Ever wonder what to do in case of a zombie outbreak? I know I have. I’ve got the plan all lined up, ready in case of attack. Living in a country where guns aren’t easily accessible limits my options but I have backup ideas, even if they are rather inspired by Dead Rising. Even better, soon there’ll be a way to simulate what would happen during such an outbreak.
Zombie Outbreak Simulator is the app I’m talking about. Previously a website, its aim is to track just what would happen if zombies emerged and started attacking humans.
As it’s a simulation, interaction is quite limited. Like on the website, users can adjust certain parameters then it’s just a matter of watching to see the action unfold. The preview build I checked out seems pretty complete and offers plenty of variables. Civilian numbers can be adjusted between 100 and 4000, with up to 1000 zombies available to unleash. Armed civilians can be assigned, along with police numbers. In both cases, accuracy can also play a vital role in their chance for survival so that can be adjusted. Any fan of zombie films knows that zombies react differently so infection time and speed can also be changed.
Together, this makes a pretty comprehensive spectrum of situations. The red dots representing zombies and green dots of humanity then descend upon the Google Map image, with users able to zoom in a bit further to see some of the action. Only one map was available in the preview build but I’m hopeful that the full release will enable Location Services so that players can check out how things work out in their local area. The website offers similar and it’s fun to see what happens.
No one would expect just watching action unfold to be quite so entertaining, but it is. I’m not sure how long the novelty will last but for now, it’s fun to see how adjusting certain numbers can change things so drastically. Even if, all too often, humanity appears to be doomed in this scenario.
Zombie Outbreak Simulator is set for release next week. We’ll be sure to give it the full review treatment nearer the time.
Two of iOS’ most prominent genres (that don’t involve matching together any number of gems) are vertical endless platformers, and dual-stick shooters. However, the paths of the two have rarely crossed…although the upcoming Volcano Escape from Bravo Game Studios is out to change this. In this game, you control the hapless Colonel Charlie Bravo, who went on a summer vacation…and then he got captured by some natives and chucked into a volcano. Oh no. However, not everything is as it seems, as apparently the natives have set up a labyrinth in the volcano to allow you to try and escape before the rising lava or one of the natives or strange creatures get to you. So, your goal is the same as in any endless vertical platformer: try to reach as great a height as possible before your eventual demise!
The controls interestingly take after dual-stick shooters more than vertical platformers. You have a joystick for movement, a joystick for firing in all directions around you, and a jump button. Along the way, you’ll pickup powerups like a shield, high jump, and jet pack, as well as additional weapons like a shotgun and grenade launcher, for taking out more of the enemies around you. You have a double jump and the ability to take up to 3 hits before dying, though lava and traps will kill you instantly. The game feels a bit like Contra’s vertical levels, with the mix of action gameplay and ascension-based platformers. The level designs are random, but tend to follow planned thematic shifts, like at a height of 700 (no unit is ever given), new types of enemies come into play and the levels start to involve more angled paths as well as platforms. When you kill enemies, they turn into molten rock, which can either serve as makeshift platforms, or as obstacles towards your further progress.
On the metagaming side, there’s Game Center support for achievements and leaderboards baked in, and you’ll see the names and scores of other players as you pass them. As well, you can challenge your Twitter followers and Facebook friends to play against you, and share your scores with them. You can unlock one of 5 characters, and an additional one will be available via in-app purchase. iPhone 4 and iPod touch 4th Generation owners will get to enjoy Retina Display support as well. Volcano Escape is releasing on February 17th, and we’ll have a full review of the game then.
After months of waiting for followers of the title, Gameloft have today announced the release of N.O.V.A Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance. Possibly one of the most anticipated App Store titles of the year, N.O.V.A Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance is a science fiction first person shooter set in futuristic environments. Graphically stunning, the game centers around man-made artificial satellites called near-orbitals, created to allow people to live on due to the Earth no-longer able to sustain life.
For the protection of these separate near-orbitals they each came together to create N.O.V.A, or the Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance. A team of mercenary operatives tasked with the mission of fighting to defend mankind. Forced back into battle against your will, you play as Kal Wardin, a retired marine. Knocked out cold by members of the N.O.V.A, Wardin finds himself assigned to a string of life-threatening missions.
Highly compared to that of the Halo franchise which has become insanely popular all over the world on Microsoft’s Xbox platform, N.O.V.A Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance plays out over a satisfying 13 campaign levels, each taking you to a different landscape, including: a jungle, snow, spaceship, bunker and a forgotten alien city. There are six weapons within the game which you can take advantage of to help you on your mission. These include: an assault rifle, a shotgun, a sniper rifle, a handgun, a rocket launcher and a plasma gun. Plus, in certain levels you’ll also get to use grenades and even rock out on machine gun turrets!
As well as playing the game yourself, N.O.V.A Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance can be played in multiplayer mode, too. In this mode, 2-4 players can play in local and online multiplayer deathmatchs, over Wi-Fi and you can versus up to 2 players via a Bluetooth connection. In total, the game’s mutliplayer option offers a range of 5 in-game maps in which you can choose from.
Already a 5-star hit wonder after less than 24 hours on the store, and receiving huge critical acclamation, I can’t help but think N.O.V.A is going to be an instant App Store hit, if it isn’t already! I have to say, having picked up the game myself and played through a level or four, this game sports some of the best visual based graphics I have ever seen on the iPhone (and iPod touch) platform. I’m not just saying it, it’s like N.O.V.A crosses that invisible barrier of mobile game to console wonder, and in my personal opinion, Gameloft has excelled.
Be sure to stay tuned for our full in-depth review of N.O.V.A Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance, very soon. In the meantime, feast your eyes on some in-game shots from the game below!
I got a pleasant surprise in my inbox today, and I hardly slept last night for playing it so much.
Hot on the heals of their great update to Flight Control, Firemint have submitted to the app store a completely different game, Real Racing. Possibly the best racing game we’ve ever see on the iPhone, it’s coming really soon and I’ve got a final build ad-hoc copy. I’ve commented before about how great of a game this is. The final version is even better. It has amazing fit and finish and looks even better than the previous versions I’ve seen. Well done Firemint!
The racing game features 12 tracks, 26 cars, and five different game modes. The most interesting feature, to me, is the asynchronous multiplayer mode. Very well done, and a ton of fun to play.
If you’re on Twitter, you can follow the game specific Twitter account, or become a fan of the Facebook page.
No word yet on price, we’ll see that when the app goes live. And we’ll have a full review ready for when the app goes live. That is if I can stop playing it. For now, check after the jump for the official trailer video, more screen shots, and the official app description.