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Apocalypse Max

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Dead good

Product: Apocalypse Max: Better Dead Than Undead | Publisher: Wandake | Format: iPad | Genre: Platform, Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Apocalypse Max: Better Dead Than Undead iPad, thumbnail 1
If you're going to ape a game, you may as well ape a really, really good one. It's a ploy that's certainly worked for Apocalypse Max, which owes more than a little of its cocky side-on swagger to SNK's superb Metal Slug series.

It's added its own twists and ideas, some of which work and some of which don't, but the end result is still an entertaining, twitchy arcade experience that will see your zombie kill counter spiralling through the roof towards genocidal numbers.

Steel mollusc

You play as Max, who's sent onto an island to wipe out a zombie plague. On-screen buttons on the left of the screen control your movement, while buttons for shooting, jumping, switching weapons, and hurling explosives are arrayed on the right.

The big addition to the side-scrolling template is the ability to slash out with your combat knife. Swiping a finger across the screen makes Max swing his blade in that direction. Hit a zombie and you'll slice it in two.

You can add slashes after double-jumps, too, swinging your blade downwards as you land to cleave enemies in two. It's a satisfyingly grotesque way to despatch the undead. Better still, using your knife yields more points than simply using a gun.

You start off with a cheap and cheerful pistol, but the coins you collect as you slaughter your way through the various stages and levels can be spent on more powerful shotguns, rocket launchers, and rifles.

Slashing fun

There's not much innovation in the levels - just simple platforming punctuated with gory bouts of slashing and blasting, but there's a retro sparkle to proceedings that means every leap and knife plunge plasters a smile on your face.

In spite of its cartoon look, Apocalypse Max is as hardcore as they come, with later levels and higher difficulties demanding fast reactions and clever play if you want to get through them alive.

This is a game that's not afraid to wear its inspiration on its sleeve, and while the split between knife and gunplay sometimes feels a bit skewed there's still plenty here for fans of the genre to enjoy.
Apocalypse Max
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 5 October 2012
Violent and entertaining in equal measure, Apocalypse Max is a fitting homage to Metal Slug, and a great way to waste a few hours
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