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Puzzled Zombies

For: Mobile

Pleasures of the flesh

Product: Puzzled Zombies | Developer: bitBull | Format: Mobile | Genre: Puzzle, Strategy | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 509KB | Reviewed on: K800i other handsets | Version: Europe
 
Puzzled Zombies Mobile, thumbnail 1
There are two types of infuriation.

The first arises through an overwhelming sense of injustice - the feeling that the universe has, without cause or provocation, done you some great and undeserved wrong.

The second is felt when you know for certain that you're not living up to your potential - the inability to perform a task that you are certain should be within your capabilities.

Bad games tend to produce the first kind of infuriation, engendering ire with temperamental physics engines, unreliable platforms, and cheap deaths.

Others, like Puzzled Zombies, lay the blame for failure squarely at your feet, then wait patiently through your fussing and fuming until you recognise the answer that's been staring you in the face all along.

Dead man walking

Puzzled Zombies is a single-screen top-down puzzler that manages to transcend its uninspired name and overused enemy type through some clever level design and a great deal of polish.

Your goal is to save a set number of humans from being devoured by the walking dead. To accomplish this, you must place arrowed tiles on the ground. These tiles dictate the direction in which both breathing and non-breathing parties will walk.

You must then utilise objects (like chainsaws and TNT) and environmental hazards (such as trapdoors and power generators) to clear the screen of deadites.

If a zombie and a human collide, then it's Game Over. All on-screen characters begin walking the moment the level begins, and turn 90 degrees clockwise when they hit a wall (if the geography permits). Arrow tiles are dished out in limited quantities, depending on the challenge at hand.

Brainy

Where the game shines is its ability to take this simple rule-set and use it as a foundation for some thoroughly engaging - and surprisingly complex - mobile puzzling.

On one occasion, you'll find yourself with a screen full of zombies charging around a dense labyrinth, and only one or two arrow tiles with which to lure the rambling rotters to their doom.

On another, you'll have a relatively open map containing just a couple of enemies, but you'll require a large number of tiles and some heavy-duty traffic control to get your people out alive.

No matter how many times you fail a particular level, however, you're spurred on by the feeling that the solution is only just out of your reach - a testament to the game's compulsive design.

Though it could have benefited from a fast-forward button to increase the pace of some of the more time-consuming levels, and it would have been nice to see a less familiar antagonist, Puzzled Zombies offers 100 levels-worth of high quality entertainment that's well worth hunting down.
 
Puzzled Zombies
Reviewer photo
James Gilmour | 31 August 2012
Puzzled Zombies's elegant presentation, intuitive mechanics, and plentiful levels make it a decomposing delight
 
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