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Zombie Highway

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad
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Get your motor running

Product: Zombie Highway | Publisher: Canned Bananas | Developer: Auxbrain | Publisher: Auxbrain | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Racing | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Zombie Highway iPhone, thumbnail 1
A straight, dusty desert road stretches away seemingly into infinity, the only sign of life a collection of abandoned and overturned cars strewn along this barren Route 66 and your long-suffering passenger.

It could be mistaken for a scene out of Mad Max, but it's actually the setup for taking out your road rage on the undead in Zombie Highway.

While this conceit may at first seem crude - shake off hitchhiking corpses by guiding a car into debris for as many miles as possible - the excellent execution and tight handling draw you in time and time again.

Getting your kicks on Route 66

Thrusting you into action behind the wheels of a black SUV, Zombie Highway employs the accelerometer for the tilt-to-steer mechanic to brilliant effect.

Every slight change of direction is precisely processed, perhaps because the game sets you off at a predetermined steady speed and because there are few bends or chicanes en route.

Removing responsibility over acceleration and concerns with racing lines frees you to focus on the important part: long-distance survival.

The variegated flesh-eaters hover along the roadsides, biding their time, desperate to latch onto your motor. Should they succeed in toppling your ride all the way over or distracting you for long enough to career headlong into a burnt-out Nissan, the game is up.

Bullet time

From the confines of the cockpit you have two methods available to decapitate the undesirables once they're boarded: skim or shoot.

Tapping the screen in any of its four corners fires off a zombie-shaped bullet in that direction. Three firearms are supplied at the beginning, with a further five assault rifles, SMGs, and pistols waiting to be unlocked.

It's worth noting that holding down your trigger finger on the machine gun produces a rapid-fire barrage, although certain members of your arsenal (Mr Handgun, I'm looking at you) benefit from a faster firing and reload rate when rapped furiously instead.

I never felt the need to manually cycle through my blasting options once I'd realised it was possible to slalom along to the 1.5 mile mark by simply skimming and planning ahead.

Balancing the load

In many respects, Zombie Highway resembles a fine balancing act: because ammunition is finite, shooting your load prematurely will leave you impotent in later stages. But conserving pellets for too long may result in an early bath regardless if you get tipped onto your side.

To keep from flipping your SUV under major duress, it's even possible, with the snap of a wrist in the direction of the roll, to perfectly recover from two wheels onto four.

Zombie Highway isn't faultless, though - the constant drone of the engine is punctuated only by the sounds of crashing metal, squelching ghouls, and flaying bullets. Steppenwolf's 'Born to be Wild' on the car stereo would supply welcome pep.

Even without more robust leaderboards (Facebook and Twitter are integrated, but only in a limited capacity) and a nightfall backdrop, Zombie Highway provides sufficient replayability and enjoyment to warrant perseverance.
Zombie Highway
Reviewer photo
Richard Brown | 15 September 2010
Zombie Highway strikes a happy balance between violence, precision steering, and repetition, never blighted by endless frustration
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