I speak of Apocalypse Max: Better Dead Than Undead, to use its full and slightly ridiculous title. I hadn’t played Apocalypse Max when it came to penning Top 5 zombie/horror games last Halloween, but it would’ve been in there for sure.
Apocalypse Max is a Metal Slug-style side-scrolling shooter thingy, set in a post-apocalyptic world swarming with zombies. Sounds good, right? And it is.
The Apocalypse Max action is spread across five sets of four levels (Dead Forest, The Swamp, Sewers, Cemetery and The Facility) with a couple of cheeky bonus chappies (Spooksville) for good measure.
You’re armed with guns, grenades and an “oversized, battle-hardy combat knife”, and the virtual buttons invite you to move left and right (no auto-scrolling here), and jump.
There’s the obligatory in-game currency, which fallen foes drop, and there are also crates hidden around Apocalypse Max’s 22 levels containing big bundles of coins.
Currency of course means there’s a shop, wherein you can upgrade Apocalypse Max’s weapons and buy ammo. Zombie aficionados will be happy to hear there’s a shotgun, and a satisfyingly good one at that.
I’m duty bound to report the good and the bad at this point; let’s start with Apocalypse Max’s good points (of which there are many).
Firstly, shooting and hacking zombies is immensely enjoyable, and that is – after all – why we’re here.
Apocalypse Max also looks splendid, from the menus to the zombies to the various environments, and the sound deserves an enthusiastic thumbs-up too.
On the downside, it all gets a bit samey after a while. My initial reaction was: ‘I can’t believe I haven’t played this before!’ But that eventually gave way to: ‘Hmm, I wonder how many levels are left.’
Two things I would’ve liked from Apocalypse Max: firstly, something else to invest in other than guns. There are additional characters with special abilities, but they can only be unlocked with real money. Bah.
Another thought: it would’ve been nice to have more than just the one boss, who appears right at the end of the two/three-hour slog.
Oh, and the last level stands out like a sore thumb. While the rest of Apocalypse Max’s levels are entirely linear, the final one asks you to branch off in various directions in order to sabotage a bunch of, er, machines or something. I liked that; mix it up a bit.
But those relatively minor gripes aside, Apocalypse Max is a lot of fun, and it appears to be free at the moment. What are you waiting for?
- 22 levels
- The zombies
- The shotgun
- Bit samey after a while
- Mostly very linear
- Just one boss
Summary: Apocalypse Max invites you to shoot and hack zombies ad nauseam, and the shotgun is bloody great. Good times.
Price: free @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.