App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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I've played the part of a zombie making other zombies. I've created viruses to turn the world's population into walking corpses. I've gotten headshots on zeds hundreds, if not thousands of times over. I've even strategically blown up entire cities in order to prevent the spread of the zombie plague. And yet I've never tackled the zombie apocalypse in quite the same way as in War of the Zombie.
War of the Zombie is strikingly similar to X-Com in all the right ways. Players assume the role of Global Operating Director (I know, G.O.D--I'm not a fan either) of Safe Industries, a company with no ties to a specific country and the world's only hope of surviving the zombie infestation. The gameplay is broken up into two stages: management, and combat. For the former, players will have to make some tough decisions about which countries to aid. They can also be attacked by aircraft sent from nearby unfriendly countries, scavenge for supplies, purchase vehicles to aid on missions, and otherwise manage the day-to-day stuff. Combat is real time and takes place from a top-down satellite view. Players have to guide their soldiers around via tapping; rescuing VIPs and taking out zombies, while hopefully finding new kinds of weapons to unlock along the way.
It sounds complicated but War of the Zombie is actually pretty comprehensive. Staying on top of tasks is easy enough, and only one of each action (combat mission, salvage, etc) can be performed in a single day so it never gets overwhelming. There are also a bunch of little "sim" elements that work really well together, such as rescuing the occasional doctor or diplomat while on a mission and being able to add them to the team for additional benefits like decreased injury recovery times. I also like having a choice between allowing the soldiers to automatically open fire when a zombie wanders into range or manually aiming their shots.
As clever as most of War of the Zombie's ideas are, however, it still feels clunky. The tutorial that teaches the basics of troop movement and zombie killing is nice and handy, but where's the tutorial on actually managing the base? Wait, I can relocate my base so I'm in range of more infestations? And those buttons! I swear I actually spent more time (due to buttons not registering) trying to allocate skill points to my soldiers than actually playing the mission they earned said points in. Even continuing is a huge pain because it always thinks I'm selecting New Game from the title screen.
I certainly don't dislike War of the Zombie, and I see tremendous potential for it. This is one surprisingly deep zombie apocalypse sim. It's just that it's still a little rough in places.