Review: Zombies on a Plane
Title: Zombies On a Plane
Platform: PC / Mac / iOS (reviewed on PC)
Developer: Shangri-La Game Studios
Release Date: 28th March 2014
TL;DR: Refreshingly different game of ‘fling them off’, but short and with über sensitive controls.
Family Friendly?: Click here to see if it’s a good ‘un for the family!
Are you one to turn your nose up at flying sims that demand you spend a hairy fortune on control sticks and fancy buttons? Do you have the unfathomable urge to get these <naughty word> Zombies off of your <another naughty word> plane?
Quite possibly then, Zombies On a Plane is for you.
In this game, you are challenged with forcibly ejecting waves of zombies from your plane before they munch your engines and wings into destruction. To do this, you must swing your aircraft around until said zombies are sent plunging to their impending doom. Chaining successful ‘ejections’ build a multiplier which is key to achieving a high score.
Doing so is simple at first, however the zombies become more and more determined and develop almost Spiderman-like qualities in holding on to the plane for dear (un)life. Two game modes control their difficulty curve: Survival mode challenges you to keep airborne for as long as you can, whilst Waves mode brings more challenging zombies as each wave passes up to a total of ten waves. Games can last for around a few minutes each, which tends to lend itself better to its iOS version as opposed to a full PC release.
Controls on the PC are done with the ol’ WSAD keys to control the pitch and roll, with the arrow keys controlling throttle and yaw. Whilst the controls match up with what you’d expect with flying a plane, their translations in game are somewhat surprising. Turns are expectedly slow at first, but they accelerate to levels that I’d have thought would destroy a passenger airline in seconds. I ended up finding my own challenges within to make the aircraft go on a hissy fit and then attempt to straighten it out. It ended up being a lot harder than it sounds because of that gradual acceleration of movement when you hold a key down. I found myself overshooting all the time!
“The game could be better…if it turned the crazy level to over nine thousand”
At this point it would seem apparent to note the lack of realism, which can only be a criticism because Shangri La makes a claim for it on its Greenlight page on Steam. I can’t help but feel that the game could be better if it was freed from the restraints of realism and if it turned the crazy level to over nine thousand. You can tell that it’s trying to reach beyond its self-imposed limits, especially with the cheesy screams of “Oh Yeah!” on reaching a certain multiplier, but with a bit more wackiness there could have been something special.
However, the premise alone of flinging zombies off a plane is a fun one and I enjoyed the time spent on it, despite it being relatively brief. As before, if you have an iDevice then it’d be worth a look on that format for a nose. The game lengths on both Survival and Waves seem to line up well with a mobile scenario. With no level progression and only the challenge of beating a personal best though, there’s little in the way of replay-ability. If you definitely see yourself as a Samuel L. Jackson when it comes to forcibly removing zombies, then you might just enjoy it all the same.
- Strangely satisfying, unique gameplay.
- Simple to pick up, tricky to master.
- Could be a good time-killer on the bus.
Bad times :(
- VERY difficult controls.
- A missed opportunity by shooting for realism.
- A bit on the short side for a full PC/Mac release.
As yet, no rating was supplied on this game, however the game sits relatively low on the violence level. No weapons and no blood, just lots of tiny ragdolls representing zombies that fly off the plane. I’d estimate this would be rated as a 12, although it would depend on your family’s ruling regarding zombies.