There are about a million two-stick shooters on iPhone %26ndash; this despite the fact that the system has no actual control sticks at all. But very, very few are as polished and entertaining as Age of Zombies. The premise is typical %26ndash; burly hero uses pistol, grenades, flamethrower, bazookas, submachine guns and more to blast zombies into goo. But a comical style and varied settings lift Age of Zombies above the pack.
Main man Barry Steakfries might as well be Bruce Campbell, cracking one intentionally over-the-top macho joke after another in the face of the undead hordes. Then there%26rsquo;s the way it jumps through five different eras in time, adding variety to the blastinating. As a result, the regular zombies range from ninjas to robots, and bosses include an undead T-rex and a post-death pharaoh who spits fireballs and knives.
Controls are remarkably good for an iPhone shooter, possibly thanks to the way they don%26rsquo;t appear onscreen until you put your thumbs down. This sounds disorienting, but the opposite is actually true. Because whenever your thumb hits the screen becomes the new %26ldquo;center%26rdquo; position for the sticks, all you have to do when your thumb %26ldquo;slips off%26rdquo; the virtual stick %26ndash; which will absolutely happen %26ndash; is pick it up and set it down again.
We did still get hooked on scenery from time to time, but that too was easily avoided once we learned what was decoration and what was a in-game object. Even the graphics are impressive. Everything is clean and colorful, and even with a couple dozen zombies onscreen we never saw a hint of slowdown or chugging. There%26rsquo;s also an equally cool iPad version, which is always nice. Ultimately, the only truly uncool thing about Age of Zombies is its length %26ndash; it can be finished in a couple hours. But it%26rsquo;s a good couple hours and it%26rsquo;s arcade-replayable, so this is still well worth a download.
Nov 5, 2010