by Felix Xiao
October 28, 2010
OverviewA few months ago, Halfbrick Studios, the developer of the chart-topping classic Fruit Ninja, released Monster Dash, a scrolling survival game featuring Barry Steakfries. The comical character makes his return in this dual stick shooter, using deadly weapons to slaughter the zombies and powerful bosses of Professor Brains instead of running from them.
FeaturesAge of Zombies currently has 15 levels in 5 worlds, along with a boss fight for each map. After completing an environment in campaign mode, you unlock the corresponding level in survival mode. You start out with an automatic pistol, and there are several weapons and explosives that you can pick up from crates while playing. Game Center is included, bringing achievements and leaderboards for each survival map. The game is universal and compatible with the Retina Display for 4th gen devices.
The GoodAge of Zombies is a fantastic dual stick shooter that has gameplay similar to that of Minigore. There are many weapons that you can pick up, including the SMG, shotgun, rifle, bazooka, landmine, and grenade. Each firearm comes with a limited amount of ammo, and once you run out, you automatically switch back to your pistol. By killing many enemies with one weapon or one explosion, you build up hefty combos that boost your total score. The control options allow you to choose whether you want the 2 sticks to stay in one place or float around so that they appear wherever you touch your finger to the screen. One of the best features in Age of Zombies is that your health regenerates after you've been hit, making death inevitable only when you're swarmed by groups of enemies. The campaign mode, although slightly short in length right now, is greatly improved by bosses on every world. These monsters, including a giant T-Rex, take many shots to kill in a game where most enemies die after being hit once or twice. A survival mode for the world is unlocked after the boss is defeated. In survival mode, the zombies attack you in waves that grow more intimidating as you rack up more points. Halfbrick Studios has announced that they will be adding regular content updates for Age of Zombies just like they have been for their other titles. If you're a Monster Dash veteran, then you'll be familiar with much of the graphics in Age of Zombies. The worlds are both detailed and polished, with decorations in the form of Egyptian pyramids, peaceful flowers, and office buildings. Fight through mobs of beauitfully created zombies, mummies, ninjas, and other malevolent creatures in order to stop Professor Brains' evil plan for world destruction. The weapon effects look great as well, especially those explosive bursts that take out an entire area of zombies.
The BadIn order to create a stronger campaign, Halfbrick added a plot with character dialogue at the start of every level. Barry Steakfries attempts to taunt his enemies at every opportunity with cheesy and often unnecessary one-line phrases. These contain vulgar humor and profanity and makes Mr. Steakfries look more like a conceited juvenile than the hilarious hero that he is known as. During levels, he'll make comments that don't fit in at all, such as saying "That must have hurt!" when you haven't shot a zombie in the past 10 seconds. Quitting out of the app also requires you to restart the level that you were playing, which is strange considering that the rest of Halfbrick's games are compatible with multitasking.
The VerdictAge of Zombies, an iOS port of the PSP mini title, provides smooth and fast paced action that makes it one of the best dual stick shooters available. There are plenty of challenges, 5 survival maps, and hopefully many future updates full of new weapons, worlds, and whatever else Halfbrick Studios can think of. Age of Zombies (universal) is a must buy for $2.99 and will have you hooked in no time at all.