Zombie Combat, the mobile game that gets you in your Halloween mood
The Halloween is right around the corner and one of the main themes for costumes will be zombie decorations. Every year billions of dollars (effectively billions) are spent on costumes, with the goal of being the most spooky looking character at the party (for adults) or in the neighborhood (for trick-or-treat kids). Just a simple search on google for zombie costume images and you feel that you should lock up the door and have a baseball bat prepared, just in case. Needless to say zombies are part of our entertainment, from popular TV shows like ‘The Walking Dead’ to Hollywood blockbusters such as the recent one with that pretty guy who’s married to Angelina. The ultimate thrill in my opinion is not that of watching zombies crawling around, but to fight them. Luckily the game industry never disappoints and there are zombie games for every operating system and every console out there. If you own an Android device you have a lot of choices from Google Play in terms of zombie games. One such game is ‘Zombie Combat’, a free game developed by Pinaddon, Vietnamese app development company with 10 other games published so far.
Zombie Combat is an infinite runner game with a twist, while you still run continuously and have to gather stars while avoiding obstacles, you have weapons that help you shoot zombies and pets to improve your skills. There’s one more difference though, the infinite running actually is … finite and ends after several minutes if you’re not killed. At the end of each world you will have to fight a boss, a huge enemy that has a long life-bar and tries to transform you in a zombie. The game trailer shows a bit of the story that I explain below, definitely something you should watch as it looks great:
Zombie Combat comes with its own story that goes extraordinary well with its custom graphics and soundtrack. Sometime in the 22nd century a zombie outbreak occurred and now, after almost 30 years since that outbreak, things are as bad as ever. Max is a 19 year old guy that lives with his brother, Ace in one of the few private zones free of zombies. Max completed a training course in killing zombies and when he returns from the AZN camp (Anti-Zombie Nation) he finds out that his brother went missing. He found out that his brother received an invitation to participate in an experiment in a zombie controlled city, Pin (i.e. from Pinaddon). While he talks with a friend, Maye, they’re attacked by zombies and the girl gets kidnapped. Max embarks then on a journey to find his brother and recover Maye from the dreadful zombies and their bosses.
Design and gameplay
In the game you control Max as he fights his way through the zombie infected zones in search of clues regarding his brother and future girlfriend. The game has 5 different worlds each with its own custom graphics and different types of enemies. If in the first world you play in the city and fight against zombie policemen and nurses, things escalate quickly and by the time you reach the Arctic world you’ve fought against lots of more powerful zombies.
In the game you can see your life-bar at the top, followed by the world progress and of course scores. Throughout the game you have to collect coins and other bonuses, as the coins will allow you to buy upgrades for your character. The gameplay is fairly simple but you need to play it with two fingers as whenever you tap on the left side of the screen Max will jump, while tapping on the right side of the screen will shoot your weapon. Even more, if you tap directly on an enemy, your shooting will be more accurate. The only other action you have is the one that allows you to switch between the different guns you have. At the end of the level you’ll have to fight against a powerful boss, for which you’ll see the life-bar in the lower right corner and trust me by the time you reach the end of the level he’ll have more life than you. At least that’s how it was in my case and you can see me struggle to kill it (unsuccessfully) in the video below:
‘Zombie Combat’ resembles a little in gameplay with Super Mario, at least that’s what the fan in me felt. I say this because you can jump over enemies and if you land on their heads you don’t lose life, instead you are able to jump higher. Add that to the coin collecting frenzy and you can see how it felt familiar, a good thing especially for a nostalgic like me.
Another part I like about the game is the shooting, who doesn’t like to shoot zombies? Initially you have a pistol with unlimited ammo, but as you gather coins you’ll be able to get more powerful guns that do a lot more damage. The game is free but if you don’t want to play it and earn the coins, you can buy the coins with real money and use them to upgrade your weapons or buy pets. The list below shows some of the most important features you get when you install ‘Zombie Combat’
- Easy controls. The ideal way to play the game would be if you played it on a tablet, to benefit from a larger screen, and using both of your thumbs. With the left one whenever you tap on the left side of the screen Max will jump, with the right one whenever you tap on the right side it will shoot. A trick I learned is that if you want to jump higher, use one of the zombies as a launch platform, just jump on its head and from there jump higher – you won’t lose life when you land on their heads. With the shooting, try to tap on an enemy instead of randomly on the screen, as whenever you tap precise the shooting is very accurate. These are basically the controls in the game, only other action is switching between guns by tapping on the icon in the lower middle part of the screen.
- Vivid graphics. If you haven’t watched the game trailer above please scroll up and view it now, you’ll get a feeling on how the design looks. Graphics are excellent, they have that Arcade touch combined with a cartoon style that makes the game pleasant to play.
- Five worlds. There are five different worlds you can play in Zombie Combat: Pinaddon City, Desert, Volcano, Dangerous Arctic and Rainy Forest. When the game starts only the city is unlocked and you can play it, when that’s finished the next world will be unlocked and so on. You can replay a world for as long as you want and it’s probably something you’ll do anyway to collect more coins for upgrades. For every level you’re playing there’s a bar at the top showing you how far you’ve progressed, with an exclamation mark at the end – that’s when the boss fight will take place so try to save as much life as possible until the end of the level, you’ll need it.
- Weapons. You start with a pistol which has unlimited ammo but is very weak against the zombies. When you collect enough coins you can buy more powerful weapons such as the spreadshot (fires 3 bullets at the same time), rifle (powerful and continuous fire), flame gun (no need for explanations here), laser gun and finally the mother of them all, the bazooka that shoots rockets. It has a steep price of 5000 coins, but don’t despair though if you’re still at the pistol, as it has 5 levels of upgrade available. Everytime you purchase an upgrade, you improve its speed and damage. There are 3 weapons with the ‘coming soon’ status and they look great so far: twin gun, gun blade and crossbow.
- Pets. If you have coins you can buy pets. Not for having fun with them, but for becoming more powerful. Right now there are 3 pets available to buy: Sphinx (0 HP but adds 10 to defense), FallFairy (20 HP but 0 for defense) and the WinglyFox (adds 20 for HP, 10 for defense) which is also the most expensive one as it offers the most powerful skills. Other pets will be added soon, like the Phoenix or Rampart, but I have no idea how powerful vs costly those will be. The idea is, if you have the coins buy a pet to improve your character.
- Bosses. When a level reaches the end you have to fight a powerful enemy while dodging whatever he throws your way. If that wasn’t enough, you are still running and all the regular obstacles and enemies are also present. So to finish a level you really have to fight your way through and is especially difficult in the beginning when you don’t have any upgrades. But this is what makes Zombie Combat challenging, as if you don’t kill the boss and you become a zombie, you have to start over from the beginning of the level.
- Custom soundtrack. The game has a custom soundtrack that moves around from rock-like music to soft sounds, which really fits well with the game. There are in-game sounds as well and both these options can be disabled from the main screen if you want some quite zombie killing time.
- Free. Lastly, the game is free. There are in-game purchases available, where you can buy coins if you want to upgrade your character faster. Given that each of the weapons has 5 upgrades possible, you have at least 30 combinations for which you pay with coins. Add those from the pets as well (each with 5 levels) and you either have to play the game long enough to get the coins or purchase coin packs.
The music, the graphics, the gameplay all add up to a nice experience when playing Zombie Combat. The developer is working on new features, as the hints are shown on the weapons and pets sections, which is a good sign as it means the game will be continuously developed. If you’re a fan of zombie action and/or running games (with a bit of platform game influence), Zombie Combat will be a good choice, especially since it’s free.