your disposal include bombs, sniper rifles, and hunks of meat that draw in any nearby zombies for a set amount of time. You also have items that help the survivors, including temporary ‘safe zones’ and radios that can call down a helicopter anywhere. A good tactic is to land the helicopter on top of a group of zombies to squish them.
Try hacking this firewall.
You start every game with one of each item, but survivors can run over supply boxes to earn more. This is crucial to staying alive in later levels, making micromanaging your survivors key.
The campaign mode spans 28 levels and three different maps. As you progress, new items will be unlocked and you can upgrade them with money earned at the shop. Some levels will limit the items at your disposal.
Survival mode contains all three maps, each of which is unlocked in the campaign. However, there isn’t an upgrade system in place, so it loses a lot of the depth that makes the campaign mode so great.
Draw a path from your brain to a zombie’s mouth.
One downside is that at times the game can feel cramped, especially in later campaign levels where zombies are everywhere on the map. Considering the iPhone’s screen size, this can get a little aggravating.
Like most Chillingo-published games, Zombie Escape uses the Crystal network for achievements and leaderboards. It also has the Chillingo logo at the start, which never seems to respect the mute switch in any Chillingo game you play.
Zombie Escape offers you a lot of gameplay choices with the upgrade system, something most games in the genre don’t even attempt. If that (along with squishing zombies with a helicopter) sounds like fun to you, give Zombie Escape a try.