When I started playing Zscavenger, I found it rather ironic that it was on Groundhog Day since this game reflects the basic “rinse and repeat” ideology that the movie conveys. Developed by MondayOFF, this game takes the basic premise of surviving the zombie apocalypse and gives it a slight twist. Though there’s a fairly good blueprint laid out to make something immersive, this little zombie adventure lacks some serious bite.
If anyone wants to play an Android game that has all replayability features stripped away, Zscavenger has you covered. The core goal of the game is to collect the heads of dead zombies and trade them for coins. This sounds like a cool idea however, there’s no inventory, no skill tree and no customization. There aren’t even different levels to clear. Instead, Zscavenger is an endless stroll up a dilapidated road. Coins are spent upgrading basic perks.
Graphically, the game looks fine. Characters are well-designed and there are a fair amount of differing zombie types. It’s very much reminiscent of other Android action games. There are ones with bombs strapped to their heads and even berserker zombies that claw after you. When defeated, they explode into a sticky, crimson mist that coats the streets which adds a fun atmosphere to the game.
Locked and Unloaded
One problem I had was the fact that there is not much of a color palette to the level design. It’s a drab collection of dark colors that make it difficult to see what’s coming. All the bosses are rather unique in their design and each comes with its own persona and attack patterns to spice things up. After I cleared an area, I got rewarded with either: a new teammate, new clothing or a new weapon. Nothing really helps with the gameplay in terms of stats. I stayed as the same noob soldier throughout my entire session without any sense of progression.
When I unlocked the grenade launcher, I was giddy with joy. I figured that things were about to get interesting. Going into battle, I noticed that my soldier won’t use the grenade launcher. Instead, he continues using the same machine gun I started with. So, what gives? Why can’t I lob grenades at a zombie horde, reducing them into guacamole?
It turns out that obtaining top tier weapons just expands the cone used for aiming. When it reaches its full length, it turns orange and the player can unleash the weapon’s appropriate firepower. Players will need to walk forward very slowly in order for the cone to build up. Unfortunately, this forced me into a zombie horde more than once and I had to retreat. It’s an annoying combat configuration. In fairness, the gun effects are decent. The discharge of the weapons is loud, crisp and comes with its proper fiery effect. However, the game suffers from a lack of music.
Land Of The Living
ZScavenger ‘s best feature is the ability to recruit soldiers to aid the player in battle. These recruits fire their own weapons in the same direction as the player. As I fought my way up the street, more men would join and eventually I had a small army at my disposal. Recruits can easily die in battle. Luckily, there’s a nifty option to call for a chopper to evacuate to the beginning of the level if warranted. This would enable me to reclaim the men I lost and try again. The thing is that the button to call the helicopter only works sporadically. After beating the fifth boss, I was interested in what would happen next. It turns out that the game started all over. There are no in-game purchases to help players out however, there are quite a few advertisements to slog through just to reclaim falling recruits and even respawning. There’s also a perpetual ad on the bottom of the screen that’s an eyesore and I even accidentally pushed on it while playing.
The basic gameplay can be fun for a little while. However, the “time loop” feel of ZScavenger gets old quickly. I understand that the developers were trying to create something basic. They ultimately succeeded, but the blatant advertisements and lack of variety knock it down from being anything noteworthy.
Not Even Close.
The army-building feature in ZScavenger is an interesting idea, however, the wonky controls and lazy design drag this zombie war into obscurity.