Developer: Meridian Digital Entertainment
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

I would like to be quoted as saying that Alive 4-ever will be the first iPhone game to be made into a movie, and that it will, without a doubt in my mind, be directed by Uwe Boll. Boll will then go on to fight the critics of his poor movie in Vegas during a widely publicized “Raging Boll 3″. He will then certainly call at least 4 people, including Michael Bay and Eli Roth, “retards” in response to their accusations that Alive 4-ever is a total flop because of a pitiful script, poor acting, and no visual direction. This prophesy is by no means an indicator of a bad game, it just seems like Alive 4-ever is a perfect Uwe Boll disaster… erm… movie to take on.

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Much like iDracula and Minigore before it, Alive 4-dead is a top down, two joystick shooter. The basic idea of every game in the genre is to walk around with the left joystick while using the right joystick to aim/fire. There is really nothing to the genre other than walking around shooting, but each game in the genre does give a certain amount of extra stuff to do in the meantime. Alive 4-ever is a bit different than the other top down shooters in that there are real levels, real objectives, and a pretty cool RPG element that allows you to choose between characters, upgrade your stats/guns, and use accessories.

Being an RPG, there is a minor story involved, one in which some pharmaceutical company made a drug of some sort that turned people into zombies. The government goes out and blows up the city, killing all but two people, Taza and Anna. As the story goes, the zombie infestation spreads and the government sends out Steve and Wallace, along with the two survivors, to wreck havoc on the zombie population… err… find out what happened. It all sounds very Resident Evil-ish to me, but I’m quite alright with that. Just give me something to kill.

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The game takes you through 30 levels of zombie killing mayhem. Each level has a base mission, whether it be to rescue a few survivors or to kill 50 zombies, and a side mission that lets you earn more exp. and accessories. There are a few boss levels mixed in which spice things up a bit, but aren’t really that involved. Just shoot and dodge… quickly. The real challenge is fighting off the regular enemies, of which there are plenty. The unit types vary quite nicely, with speedy zombie dogs being countered by slow, lumbering fat zombies who explode in a cloud of pain. Between each level, you can use your earned money (from killing the zombies) on new guns and your exp. on new ‘abilities’, which are really just stat points for things like critical hit %.

Aside from the gameplay, the graphics and sounds really steal the show. The sheer amount of blood and gore kept me entertained for quite awhile, but seeing everything move around as quickly as it does is really quite impressive. There is no noticeable slowdown at any point of the game, even when you are swarmed by insane amounts of baddies. The sound is equally impressive, with just the right combination of doom and gloom thrown in between the satisfying gunshots. I’d recommend being Steve in the game if only to hear the great automatic gunfire.

An added cool feature that I failed to mention up to now is the multiplayer aspect. The multiplayer is all done via bluetooth, but it allows up to 4 player co-op. The co-op multiplayer isn’t for the feint of heart though, as it adds more zombies and more things to do in each mission. It’s a ton of fun though, if you ever get the chance to do it.

Alive 4-ever is about as good as it gets for the top-down, two joystick shoot-em-up genre. It has a great balance of RPG elements and action that makes me just want to dive in for more. One word of warning though… the later levels get pretty darn difficult. If shooting games are your thing, I’d recommend picking this one up as soon as you can. For less than the price of a double-decker taco at Taco Bell, the price really can’t be beat.

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