Developer: Tivola Publishing
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad Air

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½ 
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

It never really occurred to me how rough the older generation would have it when it comes to surviving something as threatening as the zombie apocalypse. That was until I played Grandpa and the Zombies: a game in which I had to maneuver poor Grandpa Willy around a series of locations, avoiding zombies and collecting candy before escaping via the elevator.

IMG_0911 Using the touch-screen, players swipe left or right to move Willy along. The brakes on his wheelchair unfortunately do not work, so part of the fun is rolling into adjacent walls, as well as relying on the more harmless zombies, to navigate around the level and reach the exit. And that’s not even the tricky part. At the same time, Grandpa Willy must make sure not to collide with the rather offensive “Halitosis Jack” zombie nor succumb to his bad breath, but instead lead it to its own demise. It doesn’t take long before the levels become increasingly more difficult, and as they progress further tactics, techniques, and methods of destruction open up – which are helpful in some ways but hazardous in others.

The three-star rating system is also in operation here, but due to Grandad Willy’s overly sweet tooth players are required to gather scattered pieces of candy that have found their way around the level instead of collecting stars. Though it’s not a requirement to gather them in order to move on to the next level, the more candy one accumulates the more their chance of unlocking further worlds – I believe the requirement to unlock the next world is around 70 candy.

Despite the game’s solid design, nicely polished artwork, and fluid controls, there was one gripe I have that kept materializing (from around level 16 onward). Running into a Halitosis Jack zombie that sinks me with his bad breath would freeze the game afterward, to the degree that it required a reset. This was rather frustrating since it meant that any slight error I made required exiting out of the app and having to load it all over again.

IMG_0916Despite this, Grandpa and the Zombies happens to be a humorous take on the zombie apocalypse, and an impressive puzzle game to boot. The game is laden with replayability thanks to its three-star system and complex game mechanics. Furthermore, there’s a large number of achievements to accomplish, along with the opportunity for players to challenge their friends.

I’m usually the first to declare I dislike games that employ the regularly over-done zombie apocalypse scenario, but I for one had no problem getting hooked on this hugely enjoyable and wonderfully unique puzzle game. With its impressive comic style graphics, it’s highly accessible and super fun for all ages. This one will be tough to crack, and even more impossible to put down.

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