Zoa by Criswar Productions Inc. icon

Zoa ($0.99) by Criswar Productions Inc. a survival game of a microscopic nature. Direct a school of protozoa like entities as they eat food, reproduce, and avoid being eaten. Don’t expect much from these one-celled creatures. The only thing they care about is survival.

Zoa by Criswar Productions Inc. screenshot

Players start with a school of swimmers who are chaotically roaming around with no specific direction. Place your finger on the screen and all the little guys will gather around you. Send them food bits to eat so they can grow stronger and reproduce faster.

Your goal is to grow your school in numbers and avoid getting eaten by hunters. The longer you stave off being ingested, the bigger your party gets. However, the bigger the party, the harder it is to avoid hunters.

The swimmers turn different colors based on their current status. Red swimmers are hungry, purple swimmers are fertile, and gray swimmers are dead. In addition to being eaten by hunters, swimmers can also die if they go hungry for too long. Keep them well fed and they will survive longer.

There is no way to win this game. Players just try to survive until they don’t. The longest survival time and largest swimmer party size will be recorded. You can adjust the difficulty of your game in the settings section. You can increase individual stats, like the amount of food and speed of metabolism. You can also select from seven different preset stats and either play a casual game like “Lazy 8” or have your work cut out for you with a game of “Sudden Death.”

There are three different games in this app. Players can command the swimmers in Zoa mode, or try something a little more arcade like with the bonus mini game. In the mini game, there is one swimmer and three hunters. Players must avoid the hunters and try to eat food as it appears in random places. In Zen mode, players control the swimmers, but there are no distractions. No one gets hungry, there are no hunters, and the swimmers don’t reproduce.

Even though there isn’t much to this game, it is still very interesting to play. The calming music is in stark contrast to the vicious attack that takes place on the screen. Even though you might think it is similar to the cell growth game Osmos, it is nothing like it. The goal is to grow in numbers, not size. The difficulty is in keeping your group alive in the presence of the hunters.

I recommend this app to fans of survival games that are looking for something a bit different. Endlessly running down tunnels can sometimes be too stressful. Keeping single-celled organisms from being eaten alive, believe it or not, is much more relaxing.