Sunday, August 5, 2012

Plight of the Zombie [Spark Plug Games] - $2.99

Zombie games are really getting out-done in the AppStore. It seems like every week, another zombie game is released, and I can’t see an end to it. Fortunately, there’s a whole mass of gamers who just can’t get enough of it, and plenty of developers out there who are willing to take a chance on yet another zombie game. North Carolina based Spark Plug Games, a fairly well rounded development company, producing over 50 products over the last 4 and a half years. It’s pretty safe to say that they’ve learned quite a bit since their inception, and with their most recent iOS and Android title, Plight of the Zombie, it shows. 

Plight of the Zombie is a line drawing puzzler which has you guiding Craig Creeper and other mysterious zombies through 5 worlds, and 50 levels of line drawing zombie fun. Each level contains 3 brains and various humans, some wielding shotguns, some pistols, some will just cower in fear as you walk up and bite them. Once you touch a non-zombie, they instantly turn into another zombie which you’re able to control. This adds to the puzzle solving, as you’ll need quite a few extra zombies to get blown to bits so that you can get a zombie to reach a gun toting human. Each level is completed once you convert all humans to zombies, whether you have collected each of the 3 brains or not, so planning out your paths is a pretty important aspect of the game. 

In each of the 5 worlds, you’ll have different zombies which you’ll start each level with. In world 1, it’s Craig Creeper, a basic zombie that can’t take much damage. However, these basic zombies become useful in world 2, where you’ll control Charlie Chunker; a nice fat zombie that can take loads of damage, but moves relatively slow. He’s also unable to fit through many of the smaller pathways in the levels, which is where the basic Craig zombies need to be utilized in order to progress through the world. Learning how to utilize each zombies strengths and weaknesses is essential for completing the game. 

Another great facet of PotZ is the level design. It’s evident that Spark Plug Games has spent an incredible amount of time with the layouts and designs of each of the levels in Plight of the Zombie. As I’ve already stated, the level design comes into play by blocking off some zombies, while others are able to reach certain areas. But also, sometimes figuring out how to collect all of the brains in a level before converting all of the humans will require some quick thinking and figuring out which zombies need to go ahead of others, when zombies should be sacrificed, or when one should be used as a decoy so that others can pass by safely. Early on in the game, you’ll start seeing brains which have a timer underneath them. In order to collect these, you’ll need to reach them before the timer runs out and to do so, you’ll need to employ various tactics throughout the game. 

With Plight of the Zombie priced at $2.99, being Universal, having slick graphics and some of the best line drawing gameplay I’ve seen on the iOS, and although it starts out a little slow, once you hit the 2nd world, the game really picks up. It’s definitely worth grabbing, even if you’re sick of zombie games. It might just reignite your love of the genre, and give you hope that, when used to their full potential, zombie games are not done evolving. Not by a long shot. Including GameCenter integration with 16 achievements (that unfortunately, are not working ATM), a store full of items which you can dress up your zombies with and 3+ brains per level, there’s quite a bit of content to keep you busy for a while. Spark Plug Games has also stated that every 2 weeks, new cosmetic items will be added to the shop, and that we can expect more level packs as well. Plight of the Zombie definitely shows that Spark Plug Games knows exactly what they’re doing, and precisely what it takes to create a fantastic line drawing puzzler. It’s one development team that, without a doubt, we are going to be keeping our eyes on. 


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