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Zombie Gunship

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Undeath from above

Product: Zombie Gunship | Developer: Limbic Software | Format: iPhone | Genre: Shooter, Tower defence | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.1
Zombie Gunship iPhone, thumbnail 1
You could be forgiven for being put off by the title – in recent years, zombies have become all but ubiquitous, with developers increasingly struggling to find fresh uses for the shambling brain-munchers.

So, it’s heartening to see that Limbic Software, the team behind TowerMadness, has managed to find a new perspective - literally - on a zombie apocalypse.

Think of the AC-130 level from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and you’re in the right postal district.

Shoot the runners

From a circling gunship, you get a monochromatic overhead view of a military base and the surrounding area: your task is to prevent the shuffling hordes from breaching the entrance.

You’re also responsible for protecting survivors, who are headed in the same direction. Being very much alive, their body heat means they show up as white figures compared to the dead black of the zombies.

This allows you to differentiate between the two as you mow the advancing masses down, with collateral damage being frowned upon by your superiors – kill three survivors and it’s game over.

Unfriendly fire

Avoiding human casualties is much easier said than done. You’re not penalised for any that get caught (and killed) by the undead as they flee for safety, but as you’re rewarded handsomely for each one you save, it’s wise to try to clear a path to the base for them.

But in destroying zombies in the vicinity, you’ll need to consider the blast radius of your chosen gun. Your close-range Gatling gun is not only the most accurate, but it's also the weakest, offering a view of only a tiny portion of the battlefield.

Select the slower-firing Bofors gun and you’ve got a wider, more tactical view, and powerful single-shot shells that can take down multiple targets. But you run a greater risk of splash damage wiping out a refugee.

Apocalypse How

The Howitzer, meanwhile, presents the most expansive perspective of the environment. These shots, however, are usually reserved only for emergencies, or for the larger beasts that occasionally lumber into view.

With just one area and a single game mode, Zombie Gunship is a repetitive game, though it benefits from an ingenious structure that regularly turns ‘just one more go’ into seven or eight.

Successful kills and rescues translate into cash for upgrading your weaponry after each attempt, allowing you to increase the rate and velocity of fire, as well as shortening reload times.

Bomb the base

You can also increase your radar range, increase the bounty you earn per head, or buy a "bomb buddy", a single-use explosive device positioned at the bunker entrance to surprise any zombies who do get past your defences.

All of which encourages you to keep trying. After all, your next score could be that much higher if the Gatling could just fire a little faster. Or your Bofors reloaded quicker…

In-app purchases which exchange bags of coins for quicker unlocks are available, but they compromise the purity of the grind.

It’s this constant drip-feed of new abilities – you’ll rarely need more than a single try to earn a new upgrade – that makes Zombie Gunship so gloriously addictive.

Zombie Gunship
Reviewer photo
Chris Schilling | 9 August 2011
Clever, polished, and perfectly tuned to keep you hooked, Zombie Gunship is another iPhone time-destroyer
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