Developer: Activision
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Are zombies overused in games? Probably. A quick search through the App Store will easily produce 300 million zombie based games. Maybe a slight over exaggeration, it’s probably a mere 2 million. Regardless, they keep on coming, much like a zombie horde would, I suspect. The Bowling Dead isn’t the smartest of zombie games, nor perhaps the most gripping. It is fun for a time, though.

The idea is an immensely simple one. Hordes of zombies are working their way down alleyways and the only forms of defense the player has are bowling balls and a knife. It’s down to them to flick and swipe these balls at the zombies, hopefully taking out plenty of them in one strike. If a creature gets too close, the player has to swipe at them with their knife in order to take them out.

It’s reasonably fun, too, if pretty shallow. Players traverse a series of levels, rewarded with up to 3 stars a time, along with money. This money can be used to purchase upgrades such as better bowling balls, more effective knives and other character based upgrades. Money tends to come in slowly, though, so it’s pretty obvious that in-app purchases are going to be near essential for those who want to see everything that The Bowling Dead has to offer.

Throwing bowling balls in the path of zombies can get quite tough, too. For one thing, there are manholes in the way which means the player must curve their shot just right to get around them and take out a wave of zombies before they get too close. Bigger zombies require more hits, too. Precise flicks are essential to success, and it’s not always easy.

Unlock new weapons and bonuses and the difficulty level drops a fair bit, but that’s going to take a lot of time or money. The Bowling Dead is pretty cheap when it comes to dishing out the in-game cash which might put some players off after a time.

That’s the problem with The Bowling Dead. It’s not quite gripping enough to want to sink so much time into it. It’s fun for a little while, but it’s not the kind of game that will make the hours vanish. It’s just too shallow for that and, while new elements are slowly unlocked, the gameplay never truly evolves.

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