Halloween may be done and gone for another year, but luckily for the video game industry, it seems that zombies are always en vogue… Sigh.
Despite carrying on the zombicide fever that has been sweeping the nation, if not the world, for the past several years, Corpse Granny is a game that manages to unearth some ideas used in other iPhone games, and combine them into a freakish new cadaver of a title that breathes a little new life into those ideas through their association with one another, but still manages to feel familiar all the same.
Unlike the previously-reviewed Granny vs Zombies, you do not take control of the titular character in Corpse Granny. In fact, it is your goal to destroy the cartoonish, zombiefied old crone in this physics-based puzzle game. As to the type of puzzle game this is, the best way to describe it is as a sort of hodgepodge of games such as Angry Birds and Cut the Rope.
Let ‘em rip.
The game spans three worlds of 15 levels each, divided up by themes such as Stonehenge, a pirate ship, and a… police station? Sure, why not? It worked for Resident Evil 2, didn’t it? Anyway, your goal is to destroy all the zombies lurking in each level. They come in different shapes and sizes, but other than perhaps a larger hit box for the hulking ones, there does not seem to be any particularly notable difference between them.
Pulverizing zombies can be done in a few different ways, but it all boils down to manipulating your environment. They main way involves manipulating fireballs by cutting the ropes they are hanging on, often allowing them to swing around before cutting another rope to let it fly. This is often done in tandem with manipulating other items in the environment, such as cutting ropes holding up planks to form ramps or knocking over obstacles so that the fireball carnage may continue unabated.
The strategy goes further with three different types of fireballs: orange ones are simple blunt objects which just roll around and incinerate zombies, while blue ones are moved by tilting the phone back and forth to swing. Finally, there are the ever-annoying green fireballs, which disappear after touching a surface three times.
Four fireballs are better than one.
Your armaments are not limited to these fireballs, however. Explosive crates, barrels, and cannonballs also feature as the game goes on, and there are even catapult platforms to help fling some of these objects around.
Every now and again, you’ll come to a ‘boss’ level which features a timer counting down as you attempt to destroy Corpse Granny, who is surprisingly more active than her aged contemporaries. More than that, though, she is a bit clever, constantly walking back and forth, seemingly attempting to keep out of the way of your blazing fiery balls of re-death.
The game comes together as well as most others of the type. Often it’s as much trial-and-error as anything, particularly when it comes to attempting to swipe a rope or trigger something at just the right time, and not hitting the particular spot on the screen ruins everything. You’ll find you often figure out the solution you need, but actually initiating it is another matter entirely, as you’ll repeat the same motions over and over as you continue to retry, with only minute variances making all the difference between success and failure.
If you’re into Cut the Rope-styled games, then Corpse Granny provides a nice twist on the formula. At the same time, if you’ve played a lot of these games (say, as a reviewer might have), then the repetitive nature of the trial-and-error gameplay might itself feel a bit repetitive, potentially turning one off to the game.