Anyone who remembers dumping quarters into House of the Dead in the arcades (the old-fashioned kind that existed before Xbox Live) would probably be interested in the concept behind Zombie Crisis 3D. Like that classic lightgun series, this iPhone game has you moving on rails while blasting away at zombies that pop out and go “boo!”
Or maybe they should yell “wake up!” because Zombie Crisis 3D is a bit of a snooze. The environments are uniformly dark and murky, bathed in crud and mud that is boring to look at. The zombies themselves are more blocky than scary, and they die with just one shot.
Zombified ninjas slightly lose their competitive edge.
Zombie Crisis 3D has five levels, the first of which is an extremely brief tutorial. They’re not too challenging, since none of the normal zombies are a threat unless they rush you in a pack of five or more. Even the occasional special zombies didn’t hold our interest, like a black-pajamas zombie that we assume was a ninja or cat burglar before succumbing to the virus.
The one great thing about Zombie Crisis 3D are the game’s four boss battles, which are a welcome change from the lifeless campaign. These battles, which begin with you viewing a “weak point” chart just like in House of the Dead, are genuinely exciting and fun. We especially enjoyed the finale against a mutant zombie octopus, but the battle against a flying insect queen was a blast, too.
Chainsaw of command.
In addition to the boss battles, another good thing we can say about Zombie Crisis 3D is that it has full Game Center integration. You’ll gain achievements for completing levels, and you can rank on the leaderboards for nailing headshots and conserving ammo. While we like that this encourages replayability, the core game is still not good enough on its own.
Zombie Crisis 3D is close in spirit to House of the Dead, but it lacks a lot of that game’s variety and excitement, if you’re not battling a boss. For a more impressive lightgun game on the iPhone, we recommending downloading Time Crisis 2nd Strike, or the less on-rails zombie shooter N.Y. Zombies instead.