Zombie Escape

Zombie Escape is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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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.

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Zombie Escape Review

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.