What could be better than a handful of zombies? Zombies, zombies and even more zombies, that’s what, and that’s exactly what Zombie! Zombie! Zombie! HD promises on its virtual tin.
I’m around a third of the way through Zombie! Zombie! Zombie! HD’s 100-or-so levels, and since it’s clearly the kind of thing that’s supposed to be played over a period of weeks – or even months, and since I’ve lost all patience with it, I’m writing my review right freakin’ now.
Zombie! Zombie! Zombie! HD is billed as a zombie-flavoured match three game (hence the name), but it’s a million miles away from match three as you know it, with the grid and the coloured fruits/gems and what have you.
Instead, what we have here is a horde of zombies approaching from the top, and you can eliminate sections of the approaching undead by making triangular matches using zombies of the same colour. Make sense? Good.
Along the bottom are our three unnamed protagonists, and it’s Game Over if – or when – you happen to lose all three in one level.
Of course, no smartphone game these days is complete without some sort of shop system, and Zombie! Zombie! Zombie! HD has your consumer needs covered.
For starters, purchasable via in-game coins, there’s a range of one-off Bonuses including a squad of police zombies that come in and clean house before shooting themselves, a call for an air strike, and a gas canister that slows down the undead.
Put together a quick series of combos and you’ll unleash a special thingy, including the Ninja, a box of grenades and a turret. Each of those can be upgraded in the shop, too.
Finally, we have permanent Upgrades. This is where Zombie! Zombie! Zombie! HD becomes slightly offensive, with the ability to have coins picked up automatically (without the need for manual tapping) costing an outrageous £13.99, while you can add two squad members for an additional £10.49.
Similarly offensive is the Candy Crush Saga-style life system. You have three by default (£6.99 to permanently increase to five), and they regenerate at a rate of one every 20 minutes. Of course, you can regenerate instantly for just 69p. Ahem.
With the emphasis very much on freemium get-your-wallet-out panhandling, it was unsurprising to find that Zombie! Zombie! Zombie! HD was massively enjoyable at first, only to become absolutely brutal after the first 20-odd levels.
Like Candy Crush Saga, the levels aren’t fixed, and quite often it feels like a game of patience rather than skill, which is particularly sickening considering the life system detailed above.
Worse still, there are times when zombies race down the playing area and almost instantly take out one of your three guys, something that’s seemingly unavoidable.
I would’ve liked to see more focus on our three heroes, too, perhaps being able to customise weapons, armour and attire. Maybe that’ll come with an update; seems like a fairly obvious money-maker.
Yeah, so, Zombie! Zombie! Zombie! HD starts out promising enough, but quickly descends into a thinly veiled Candy Crush Saga-style money-grabbing machine. Having said all that, it’s not entirely terrible.
- Lots of levels
- Lots of different zombies
- Lots of stuff in the shop
- Zombie! Zombie! Zombie! HD wants your money
- And lots of it
Summary: Behind Zombie! Zombie! Zombie! HD’s sickening freemium stuff lurks an enjoyable zombie-themed match three game. How much that freemium stuff irks is entirely subjective, but it kinda made me want to put my iPad in the bin.
Developer: Big Fish Games
Price: free (cough) @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPad.