Affliction: Zombie Rising ($0.99) by Naquatic is the most immersive zombie shooter on the App Store. Once again, Naquatic (the two man team behind Solitaire Zen) has created an experience that goes beyond standard mobile gaming.
First, I must point out that Affliction was designed to draw you into the game world. Everything in the game – from the interactive menu screens to the actual fighting – is set in a dark, creepy room. The atmosphere is perfect for zombie slaying, and it will for sure get your heart beating quickly. While the game doesn’t allow for any player movement (think N.Y. Zombies style), I think this actually improves the overall quality.
Affliction is extremely immersive, and there are several things factoring into this experience. The first is the gyroscopic controls (if your device doesn’t have a gyroscope, the game will default to touch controls, which I have not tested). One way to think about gyroscope controls is treating your device like a camera. In this way, the screen is a window into the game world, and you actually need to turn to look around.
The audio and lighting also make for immersive gameplay. Especially with headphones on, you can hear the zombies approaching, and as they draw near, their groans increase in volume. To add to this, the lighting effects are superb. The only thing piercing the darkness is the flashlight on your gun, and its beam is limited, forcing you to constantly scan for zombies. Everything else is cast into eerie shadow, making even a cardboard box look threatening.
Apart from the camera controls, the rest is simple. Point your crosshairs at the zombies and tap to shoot. Reloading involves looking at the ground and swiping downward. This works well for me, but some people have had a few complaints.
Currently four weapons are available: a revolver, two pistols, and an assault rifle. All are single shot, and vary in damage and range. My one complaint so far would be the gun unlock system. Currently, two guns are locked (a pistol and the rifle) and can only be unlocked through IAP. It would be nice to see some sort of in-game currency implemented that rewards long-term players. Still, Naquatic plans on adding more guns in future updates. A new map and a few other zombie types wouldn’t hurt either.
Aside from the standard, solo survival mode, there is also a two-player co-op mode. This is truly awesome, with matchmaking done through Game Center. In co-op mode, the zombies come in waves (same in solo) similar to the Call of Duty zombie games. You and your partner watch each other’s backs and fend off the zombies together. Scores and stats like headshots, accuracy, and kills are tracked as well.
Overall, Affliction is a frightening, yet enjoyable zombie shooter. This is without a doubt the most thrilling and realistic zombie game in the App Store. I see a ton of potential in this title, and we can only hope that Naquatic will continue to build on this.
Giveaway: If you’d like a chance to win a copy of Affliction, just leave a comment below (make sure you have a valid email address) before June 2 at 12:01 p.m. PDT. We’ll choose one lucky winner at random. Good luck!