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Desert Zombie Last Stand

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Sand in your organs

Product: Desert Zombie Last Stand | Developer: Eighth Wonder Studios | Publisher: Crystalised | Format: iPhone | Genre: Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Desert Zombie Last Stand iPhone, thumbnail 1
Zombies are now as prevalent in video games as underwater levels were in the '90s and slippy-slidey ice worlds were in the '80s.

Be they cutesy cartoon sprites or polygon-drenched hi-res flesh-munchers, if you're playing a game then there are probably some zombies in it somewhere.

This ubiquity has led us inevitably to Desert Zombie Last Stand, a new Unreal-powered slaughterfest for iOS devices that attempts to drown you in waves of reanimated corpses.

A horde mode of zombies

You play a buzzcut soldier who's crashed behind enemy lines in a nondescript desert that's been taken over by the undead. It's your job to repel wave after wave of flesh-hungry meat sacks, upgrading your weaponry as you go.

You control your beefy army chap with virtual joysticks on the left and right of the screen, blasting away by double-tapping anywhere on the right. It's a clumsy solution, and hardly fits with the game's fast-paced action.

Quite often you'll find yourself cornered and surrounded, being battered to death by corpses as you flail around, trying to fire and failing miserably. With the autoaim turned up to its highest setting the controls become a little more bearable, but they're still not perfect, and they can lead to some rather sticky endings.

Battle for the sand

There are two different arenas to play through - the ruins of a village and the ruins of a freeway. The Unreal Engine chugs away nicely under the bonnet, and Desert Zombie is an game to behold.

The zombies in particular are gruesomely detailed, losing limbs and falling to pieces as you riddle them with hot lead. But despite this visual sparkle, the game lacks any real character.

Sure, you're fighting zombies in the desert, but these zombies have guns and rocket launchers, so you may as well be fighting terrorists, gang members, or disgruntled customers of your buzz cutting hair salon.

Same old, same old

The bosses, huge mutant zombies that can crush you into little human chunks, are riffs on huge mutant zombies from Left 4 Dead and Resident Evil, and the coverless gunplay feels like any number of Gameloft's mobile titles.

Originality isn't the be-all-and-end-all of gaming, though, and Desert Zombie does have its panicked, heart-pounding moments. When you're cowering in a corner, trying to load your pistol while the zombie horde bears down on you, things do get a little bit tense.

If you can look past the control frustrations and some occasionally unfair spikes in difficulty, you'll find a lot to like about Desert Zombie: Last Stand.

It's not nuanced or subtle, there's no hidden message in your endless undead slaughter, and it's about as original as a photocopy of the VHS cover to Day of The Dead. But you could do a lot worse.

Desert Zombie Last Stand
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 13 December 2011
Gore splattered and over the top, Desert Zombie: Last Stand is an enjoyable, clumsy waste of a couple of hours
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Dec 2011
Post count:
emanomic | 12:25 - 24 January 2012
You guys have just posted a YouTube review but you've reviewed the first release again , not the update with the crazy new maps and enhancements and bug fixes?? Why is that?
Nov 2011
Post count:
Lonely Tylenol | 19:44 - 14 December 2011
I think the late review is a victim of the post-weekend updates; since PocketGamer doesn't update on the weekend, barring the Quality Index and related updates, it's possible that this was finished on Friday, reviewed on Monday by an editor, and posted on Tuesday. Or... Something.

Still, I'd like to see a Second Impressions review of this game (and others). This game has the unique problem of an already outdated review, but there are some other games that have come out with updates that fix a lot of the problems players (and reviewers) have. Dark Meadows, for instance, could have done with a Second Impression: the game had issues with too many random combat encounters and those bothersome post-battle screens breaking game flow out of the starting gate (and during the time of the review), but the devs, to their credit, stepped up and fixed these problems in their next big update. Now, the game has a much smoother flow and feels less grind-y with its random encounters.

It would be cool to see, is all.
Jul 2008
Post count:
lumothesinner | 08:16 - 14 December 2011
Didn't even realise the old version was reviewed. Would have thought that as the review was so late it was held back for the update the devs promised, which came out 4 days before the review dropped
Dec 2011
Post count:
emanomic | 04:33 - 14 December 2011
Yeah these guys have their 1st update out and it's insane!!!! New levels and enhanced features and absolutely rocks on iPhone 4. Will you do an update review on the update??
Dec 2011
Post count:
brrobotix | 00:04 - 14 December 2011
They fixed a lot of your issues in the update that came out last week... you guys might have wanted to look into that before posting this.
Jul 2008
Post count:
lumothesinner | 18:16 - 13 December 2011
So black ops zombies was a port with one level and gets an 8, this has 4 levels and gets marked down because its just another zombie shooter???
black ops was just another zombie shooter. I cant see how this gets less than black ops when the unreal engine and more maps make this much more of a game