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iPhone  header logo

7 Days Apocalypse

For: iPhone

Armageddon ('I am getting') on quite well with this game

Product: 7 Days Apocalypse | Publisher: StormBASIC | Format: iPhone | Genre: 3D, Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.00
7 Days Apocalypse iPhone, thumbnail 1
Evil Dead II meets iDracula by way of Resident Evil.

It’s normally against our editorial policy to make such barefaced comparisons in our reviews, but 7 Days Apocalypse is constructed for a certain class of horror loving, comic shop creeping, violence addicted, Bruce ‘The Chin’ Campbell stalking gore-nographers, and not mentioning those three comparisons would be unfair to that particular cult following.

The thing is, all those three titles I just compared 7 Days Apocalypse to are riddled with their own faults - camouflaged by a triumph of design over substance - and this game follows that same pattern very closely.

It begins with a wonderfully shallow, clichéd storyline about a virus outbreak (the “S-virus” in this case) that can only be cured with a stream of hot lead from the twin guns of a leggy tough-gal babe. That’s you, by the way.

The stereotypical ramshackle mansion with a graveyard in the back garden provides the battleground for the army of infected undead rising from the grave for a taste of tough-gal flesh. There’s even the befuddled, pacifistic, softy scientist for you to protect as they attempt to find the cure/further their own nefarious agenda that got you in all this trouble in the first place.

7 Days Apocalypse really is first class B-movie shtick, and revels in its own exploitation rubbishness with such rancid vinegar that it’s impossible not to love it.

The gameplay borrows heavily from the recent App Store success iDracula, with two analogue thumb wheels for controls - one for movement, the other for turning and shooting. Unfortunately, despite all the superb atmospheric build-up 7 Days Apocalypse sports, these controls are a serious let down.

We already know the system is nigh on perfect for an iPhone shooter, but the game seems to struggle badly when it comes to multi-touch. It’s not the concept, but the implementation that’s the problem here. More often than not, one or the other of the two controls becomes unresponsive (and occasionally both), and no amount of B-movie smokescreen chestnuts can cover up that glaring problem.

When they are working, the beautiful 3D visuals bring the game to undead life in the most spectacular way. The action is intense and unyielding (shepherding the defenceless doctor to her lab is particularly exciting), which in so many ways exacerbates the control problem as the unrepentant zombie horde - which is one of the game’s strongest features - means you don’t last a second once the guns stop blazing.

The 3D graphics also provide a second ‘over the shoulder’ viewpoint, which works just as well as the bird’s eye view, yet adds a very different mechanic to the gameplay. Grabbing up a chainsaw and desperately hacking your way through the rotting crowd to a medi-pack is exactly the kind of balls-out, John Woo death dealing that epitomises the brilliance of ultra-violent video gaming.

Gold turns to Bronze because of the unforgivably unresponsive controls and generally shoddiness of detail (screen layout and descriptive text), but once StormBASIC gets around to solving these issues in updates (which it undoubtedly will) 7 Days Apocalypse can take its place among the pantheon of bad horror heroes.
7 Days Apocalypse
Reviewer photo
Spanner Spencer | 4 May 2009
If Troma made an iPhone game, it’d be 7 Days Apocalypse, though even Lloyd Kaufman would ensure the controls worked before releasing the game
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