Developer: The Secret Location
Price: Free
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S

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

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆


Despite the numerous examples to the contrary, it’s still widely accepted among gaming culture that licensed games and App Store games just aren’t very good. Humans VS Vampires, based on the kids show “My Babysitter’s a Vampire,” only serves to prove both beliefs right. That’s a shame because there is a tiny diamond of a good fighting game here but it’s surrounded by more rough than any player should be asked to dig through.

With fighting games, one expects to see casts of colorful characters extravagantly beating each other senseless in front of exotic backgrounds. In Humans VS Vampires, a kid in a hoodie and a pair of jeans throws water balloons on a suburban sidewalk. The game uses digitized sprites in the vein of Mortal Kombat but whereas that game brought a cool sense of tangibility to ice ninjas and a four-armed dragon man, this game just makes it all the more obvious that the zombie principal is really a fat guy in face paint. Plus, the whole thing is set to a techno/rock soundtrack that tween audiences, and only tween audiences, will be able to enjoy.

What’s even weirder though is that the fighting itself is actually pretty decent. Yeah, the special moves are all Street Fighter knock-offs, certain animations take too long, and there are some hit detection issues when characters get in too close. However, the fighters each have a nice variety of punching, kicking, and throwing attacks that all feel refreshingly snappy. Touch screen devices are one of the worst platforms for fast, twitchy fighting games but control-wise, Humans VS Vampires is about as good as it could have hoped to be.

Just when things are looking up, though, players are then reminded that this is a freemium game and most of the content is behind a paywall. This includes all but two of the playable characters, the things that make the genre interesting. Honestly though, anyone that’s been waiting with baited breath for a “My Babysitter’s a Vampire” fighting game will probably get a genuine kick out of Humans VS Vampires. For the rest of us though, it just bites.


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