Zombie Gunship v1.1
A brainwavez.org iOS Game Review

South Africa By: Paul Pregnolato on 26 August 2011
Category: Games > iOS > Reviews
Tags: #horror, #zombies
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The Zombie Apocalypse is nigh and your mission is to protect human survivors fleeing for the safety of an isolated bunker. What better way to annihilate the ranks of the undead than with ridiculously powerful weapons mounted on the angriest bird of them all?

Zombie Gunship v1.1Zombie Gunship is a not-so-subtle variation of the tower-defence genre but its creators have eschewed the tanks and laser turrets usually encountered in such games in favour of the real-life US Air Force Lockheed AC-130U "Spooky" gunship. Armed with a pair of 25mm GAU-12 Gatling guns, a 40mm Bofors cannon and even a 105mm howitzer it is (literally) a flying artillery park. Zombie Gunship places you in the Fire Control Officer's seat as you pour an increasingly destructive maelstrom of high explosive and lead onto the zombie horde below.

The game sets the scene with a suitably lurid splash intro before transitioning to the main screen; while your aircraft is initially armed with the 25mm Gatling alone, a visit to the "Upgrade" section presents you with a variety of weapons and avionics enhancements you can buy if you've earned enough credits. Alternatively, you can avoid the hassle of having to play enough games to afford an upgrade by the simple expedient of buying in-game "coin packs". "Pocket Change" of 10 000 coins will cost you US$0,99 [?] while "The Motherlode" of 1 050 000 coins - enough to upgrade your aircraft and weapons to maximum effectiveness - costs US$49,99 [?]. Why anyone would want to do so in a game that costs a mere US$0,99 is beyond me but the option is there. The "Weapon Upgrade" section displays your respective weapons' upgrade status, while clicking on each weapon's individual tab displays the type and cost of each incremental enhancement. Finally, "Extra Upgrades" allow you to buy a higher bounty-per-zombie kill, a "Bomb Buddy" - a single-use explosive device positioned at the bunker entrance to surprise any zombies who manage to make it that far - and improved radar.

Gameplay itself is pretty simple: you orbit a bunker and its desert surrounds while protecting any humans fleeing for the safety of said bunker from a horde of pursuing zombies. Being very much alive, they show up as white figures on your radar, while the zombies show up as dead black. If you kill three humans or the zombies reach the bunker's entrance the game ends and you are forced to return to base.

It sounds simple in theory but Zombie Gunship takes what could have been a passé concept and executes it brilliantly. While the interface is admittedly simple - a grainy black-and-white image reminiscent of footage seen on CNN over which is superimposed a basic aiming reticule - the zombies realistically stumble and shuffle along, cannon rounds kick up clouds of dust as they explode and the shockwave of a detonating 105mm shell is both clearly visible and satisfactorily devastating.

The game is easy enough to get into and the controls are quick to master but the level of difficulty increases dramatically as the zombie body count rises and you will almost certainly kill three humans via "friendly fire" or be overrun long before the frenetic gameplay becomes merely repetitive and boring. Switching between the various weapons to destroy the advancing columns of zombies (while at the same time trying not to kill any humans moronic enough to be in close proximity to them) soon requires a considerable degree of dexterity and fast reflexes.

Zombie Gunship v1.1

Where Zombie Gunship really comes into its own, however, is in its sound effects: the various weapons each have a unique sound signature, from the flat "boom" of the howitzer to the rippling chainsaw-like snarl of the Gatling as well as the trip-hammer effect of 25mm cannon rounds exploding in rapid succession. The crackle of a radio barking out orders, the distinctive (and accurate) background drone of the AC130's engines, and the wail of a siren warning of an imminent zombie breach also adds to the suitably suspense-laden atmosphere. It's also best to use a decent pair of headphones and crank up the volume - if anything, it'll fully immerse you in the Zombie Gunship experience and your friends and family will thank you afterwards.

Unfortunately, there is only one stage to play and the Upgrade Store is fairly basic. Once you've fully upgraded your aircraft's weaponry and radar there is little incentive to play other than to beat your high score, although the game also enables players to post challenges from within the game via email and Facebook. A new level layout as well as the ability to purchase extra lives or a mini-map would be a welcome improvement and hopefully the game's creators will include these features in any future updates.

Zombie Gunship v1.1

Be that as it may, Zombie Gunship is a fun game to play while it lasts and it is very easy to succumb to the temptation of taking just one more shot (excuse the pun) at improving your previous score and splattering an even larger number of zombies to the four winds.

brainwavez.org Opinion
Rating: 7/10
Time-Wasting Value: A few minutes per game
Learning Curve: Medium
Entertainment Value: 8/10
Replayability: 6/10

Key Facts: Zombie Gunship v1.1
Price: US$0.99 [?]
Year: 2011 (v1.1 6 August 2011)
Genre: Action
Keywords: action, defence, zombies
Size: Approximately 15.8 MB (.ipa file)
Resolution: 960x640
Requirements: iOS 4.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone 3Gs or higher, iPod touch (3rd generation or higher), iPad

On The Internet
Zombie Gunship: Official Site
Shop online Shop Online: iTunes App Store
Limbic Software:

Watch Online Zombie Gunship Trailer

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