Zombie Escape Hands-On Preview

Ever wonder what you’d get if you took the hugely popular air traffic controller-themed games and sprinkled them with a little survival horror? Not sure what that’d look like? Based on our time with it, Viqua Games may have found an interesting niché to settle in with their upcoming title, Zombie Escape.

By now, everyone and their mom has probably played the multimillion-selling Flight Control. So right off the bat, getting into the flow of the game doesn’t take long.

Instead of dropping off planes on runways, the mission in Zombie Escape is to get human survivors away from hungry zombies and onto helicopters to get out of danger. Helicopters have a maximum capacity of 3-5 passengers, and the areas where the helicopters land vary. Allowing three humans to become lunch for the undead means game over. Rescuing as many people as possible is the goal, and hitting certain numbers of saved humans open up new levels and abilities.

Before you dismiss Zombie Escape as being somewhat derivative, the fact that you can fight back against the zombies changes up the dynamics. You can decimate and immobilize zombies in a variety of ways. Areas fill up with zombies quickly as your rescue totals increase and, in turn, you need to be able to create space to draw paths to safety. Dropping bombs on a cluster of zombies feels great, and as you play, new unlockable attacks and power-ups become available.

Helping Zombie Escape is its all-around commendable presentation. The game looks good and performs great, and there’s not much to critique there. Maybe the 2D sprites could be a bit bigger, but it’s understandable that the assets are rather small given the amount of activity onscreen at times.

Time will tell if Zombie Escape can bring it all together. On paper, the game has all the necessary elements to be a great game. With smooth gameplay, competent visuals, OpenFeint support, and good personality, we’re eager to see if our positive first impressions can hold up under the scrutiny of a full review. This game is dropping soon, so as always, stay glued here for the final word.