Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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Of all the different control schemes found through the decades of gaming history, the classic twin-stick shooter control scheme is probably one of the easiest to translate to the iOS experience. The one-thumb-to-move-one-thumb-to-shoot school of thought removes the need for more than two buttons or joysticks and maps fairly well to a touch screen experience. This is probably one of the many reasons why one can find game after game with this simple setup in the iOS catalog. Call of Mini: Zombies is essentially a twin-stick shooter with one big difference.
Where most twin-stick shooters have a top-down or isometric perspective, Call of Mini pulls the camera right down to the ground for an over the shoulder view very reminiscent of a modern third-person shooter. While this is an interesting twist on the twin-stick shooter, it does have its drawbacks. One of the things that sets a twin-stick shooter apart is the ability to quickly shift the angle of fire in a full 360 degree range no matter what direction the character is facing or moving. Having the camera in a third-person perspective cuts off every firing angle behind the camera. While the player can use the second stick to direct the fire in front of them, there is no way for them to quickly aim that fire in the other direction without turing their character physically around in the environment. This does make the game a bit difficult when the zombies really begin to swarm.
The gameplay is what most players would expect from a twin-stick shooter turned third-person shooter. The game is broken up into days and during each day the player selects a section of the map to clear of zombies. There are a four distinct sections of the map to play in and players will bounce back and forth between them from day to day. Surviving each day consists of fighting off waves of zombies and the waves get longer and more difficult each day. Players will collect ammo, power-ups, and money as they are fighting off the zombie hordes. Money is also awarded at the end of each day and can be used to upgrade armor, buy and upgrade weapons, and purchase new characters with different abilities.
The enemy zombies are varied and each zombie type has it's own unique way of attacking; from the vomiting nurse zombie to the charging linebacker zombie. This doesn't really lead to a need for strategic play though, as most zombies just need enough damage dealt to destroy them.
The art is of a familiar boxy, cute style that is likely well known to most iOS gamers. It goes well with the gameplay and allows the 3D environment to load fast enough that poor frame-rates don't interfere with player's enjoyment of the game. Ultimately, while this game might not do anything revolutionary for the twin-stick shooter genre it's an enjoyable way to spend some time wading through some undead carnage.