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Review: Undead Ocean–Polished Plaforming Action!

Review: Undead Ocean–Polished Plaforming Action!

April 3, 2011


Undead Ocean is a traditional jump and run platformer following a Ninja girl’s attempt to retrieve a holy stone tablet.


Undead Ocean features over 15 levels, intuitive tilt controls, colorful graphics, fully voiced cut scenes, the ability to post your scores to Facebook or Twitter, and Game Center support.

The Good

Undead Ocean will feel very familiar to fans of the genre. You play as a fast, high jumping ninja with both skurikens and a katana. You jump and run your way across levels full of tricky jumps, zombies, swinging blades, flame jets, and other common platform hazards. Undead Ocean's stages are very short. Most only take a few minutes to complete, which is always handy for mobile gaming.  Each stage is packed with content and feels satisfying, despite the short length. True to its title, Undead Ocean features tons of the shambling undead of various colors and strengths. While there are plenty of them, they are very easily killed and share the classic zombie traits of being rather slow and stupid. Indeed, they often fall right off cliffs or get caught in traps. Despite their slow movement, the game is clever in their placement, and enemies are often in the worst spots for jumping or fighting them, so they are more difficult to avoid than you might think. Undead Ocean uses a regenerating health system, which can make the game seem a bit too easy. Whenever you are hurt, you regain life very quickly. While this mechanic removes tedious health hunting that can plague other games, it is very easy to simply plough through a bevy of whirling blades or undead horrors, then sit on a ledge and regain your health as opposed to skilfully avoiding hazards. The game has enough safe rest spots that this tactic is too easy at times. Perhaps a “hard” difficulty mode with regenerating abilities disabled and using health powerups instead would be a great addition. Thankfully, this lack of difficulty is made up for by the simple fun of jumping your way through the game’s levels. It feels great to nail a tricky series of jumps and the game’s excellent controls help the gameplay along. Undead Ocean includes fully voiced cut scenes.  Drawn in a great “coloured pencil” style, these are used to introduce new abilities and warn you of threats. They are cool to watch, and they do a good job conveying the game's story. Undead Ocean's controls are simple and effective. You tilt the device to move, tap the left edge to jump, and tap the right edge to attack. The accelerometer movement is very well executed, feels very smooth, and is actually superior to a virtual d-pad. Graphically, the game is well done. It features a distinct cartoon style, with strong colors and very smooth animation. Each stage feels different, and the game is nicely distinct and easy to see both on iPhone and iPad. The audio is also excellent. Some nice music accompanies the gameplay, and you can substitute your own iPod music if you like.

The Bad

While Undead Ocean is quite easy, the game is engaging enough that you won’t worry that you’re cruising though the game. While it is rather short, developer Team Phobic recently released a large amount of extra levels in a free update, so this shouldn’t be much of a problem. Still, if you expect your games to last for days before you find all their secrets, Undead Ocean might not be for you.

The Verdict

Undead Ocean is a quality platform game that is fun from beginning to end. It might not take you long to beat it, but you’ll enjoy every minute of it. The game’s high level of polish, its sharp controls, great graphics and cutscenes also make it worth checking out. Highly recommended!

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