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iPhone  header logo

Dawn of the Dead

For: iPhone

Yawn of the dead

Product: Dawn of the Dead | Developer: Fuse Powered | Publisher: Fuse Powered | Format: iPhone | Genre: Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.0
Dawn of the Dead iPhone, thumbnail 1
You'd be hard-pressed to find another movie as ripe for game conversion as Dawn of the Dead. It's got all the right ingredients - zombies, loads of weapons, a fight-for-survival scenario.

And did we mention the zombies?

That such a sloppy game manages to see the light of day is a tremendous disappointment. Poor controls and bland missions cast a dark shadow over Dawn of the Dead, squandering the potential for a thrilling action game with poor design.

Five missions follow the events of the 2004 remake, casting you as the police officer, salesman, or nurse. Each character varies in speed, attack power, and shooting skill, though the goals are shared: find your way off the street and into the mall, then formulate a plan to escape while dispatching encroaching zombie hordes.

Dead aim

Baseball bat, fire axe, shotgun, and magnum highlight a mixed arsenal of melee weapons and firearms equipped at the beginning of each mission. You start off with a lowly bat and pistol, and you unlock the more powerful weapons by completing missions.

As you move using a virtual analogue stick in the lower-left corner, attacks are levelled with a second analogue stick on the right. Twirling this second stick serves to aim your attacks, yet it's frequently unresponsive.

Aiming is tied to movement, so whenever you move your aim is focused in the same direction. When moving and attacking at the same time, the game gets confused as to where you want to attack.

Consequently, attacks more often than not miss. This is particularly noticeable with guns where bullets whizz by zombie heads as you try shooting in one direction and running in the other. The controls are a failure: they're unresponsive - a decisive shortcoming for a game in which control is essential.

Roll the credits

Even with proper controls, rote hack 'n' slash missions demonstrate a complete lack of creativity and understanding of the movie. Timed objectives make sense, though missions requiring you to kill a certain number of zombies to progress don't mesh with the movie's neverending zombie masses.

Challenges extend things beyond the short Story mode, yet these are even blander. Easy, Medium, and Hard challenges are variations of the same missions featured in the story: kill this many zombies, survive for this long, etc. Were the controls responsive and the bloodshed satisfying, perhaps they'd be reason to stick around.

Instead, you're better off watching the movie. It has cooler action, lasts longer, and unless the batteries have run dry on your remote it boasts better controls, too.
Dawn of the Dead
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 20 January 2010
Poor controls and bland missions render what should have been a surefire hit into a flawed shooter
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