App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Having only really gotten into classic number and shape games like Minesweeper and Tangrams within the past few years, I find myself trying to make up for lots of lost time. I've been messing around with lots of different iOS iterations because, let's face it, everyone needs these basics on their devices. Having said that, I was somewhat skeptical about adding them to this flag-dropping fiasco.
A good deal of zombie games are nothing more than developers tossing shambling corpses into places they don't belong to make a quick buck, but not Zombie Minesweeper. Zombie Minesweeper does it right; mixing both elements into a kind of hybrid genre rather than tacking one on top of the other. It plays like a bizarre combination of action game and Minesweeper, with players tapping around the screen in order to (carefully) move the main character and plant flags through a series of increasingly treacherous minefields. Reaching the detonator at the end will clear the level (literally) and create a chain of explosions as marked mines blow-up sequentially. Of course, it wouldn't be called Zombie Minesweeper if there weren't any zombies. And are there ever zombies. Boy howdy.
Being pursued by a number of freshly animated woodland creature corpses (racoons, snails, rats, etc.) adds an interesting twist on the classic formula: panic. Staring at a grid and deciding if the mine is next to the "1" or the "3" can be tough on its own, but try doing with with mobs of flesh-hungry kitty cats closing in. There are a few weapons to help combat the legions of living dead, however. Timed bombs can be placed in order to clear out large groups, a shotgun can transform an individual (or many if they stand close together) into red mist and so on. Of course, each weapon has limited uses with more "ammo" sprinkled throughout each level, so it's important to really think about just how important reducing that undead dog to mush is in the grand scheme of things.
I have noticed a couple of occasional issues with the on-screen buttons not registering, which has resulted in all manner of bad things as my character ran straight into a mine I'd intended to mark or a group of zombies I meant to bomb. It doesn't happen often, but when it does it's kind of annoying. Thankfully the only thing lost through death is a gold medal.
It would have been easy for Frogtoss Games to just slap a zombie theme on a numbered grid and be done with it, but they've really put a lot of thought into this oddball marriage. It's certainly not easy (or relaxing), but it's a lot of fun and a clever twist on the classic formula. Minesweeper and zombie fans alike should definitely check out Zombie Minesweeper.