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Zombie Wonderland Review:  Shoot that Darned thing

Is this yet another zombie game?  And to that there’s only one simple answer: yes.  But the gameplay mechanics sure are… different considering you’re the owner of a house or some place, and you need to protect yourself from the incoming waves of zombies.  Of course at sun up (6:00 AM), the zombies will disappear and you will have beat that particular level.

And while it seems like all fun and games, it’s not exactly that.  The game has Crystal implementation (which doesn’t help the replay value too much), along with an inclusion of a survival mode.  The real problem with the game just happens to be that it’s way too repetitive; sure killing zombies and saving the world is hard work, but I would think there would be some type of variation.

Likes

The Looks: Zombie Wonderland looks great, you can’t ask for much more in this department.  I’m not going to say that it’s the best-looking game on the App Store, but I am going to say that it’s a good-looking game.  The developers took some time on the artwork and the game design, and while the menu design was a bit off for me, it was overall a quality title.

Tap-to-shoot: The tap-to-shoot control method was accurate.  I’m not saying I approve of it, but it was accurate enough for it to detect which tiny zombie I was pointing to.

Do something: You’re always doing something in the game.  Zombies will continually try and beat you down, and if that’s not the case, you always have the wooden planks to set up.  There’s always something that’s going on, and you won’t be doing nothing in a gameplay session.  It’s quite frantic, I must say, and it could add to your gameplay experience.

Dislikes

Repetitive: Of almost all the games I’ve played, this game has to rank in the top 10 as most repetitive ever.  For one, there’s only two gameplay modes.  Crystal doesn’t add to any of the replay value (maybe slightly, but not enough), and the game is just the same thing for all 4 locations.  Tap to shoot, mop the floor, set up your gun, hammer planks onto your windows.  After a few hours of playing this game, I can say that I was more exhausted and tired than happy and whatever emotion goes along with playing a good game.

Menu problems: Menu design is meh, but there’s one small problem that I didn’t exactly like.  When pressing new game, you’re given the option to chose the Story Mode or the Survival Mode.  There’s no back button though, which for some of you, can be a pain.  You can click on a gameplay mode then press back, but still, this seems like an oversight.  Also, when selecting a level, having some visual feedback would be nice instead of wondering if you tapped the level correctly or not.

No upgrade model: Weaponry is quite scarce in this zombie shooter.  It’s the apocalypse, you’re the last person surviving, with any gun you can have in the world and they give you a shotgun, a machine gun, and some other ones that aren’t too powerful.  It would have been nice if there was some sort of gun upgrading model in place after each level instead of one just being handed to you.  Also, even upgrading the gun to make it more powerful or shoot faster would have been adequate.  Of course, there’s also character upgrades that could have been implemented including faster movement, faster mopping, faster plank-nailing.  There’s endless possibilities for an upgrade system, and it would add a depth that’s not present in this shallow gameplay experience.

I’m sorry to say, but I didn’t have much fun with this overly repetitive shooter.  It looks good and all, but I can’t see myself playing this more than I already have, and I’m guessing a delete is in place to make room on my 16 GB device.  Overall, it’s not that fun and way too repetitive, and while it’s quite frantic, it doesn’t save Zombie Wonderland from being titled as one of the most repetitive games on the App Store… in a bad way.

Zombie Wonderland was published by Chillingo, and I played through version 1.0 on my iPhone 3GS.  The price is on a limited time sale for $0.99.





  1. John on Friday 11, 2010

    Something I noticed, the review says “no upgrade model” yet the trailer has the text “you weapons get bigger and deadlier!”. Was this removed from the game or is it just unnoticeable/redundant in some way?

  2. Daniel on Friday 11, 2010

    Every few levels you get a better weapon. But you can’t chose the weapon, upgrade the weapon, or buy weapons.

  3. Evan on Friday 11, 2010

    Zombie Wonderland has been pulled from the appstore

  4. Evan on Friday 11, 2010

    …and it’s back again!