Don't get "swipe" confused with "step"--the former implies reaching, not movement. Zombie Swipeout, or Zynga's answer to games like Fruit Ninja, is one fine iPhone and iPad game that makes some interesting moves in separating itself from its inspirations. But it also, like most Zynga games, hits a bit too close home. Home in this case being Halfbrick's mobile masterpiece.
But here's the thing: While we don't necessarily want to like Zombie Swipeout, it simply can't be helped. Sure, swap out pineapples and pomegranates for puss-filled zombies, have players slash them into bloody stumps with their index fingers and you have Zombie Swipeout. However, it's the execution--the music, the sounds, the controls and physics--that leaves us waiting for our energy to refill.
Well, it would leave us waiting if that were even something we had to do. Taking a cue from recent Zynga releases like Bubble Safari, players can enjoy Zombie Swipeout indefinitely without paying up. Once player's seven game sessions are burned through, they can either wait about an hour for all of those to refill or fork up a few thousand coins to refill them all instantly. Not real money or Facebook Credits, no--coins, the shiny things that you're encouraged to chop up in each game session.
Speaking of which, let's talk about the guy you aren't encouraged to swipe at in Zombie Swipeout: Joey. The orange vest-loving protagonist of Zynga Mobile Germany's game, who appears with a green trail of sparkles, serves only to end your game prematurely. Accidentally slash him and the game is over ... unless you decide to save him and keep going using a life token.
Players are given a few life tokens to start with, but extras will cost them real cash through in-app purchases. It's an interesting proposal, giving players the option to the decide the fate of poor Joey. Unfortunately, there aren't many reasons compelling enough to fork up the cash for more life tokens. Sure, you may have lost while on a serious combo streak, but there will be others.
As you level up in Zombie Swipeout, Joey seems to be placed in increasingly more dangerous if tempting situations. For instance, as soon as you unlock the grenade power-up at Level 3, Joey will be thrown your way surrounded with shiny coins save for a single grenade. Of course, this writer fell for this trick several times, killing Joey and a double-digit score multiplier.
Still, pitfalls like that likely won't be enough to drive players to pay up. Perhaps Zombie Swipeout's leaderboards and weekly tournaments between Facebook friends will, especially when a high score is at stake. All in all, the ways in which Zombie Swipeout attempts to get players to pay up aren't terribly compelling. (Which must explain the rampant ads in the game's free version.)
It's what happens within each game session that keeps us coming back for more zombie blood. The splashes of coins, the sounds the zombies make when diced up into bits, the feeling of trepidation as soon as Joey appears and the satisfaction of seeing three stars at the end of each session have us hooked already. But will that grip decay over time? See for yourself.
Click here to download Zombie Swipeout on iPhone for Free Now >
Are you digging Zombie Swipeout so far? What do you think of Zynga's more recent Facebook and mobile games? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.