Reviewed: December 18, 2009
Released: November 2, 2009
App Store Price: $.99
Brains, Brains, Brains! Is that all zombies are about? Well if you reside in the world of Zombie Dash, then yes and no. Clickgamer's Zombie Dash has the great combination of zombies, puzzles, treasures, and magic to satisfy a gamer’s taste.
The game starts out with a back-story describing Earnest Smith, an explorer that goes deep into the zombiefied dungeons. He uses magic to fight off the zombies, eats moss burgers to keep his energy up, and uses antidotes and anti-zombie spray for health and defense. After 29 days, however, he was succumbed by the zombies and became one himself. This is where you come in. Your goal is to go as long as you can and see how long far you can go before you get turned into a zombie.
The gameplay starts out with a tutorial. You are locked in the room while the game explains the traps and dangers you'll face, along with how to defend yourself from them. This tutorial is comprehensive and explains how to fight off zombies, bats, snakes, and how to use items like the anti-zombie spray and the antidotes. Then the real game starts. Each day there is a dungeon of a certain length. All of these dungeons are stocked full of danger. As you go through the dungeon, you'll collect money to buy antidote, spray, and moss burgers at the end of that day. The antidote heals you from attacks while the spray lessens the zombies’ attraction to you, and the moss burgers give you more strength, helping you get through the dungeons faster.
Zombie Dash takes advantage of the iPhone’s Multi-touch technology to make for a great game experience. To navigate, you move a virtual trackball around. I felt that the trackball is very responsive and smooth, making movement through the dungeons easy. To fight off zombies, you use different kinds of “swipe” magic. Depending on what zombie you come across, you use a one-finger circle motion, or a two or three finger swipe motion to fight them off. There was some difficulty in doing the three finger motion, to the point that I had to master it before I could advance in the game. However, once you get use to the motion of the swipe, (or if you already are good at it due to another application) it's just as fluid as the trackball.
Dragging to use items and flicking to get bats off are also just as easy. Overall the controls help to enhance the gameplay. The only other flaw I found is a bug that if you exited Zombie Dash in between levels, you would restart at the end of the previous level, with your character nowhere to be found. Luckily, a new update released recently, not only added more dungeons for your liking, but also fixed this fatal flaw.
The graphics for Zombie Dash are pretty basic. On the main game screen, you get a bird’s eye view of the dungeon along with a heads-up display on the side that contains the items and trackball controls. The dungeons have a slightly unrealistic brightness, but to avoid all of the traps and zombies the brightness is important. The pictures on the cutscenes have a cartoon like feel, but they look great for the iPhone. All of the menus on the game are easy to navigate and functional. Overall Zombie Dash has great graphics for what it is.
If you’re looking for a game that has great sound to match, then Zombie Dash is your game. The music has that creepy horror movie feel that helps to enhance the experience. The sound effects also help to replicate the horror movie feel, and combined with the music really creeped me out. I especially loved the sounds made when you got caught by a snake, stepped on a spiked floor, or was fighting a zombie. The best way to describe it is that its like the sound of someone about to be killed in a horror movie, with the breathing noise of the victim, and the high-pitched fast background music.
There is also the possibility of playing your iPod music in the background while playing the game. The only con is that you cannot manage the music within the app. To do so, you must start the music before launching the game, and in order to change the music, you must double tap to get the iPod controls (or use Voice Control if you have a 3GS). Personally, I like to repeat Michael Jackson’s song Thriller as I play this game. There is room for some improvements, but overall Zombie Dash has great solid sound capabilities.
If I had to spend a hard earned 99 cents for this game, I would say this would be a great investment to kill some free time. This game doesn’t have any Wi-Fi or Bluetooth multiplayer support (and in my opinion doesn’t need it). However, you can compete among friends to see how far someone can go. You can also post your highest scores and distances on an online leader board to see how you fare against others.
As I mentioned earlier, this game just had an update that added new dungeons. I am not sure how many levels the game has in total - the farthest I got was level 49, but I know there are at least 50. I’m sure with more updates there is a possibility for even more dungeons. Another idea to add dungeons would be using iTunes’ in app purchasing to add multiple amounts of dungeons in return. I will keep playing hoping to get farther, as this game has kept my interest for a surprisingly long time.
Overall, I feel that Zombie Dash is one of the best games to appear for the iPhone at this time. With great gameplay, graphics sound, and value, along with taking advantage of great iPhone technology, makes it well worth the 99 cents for admission. Along with the fact that the updates will most likely bring more dungeons, this is a game that will always make for some great amusement without getting old quickly. If you’re looking for a great zombie game to devour your brain, then Zombie Dash will indeed leave you brainless.