Zombie games are all well and good (and starting to get a more than a little staid, if I'm honest), but they never seem to answer a simple question.
Who's going to clean up the mess afterwards?
Well, Zombie Wonderland 2 has the answer. You are. But at least you get to make the mess first.
As a hired janitor in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, it's up to players to fortify buildings from undead attack, set up traps, take an active hand in the defence (with a double-barrelled shotgun, what else?) and, bizarrely, mop up the entrails when you get a spare moment. Gameplay is an odd mix of different genres, and most strongly reminds us of the Supermarket Mania series rather than a traditional zombie shooter.
Boarding up windows and setting traps is a one-touch affair, and intuitive thanks to the familiar isometric perspective. Once your defences are complete, you'll be able to touch zombies to shoot them with your shotgun, touch turrets to repair them and eventually scrub up and down to remove offending bloodstains from the carpet. Later levels introduce a variety of different enemies, and there's an enjoyable level of strategy to be found in amongst the hectic shenanigans.
Unfortunately, the touch controls leave much to be desired, especially on the iPhone's smaller screen. Selecting the right window in amongst all the claustrophobic action can be an absolute nightmare, not to mention pressing on the ravening, running zombie who's millimetres away from a tasty brain snack. You'll frequently die from no fault of your own, and the small levels don't give you any room to manoeuvre.
This makes the Zombie Wonderland 2 feel much more unsatisfying than it ought to be, and I can't help wishing that a more familiar dual-stick format was used for the combat with context-sensitive icons for turret deployment and cleaning. The action resembles a traditional shooter once the waves begin, but the controls aren't up to the challenge. In effect, there's not quite enough hardcore strategy or hardcore shooting to impress either crowd.
Still, there's great value and impeccable presentation to be found here. Zombie Wonderland 2 is a crisp and colourful visual treat, and the varied environs are rendered beautifully. The sound design is equally impressive, with some high-fidelity tracks to listen to as you kill, clean and kill again. Plenty of levels are also on offer, so if it grabs you, you'll have lots of content to play with.
We've also heard reports that Zombie Wonderland 2 crashes from time to time on iPhone handsets, though haven't encountered this problem first-hand.
- Polished presentation
- Controls can't keep up with the action
- Claustrophobic levels
- Ultimately unsatisfying both as a shooter and strategy game
Summary: Zombie Shooter 2 is a strange mishmash of different gameplay elements that almost comes together but never quite clicks. Luckily, great value and impressive presentation help to clean up.
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad.Requires iOS 3.1.3 or later.
Price: £0.69 - App Store