Zombie games are a dime a dozen on mobile devices these days. Just search the word "zombie" on the App Store or Google Play, and you'll be greeted with pages worth of zombie games. Throw in the fact that location-based gaming hasn't exactly taken off, and the odds seem to be stacked against games like Parallel Zombies for Android.
To meet such odds, luckily, the developers at PerBlue have stepped up their game with Parallel Zombies, set to launch exclusively on Android July 19. While much of the game is similar to what Android gamers--about 85 percent of PerBlue's audience, we're told--enjoyed with Parallel Mafia and Parallel Kingdoms before that, PerBlue has tweaked much of the formula so that it feels, well, more like a game than an app. A lot more. (In fact, we kind of wish we had an Android device handy right about now.)
What players will notice immediately about Parallel Zombies is simply that this is the most gorgeous game in the series yet. Plenty more resources have been devoted to players' avatars, namely. Not only do they appear larger in the game world--which is your world, basically--but the customizations made to your character are far more visible as a result.
"Kind of a pain point that we learned along the way is that people are really, really attached to their avatars, and they want to be able to see the representation of their avatars in the game," PerBlue's Ellie Humphrey admits. "So we made the avatar almost 3x bigger for this game."
In fact, almost everything is bigger in Parallel Zombies. The various buildings in the game world appear in 3D, strengthening the feeling of peering down on a world in ruin. Ain't that the truth: The streets and alleys around you will eventually be covered in zombie blood as you take the fight to 15 different types of carnivorous cadavers.
That's really what Parallel Zombies is all about, and the numerous changes PerBlue made to the game's systems shows it. For one, skill points have been fleshed into an all new class system that allows players to choose whether they'll be a soldier, a hunter or a doctor. Digging even deeper, those three classes can branch out into even more specialized roles as players level up, like zombie-charming for doctors, sneaking around for soldiers and a focus on pets for hunters.
Almost more important is the combat itself, which is both real-time and turn-based. For example, players go blow-for-blow with zombies using either guns or melee weapons, but other baddies can easily join the fray in real time. (And yes, ammo is most definitely a concern.) Real-time combat laced with unique abilities is cool and all, but only if people are around to fight with.
You might not live in the most bumping area, so PerBlue has concocted a nifty solution to that problem. "We really wanted to hone in on the multiplayer aspect of the game for this title. We really wanted to make it easy for people to access the multiplayer," Humphrey tells us. "Right from the menu here, we have this button that says, 'group'."
While players will come across tasks to complete in the world, real-time multiplayer missions separate from the map are where Parallel Zombies seems to shine best. With a matchmaking system, players can find folks to team up with on special zombie-slaying missions that offer numerous rewards.
A much needed visual boost, a focus on combat and easy real-time multiplayer could be just what the doctor ordered for PerBlue's "Parallel" franchise. But will it these improvements alone help it stand out among the hordes of zombie games on mobile? See for yourself on July 19. Until then, check out the official Parallel Zombies page for more info.
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