Version Reviewed: 1.0.2
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Separately, zombies and Candy Crush Saga may be two of the most played-out things currently in existence. So the idea of putting them together, which is exactly what Zombie Puzzle Panic does, doesn’t inspire much confidence. However, it does find some creative ways to marry classic zombie killing with classic Match-3 puzzling.
Like King’s time and money draining opus, Zombie Puzzle Panic offers players dozens of pre-designed Match-3 puzzle levels to beat. And if they don’t want to pay extra, players must typically beat them in under a certain amount of moves. Even the shiny and colorful art style, with oil drums and water rations instead of gems, presents a candy coated take on a zombie apocalypse. However, seeing cute, almost old-fashioned versions of such desperate scenarios entertains. It’s like Fallout’s Vault Boy or Bioshock’s plasmid tutorials.
So it’s a Match-3 puzzle game, and we all already know how those work. However, Zombie Puzzle Panic’s missions manage to find some clever ways of translating zombie survival horror tropes into gem matching. For example, many levels task players with wiping out a certain number of zombies by creating an explosive combo next to them. However, zombies move around between turns so players must always adjust their strategy. Meanwhile, other levels introduce new elements like sticky slime to clear away and scientists to protect by swapping them around the board. Players can even get power-ups like guns and grenades to blast zombies to bits, or bodyguards who pick off zombies that get too close. At times, the game can get surprisingly tense, and not just when the number of moves left gets low.
But even with all of these tricks, and there are only so many, Zombie Puzzle Panic isn’t going to set the world on fire. It’s a good version of a game like this, but it’s not a great game.