There are a few things that we, as a society, have all silently agreed upon in the past few years. Our shameful love of bacon, pumpkin-flavored everything, and zombies. If you’re like me you’ve probably hit your breaking point after being bombarded with all of the above. Regardless of which side of the debate you fall on there is no stopping the zombie-shaped marketing Goliath from crushing you and all you hold dear anxiously awaiting a day for the pumpkin-spiced, bacon-covered zombie apocalypse of your dreams.
Zombie Showdown is the latest game to feed our zombie killing obsession and it comes to us from freshman duo known as Introvert Studios. Despite my jaded monologue, they have created a really excellent game. Will we ever stop loving excessive blood-explosions and shooting things in the face? This game delivers across the board. The player controls an average dude armed with a hope and a dream (also guns) as he blasts away the undead.
The game is a hybrid of a scrolling space shooter and classic arcade game Smash TV. Controls are simple enough, one simply drags or taps the screen to wield your character in the direction of the horde. The gameplay is structured around an intuitive auto-aim, auto-shoot which was incredibly intuitive but at the same time, sucked away any challenge that would be found in Zombie Showdown’s frenzied gameplay; however, this game is by no means easy. You begin each wave armed with a pistol unloading eight shots and a single heart. The single heart of health is the real challenge as so much as accidentally swiping your guy into a wandering zombie immediately kills you. Items and power-ups drop sporadically around the map, which thankfully includes upgrades to better weaponry; armed with a shotgun or machine gun, the fight becomes much easier. The isometric viewpoint gives the carnage an interesting perspective and the added animated blood and gore creating a Pollack-esque effect to the map. I liked the point of view for this game, although I probably wouldn’t prefer it if this wasn’t for a mobile device.
Zombie Showdow also features an upgrade shop that allows the player to spend coins they’ve earned in their previous lives. Upgrading your character is key in a game like this because starting out with a weak gun and one life creates a real level of difficulty. Unless you’re getting fairly far into the game at first try it will take some time to amass enough coins for real upgrades like more health and stronger weapons (did I mention more health?) I found myself carelessly sliding my poor guy into a zombie who wasn’t even close to attacking him yet. This was not only frustrating but also embarrassing. It was the equivalent of running at the zombies, screaming and firing my gun all at once, only to trip over my own shoelaces and stumble into the awaiting maw of my killer. I couldn’t let that be this average Joe’s legacy.
It may not be the most complex game out there, but Zombie Showdown is an entertaining and bloody zombie shooter. That being said, there are some notable drawbacks. The entire game is spent on a purple floor, and the lack of level variety was fairly unexciting. Item frequency can also be a problem, as the items can spawn in less than fortuitous places, sometimes appearing in the same place as a newly spawned foe (which is an almost guaranteed instant death) and the inability to shoot or aim does make the game a bore during extended play sessions. At the end of the day, however, this game is fun, bloody, and definitely addicting. And at 99 cents, I recommend supporting this new studio with their future endeavors by giving this title a shot.
But is it Hardcore?
Intuitive and addictive zombie shooter that fulfills all your blood and gore needs.