Developer: High Voltage Software
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2, iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Zoombies-4Zoombies: Animales de la Muerte started its life as a console dual-stick shooter. It’s now been realized as a line-drawing castle defense game with a lane system that evokes Plants vs. Zombies because that’s just a natural evolution, right? Well, however the game got here, this is a great iteration on a number of differing concepts.

The goal is simple: keep the zombies, called “zoombies” here because they’re zombified zoo animals, from escaping the zoo. The little boy or girl that the player controls is far more equipped than whoever was laying traps down in Plants vs. Zombies, because they come equipped with heavy firepower. Players draw a line to fire a path for their weapon, naturally keeping in mind that the zoombies will be moving after they draw their path. As well, there are recharging abilities called Especiales that serve a variety of purposes, from offensive weapons, to defensive tools meant to hinder enemies, and even ones that change the properies of enemies. The latter are thst interesting of the three: it’s possible to make enemies offer up more gold, or to even turn zoombies back in to normal animals.

Zoombies-1These other Especiales come in to play at later times when it becomes necessary to complete some of the five missions available in each level. These missions are intelligently-handled in that they encourage the player to explore different powerups and methods of play. For example, missions where certain numbers of coins must be collected make the Midas Touch powerup necessary. Missions where only a certain number of lines must be drawn encourage intelligent path-drawing and generous Especiales usage. Completing all the missions on a level nets additional coins as well, so it’s well worth it in many ways.

The Mexican theme is used largely well – while I’m not a great judge, the stereotypes feel like they are kept to a minimum. Plus, it’s a cool way to get a setting that’s outside the normal setup, especially for a zombie game. Plus, hey – it’s nice to see a game with protagonists that aren’t just more white folks. And that there’s both the option to play as male and female characters is welcome, too. I know of gamers with kids that mention that their daughters are more likely to play games if they have a female character to play as, so having it as an option here, as well as in a multicultural setting feels like a fantastic addition.

There’s a lot to like about Zoombies: Animales de la Muerte. The blend of styles is fantastic, there’s plenty of reason to replay the levels, and there’s zombie elephants too. While the 45 levels can come and go quickly, there’s still a solid amount of game here to enjoy.

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