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War of the Zombie

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad
Summary Review Screens Videos Articles Tips  

Micro-managing the apocalypse

Product: War of the Zombie | Developer: Van der Veer Games | Publisher: Van der Veer Games | Format: iPhone | Genre: Shooter, Strategy | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.0
 
War of the Zombie iPhone, thumbnail 1
Zombies are such a common sight in video games these days that the threat of being eaten alive barely registers with many modern players. It takes something truly special to make the living dead seem interesting again, and War of the Zombie just about manages it.

Instead of being one man against many, you control Safe Industries, an organisation which operates from an aircraft carrier and answers to no single nation or government.

Safe's self-serving mission is to patrol the world's oceans for contracts, taking down zombie infestations in exchange for cold, hard cash.

The game is divided cleanly into two parts: action and management. The former sees you leading a team of Safe soldiers around a map blasting zombies and rescuing uninfected survivors, some of which will join your team upon extraction from the warzone.

This all takes place in real time, with you moving your troops around using the touchscreen. During missions you can also locate new weapons and earn experience points which go towards levelling-up each soldier.

Army of darkness

The management part of War of the Zombie involves moving your aircraft carrier around the world in search for infected hotspots. Some countries will welcome you with open arms, while others will remain hostile, even in the face of your offer of assistance.

It's here that you can indulge in some pretty shocking tactics to bring nations to their feet. You can scavenge for valuable items, or even intentionally infect the population. If you're feeling slightly less vindictive, you can attempt to bribe the country's leaders into becoming friends.

There's an awful lot to take in here, and War of the Zombie at least attempts to guide you through the action segment of the game, thanks to an info-packed tutorial mission.

However, there's very little hand-holding when it comes to the management section, and it's here that some words of wisdom would have been perhaps more helpful. You can work out what to do eventually, but to begin with it's very much a case of trial and error.

Soldier of fortune

Buying new vehicles, levelling-up troops, and dabbling in diplomacy are all elements which add to the overall experience, lending War of the Zombie an impressive degree of longevity.

There are some niggles, though - the interface is definitely more suited to the iPad, and it's often hard to hit the tiny buttons when playing on an iPhone or iPod touch.

There are also problems with the pathfinding of both your soldiers and the human survivors who latch onto them. If anything blocks your route - such as an abandoned car or doorway - they often become trapped, or at least take so long to rejoin you that they usually become lunch for a passing zombie.

While it's far from perfect, War of the Zombie gets a massive recommendation for at least trying to do something different with the well-worn "living dead" theme.

It's addictive, deep, and surprisingly involving, and is sure to appeal to fans of real-time strategy as much as lovers of gory, flesh-eating re-animated corpses.
 
War of the Zombie
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 4 July 2013
Kind of like XCOM but with zombies instead of aliens, War of the Zombie is deep, rewarding, and massively challenging
 
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