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PlayStation Vita  header logo

OMG HD Zombies!

For: PS Vita

Once bitten, twice shy?

Product: OMG HD Zombies! | Developer: Laughing Jackal | Format: PS Vita | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe
 
OMG HD Zombies! PS Vita, thumbnail 1
I described the original OMG-Z quite approvingly as a "puzzler with brains". Unfortunately, while much of what made that game great has survived the transition from PSP to Vita, OMG HD Zombies! has become a little too bloated and lumbering for its own good.

If you're yet to try Laughing Jackal's blend of zombie apocalypse and action-puzzler then this new outing will make a solid addition to your library. Otherwise, you needn't reach for your digital wallet.

Shots fired

The idea is simple: kill as many zombies as you can in a single-screen area, with a very limited number of bullets.

To do this, you'll have to take advantage of the effects different types of zombies have when they die. Some explode in massive piles of damaging gore, some melt into a toxic pool of acid, some lose their heads (literally), some charge forward and damage everything in their path, and so on.

IAPs explained
65p will get you one ZIT Grenade, but you can spend as much as £6.49 on 20, if you so desire. I never used one. And if you decide to, then know that you're only making the game less fun for yourself.
If you can cause a chain reaction of kills, you destroy dozens of enemies with just a single bullet. Factor in exploding barrels that ignite everything in their surrounding area, as well as effect upgrades - paid for using the in-game currency won after stages are cleared - and you've got a fairly complex puzzler that tests both your spatial awareness and your powers of logic.

The random set-up of each level, whereby it's possible to be plonked in a map where victory is impossible due to the arrangement of the barrels, is still a problem, but you can always hit the 'restart' button without penalty.

Another returning favourite is the art style. It's black and white, with crimson splashed about when appropriate, and it's very striking. The animations still aren't as smooth as you would hope, though - especially considering the power of the Vita.

Bloat

Some of the new additions to the formula are what let the overall package down a little.

On the plus side, there are high score tables to compete on, which is a fun extra for the number-chasers, and there are more zombies to shoot across more locations.

However, there's also a lot of superfluous material. The new intro expands a plot that was pointless to begin with and brings nothing to the game; the online connectivity now ensures that your device checks for score updates after almost every level (interrupting play if you're not near wi-fi); and the new zombies don't drastically alter the way you approach levels.

The worst offender is the new control method. Instead of using the analogue stick to precisely aim, you're asked to tap on the specific zombie you'd like to kill, and since the enemies are huddled together you often end up tapping the wrong baddie. Thankfully, you can revert to the old control scheme.

And you can now buy level-clearing ZIT Grenades, via an IAP, which is a mixed blessing at best.

Where OMG-Z was a tight minis release that you could dip in and out of at will, OMG HD Zombies! is a significantly expanded HD remake that adds extra content that isn't really needed. So if you missed the original, this is a great place to start, but fans of the first needn't rush out and reinvest in another round of zombie-sniping.
 
OMG HD Zombies!
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 26 June 2013
More of the same, but not at the same level of quality, OMG HD Zombies! is a fun action-puzzler that sadly adds little to its minis counterpart
 
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