My inbox was pretty lean this week. I received several press releases but I’ve been noticing some disturbing trends which lead me to believe that iOS games are converging upon being recycled clones of each other. This week I only have 4 apps to offer you, as they’re the only apps that looked remotely interesting as I browsed the iTunes top apps lists.
Call of Mini: Zombies
I know plenty of gamers who have become jaded by zombie games, but not me. When I saw CoM: Zombies in the iTunes store, I checked the reviews to see if there were any credible, negative opinions. There weren’t, so I purchased the app and gave it a spin. The game is an over-the-shoulder shooter featuring cartoony block-head characters and plenty of levels, weapons, and character upgrades.
Level environments range from hospitals to storage yards. If you’re familiar with horde mode, Call of Mini: Zombies is basically a mobile horde mode. A number of zombies spawn and your goal is to survive the wave while collecting crates of ammo and caches of money.The controls are precise and the game is just difficult enough to remain engaging, but not so difficult that I wanted to stop playing. Upgrading your character and weapons may take a while if you rely on the cash you find in-game, but the lazy can purchase in-game currency to upgrade more quickly.
Line Birds is not really a full-fledged game. It’s more of a min-game challenge, and the perfect app to keep you busy for a couple minutes while you’re waiting to flip a steak on the grill. It is essentially the classic, internet-based Helicopter Game, but with birds instead of a helicopter.
By tapping the screen you cause your bird to flap its wings and rise over obstacles. When you stop touching the screen the bird will quickly descend to clear over-hanging progress impediments. There are also seeds you can collect to acquire special abilities, but the two birds I could use had pretty useless abilities, so I found this unnecessary. If you’re looking for something addictive yet mindless, Line Birds fits the bill perfectly.
1000 Heroz‘s main strength is that it features a new level every day. Ideally, there will eventually be a total of 1000 levels. Right now the game is on day 30-something so there is still time to start from the beginning and run through the first 30 levels. If you’re into Game Center and getting your scores ranked, each level can only be ranked on the day it was released.
1000 Heroz is a caveman obstacle course. Controls are limited to buttons for moving forward, backward and jumping, and each level has a bronze, silver and gold ranking based on how quickly you finish the course. I usually needed 10-20 retries in order to score gold, but I’m pretty sure I will never get anywhere close to ranking higher than 200 on Game Center. It’s a simple game, but getting your finish time really low takes more than a little skill.
I forgot how much I missed the Super Nintendo-style graphics (especially in Zelda: A Link to the Past), but then I played ZENONIA and my memory was quickly refreshed. ZENONIA honors the classic RPGs from the 16-bit generation of consoles, and has an impressive following. I initially saw ZENONIA 3 on the iTunes top apps list, but I didn’t want to jump into the third chapter without experiencing the first two, so I downloaded the free lite version of the 2009 version. The first chapter in the trilogy won quite a few best of awards for the mobile platform, which gave me high expectations.
I started the week’s review process jaded from all the copy-cat apps but ZENONIA snapped me out of my haze. I wasn’t excited because of the game’s novelty, but because of its nostalgia factor. What I’ve played of the game is fun (so far) but the dialogue can be weak at times. I’m looking forward to finishing all three chapters of the game and seeing how the gameplay and story have evolved.