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iPhone/iPad review of the day: Pro Zombie Soccer replaces the actual sport with a gore-filled shooting gallery. Score!

iPhone Game: Pro Zombie Soccer
Price: $0.99 / £0.59
Size: 85.5 MB
Get it now on iTunes:US (opens in new tab)/UK (opens in new tab)

iPad Game: Pro Zombie Soccer (Apocalypse Edition)
Price: $1.99 / £1.19
Size: 199 MB
Get it now on iTunes:US (opens in new tab)/UK (opens in new tab)

When you’re a kid who’s lost his girl and been cut from the high school soccer team, things are tough. When this happens in the middle of a zombie outbreak, it’s downright deadly. To make matters worse, you’ve been bitten by one of those undead. While you got some nifty powers thanks to that, you’re also a few hours from being dead. Now, it’s a race against time to save yourself, your ex-ladyfriend, and your town. The weapon of choice? A regulation soccer ball, of course.

As a cross between a side-scrolling shoot-em-up and a brawler, Pro Zombie Soccer gleefully tells its purposefully B-movie story while it sets you loose against hordes of the undead. The basic controls are simple, and work great; you direct the ball at approaching zombies by touching the screen, pointing the direction the ball will go, and lifting your finger. Hitting the advancing hordes in the head is preferable (but you already knew that). The ball quickly comes back to you after striking its target, but makes you wait a moment longer if you miss. Power-ups like laser strikes and penetrating kicks appear after a certain number of zombie murders, and come in very handy as the difficulty quickly ramps up.

Getting through the first few levels is a snap, but soon enough you’ll find yourself struggling to advance past waves of zombies coming from all directions. Every stage brings varying challenges, too, whether it’s a different type of enemy or new ways to kill them. Some zombies can be taken out with a single head shot, while others need to be disposed of limb by limb. Still others burrow underground and can only be hit when they stick their heads up. There were plenty of times it took us half a dozen tries to beat a stage, especially as we got to the later parts of the game.

As you’d expect, there are cartoonish buckets of blood and dismemberment – this is a zombie game, after all. Between the sometimes-punishing level of difficulty and the arcade-like gameplay (this isn’t BioShock), Pro Zombie Soccer isn’t for everyone. It does strike a goofy nerve with us, though, and probably will for you too.

Apr 25, 2011