App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
October and zombies. Yup. It's about as much of a gimme as November and turkeys, April and rain or February and school yard depression. As one such gimme, it stands to reason that the App Store gets absolutely flooded with zombie-themed apps and games this time of year. Paper Zombie Halloween sort of falls into this category, but it's more of a special holiday edition of a pre-existing title than a full-fledged new release.
The overall goal of Paper Zombie Halloween is to annihilate the living dead cutouts while simultaneously protecting the helpless human denizens. This is done by way of three distinct implements: close-range cutting tools (paper, ha!), ranged firearms and explosives. Players choose their loadout before each level, choosing one item from each category, then get to work. Successful completion of each stage will earn stars and cash, which can be used for bragging rights and purchasing better weapons, respectively. But where does the "Halloween" theme fit in if this is all pretty much what the original version did? Well, there are some new Halloween-themed weapons like exploding candy-grenades and a human femur. That's pretty much it.
I have to give Paper Zombie Halloween credit, the way each of the three weapon types is used is pretty intuitive. Cutting is simply a matter of swiping the screen, shooting is done by tapping and tossing explosives requires tapping and holding to aim, then releasing to throw. There's also a respectable amount of worlds (5), each with about a dozen levels and their own themed zombies (and humans). Completed stages can be replayed for a better score and more cash as well. Which is good, because there's a lot of Z-cash required to unlock some of these weapons. More can be bought via in-app purchase or earned by inputting out referral codes, but I found a bit of replay and patience is all that's really needed.
It's somewhat disappointing that the levels all sort of run together. Very little changes from stage-to-stage aside from the visual theme. Save the movement patterns and numbers of the zombies and innocents, anyway. Of course that's just nitpicking. The real issue I ran into was how tilting the device to either side will pan the camera slightly. This "feature" seems both unnecessary and obnoxious, as the levels aren't really big enough to require the wider camera angle and the constant accidental movement caused a whole lot of misses.
Paper Zombie Halloween is a reasonably entertaining game for what it is. The visuals are cool, the music is surprisingly solid and the various tools used to dispatch the shuffling ghouls are fun to use. It's a bit repetitive and I'm not a fan of the shifting camera, but it's a good casual (and free) arcade game overall.