Title: Bomb The Zombies
Approximate Time Spent playing at time of writing: <1 hour
Modes of play: Single Player
Bomb The Zombies does actually offer a genuine challenge to the player, which is sadly quite unusual for a mobile game. Each level is essentially a basic puzzle of how to use your limited bombs or abilities to wipe out every zombie on the screen. Where this game falls down is that there are so many obfuscated mechanics, for example, how different types of material react to your bombs, that it becomes more like a case of trial and error, and luck, very quickly.
Use strategy and precise aim to destroy the Zombies’ buildings and save the innocent girls.
… claims the app’s own description. But what makes this trial & error tedium start to become more painful is that the controls, like so many mobile games, are hamstrung by being on a touchscreen, and so are anything but precise. Using a pudgy screen-obscuring digit to aim has far less precision than lining up a crosshair with a mouse or even an analogue stick. Admittedly on larger screens this would become less of an issue, but then we hit the second thing that kills this from being an interesting challenge. Nonsensically they’ve slowed the feedback loop of ‘just one more try’ down to a ridiculously tedious length. Perhaps I’ve become supremely impatient (although my track record with some very ‘frustrating’ difficult games and achievements makes me think not!) but the wait between failing a level and getting to try again is excruciatingly long here, for no good reason. Even trying to more quickly re-start by going through the menus is a chore that takes far too many clicks, or rather, presses, when there should just be an ‘instant restart’ button always available for a challenge of this nature.
So, despite the fact I had some hopes for this, it’s the usual mobile game fare in the end. A very weak challenge title, spoiled further by pointless touchscreen controls – it gains nothing other than portability for being on a phone or tablet.
Competitive Gaming Design Review: N/A
Competitive Game Review: N/A
Interactive Story: None really, other than the semi-offensive ‘damsels in distress’ trope, that actually doesn’t even seem to appear in the game. Oh and zombies, of course. Because they’ve never been done before… *eyerollyawn*
Toy/Experience: Highly Negative for me, as described above. The controls are frustrating rather than satisfying – and there’s so little A/V or tactile feedback from anything. In fact it’s hard to imagine how exploding zombies could be made to seem less satisfying.
Grind: Thankfully none. There’s no skinner-box crap here, it really is a genuine challenge title and it’s a sad state of affairs that this is actually noteworthy when it comes to mobile ‘gaming’ – that even being a bad, but at least genuine game means something. 😦