REVIEW: Zombie Burst
Title: Zombie Burst
Platform: iOS (Reviewed on iPod)
Developer: CatFoster Media
Publisher: CatFoster Media
TL;DR: Flawed mechanics and clumsy controls make this game hard to recommend
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Zombie Burst is an iOS game whose claim to fame is a unique spin on the zombie-hunting formula which pervades the Apple App Store – rather than simply shooting the invading hordes of the undead, the player is instead tasked with popping the pimple-headed zombies into oblivion, forming the premise of the game’s mechanics.
To “burst” a zombie, you must squish its disgusting head between your fingers, making a zit-popping motion with your index finger and thumb as instructed by the game’s ingame tutorial. It’s here that the game’s first fault becomes apparent: it’s surprisingly difficult to pull off. Whether it’s the fact that zombies are often tottering around in the distance and therefore smaller, or perhaps the reduced real-estate of the iPod compared to it’s larger iPad brother, the fact remains that it’s actually ridiculously hard to get the game to register a burst.
Even my clumsy fingers are able to handle most iOS titles, for example slicing fruit in Fruit Ninja, but here the simple task of drawing my thumb and index finger close enough to be accepted as sufficient a squish by the game proved frustrating, leading me to instead use the index fingers on either hand. That made it easier, but the whole thing was pretty uncomfortable and after about an hour my fingers were aching enough to prevent me from wanting to continue.
But continue I did, and was faced with another of the game’s frustrations. The wretched innards of popped zombies splash themselves across the screen, obscuring your vision and making things even more difficult until you’ve wiped the screen clear of the goo. Again, getting the game to actually register those goo wipes is a challenging task, and often the time spent doing so results in being overwhelmed by the zombies you couldn’t see in the meantime. Add that to the fact that being successfully attacked will add a “smashed screen” graphic into the mix and the whole thing becomes a bit ridiculous.
Zombie Burst invariably tries to spice things up with short (short) animated segments between levels, and menus which feature a bit of music and flavour text, but when the gameplay commences there’s nothing but an awkward silence, the groans of zombies, and more than likely your own grunts of frustration as you wrestle with the awkward controls.
Levels are static and for the most part uninteresting, but contain some variation. For instance, following a lop-sided reference to Night of the Living Dead, one level has zombies popping up from behind cinema seats, turning the game into zombie whack-a-mole. On this level, zombies can appear on the side of the screen, where it is near impossible to perform the finger movement required to kill the zombies.
Zombie Burst has a few good ideas that don’t seem to translate well into gameplay mechanics. For the price of admission, you might be able to extract a few hours of fun, but consider this one of the lesser quality games available on the app store at present.
“I’m coming to get you, Barbara!”
- Night of the Living Dead Was a Good Film
“This is Hell on earth.”
- Awkward Controls
- Low Production Value
If Zombie-killing is an issue, stay away from this one. That said, there’s no blood, only the gross puss which explodes from zombie pimples. Euch.