21 Aug
2015

Kirsten Campbell

By

In case you weren’t aware, Fear the Walking Dead, the prequel to the Walking Dead premieres on Sunday.  The teaser is probably one of the best I’ve ever seen because it reveals nothing, but the fear is palpable (I’m terrified to see what he’s running from).  This series is a prequel set in LA (but mostly filmed in Vancouver!), with no affiliation to the current Walking Dead series; instead it will feature the breakdown of society as the virus spreads.  

 

My main complaint about the Walking Dead was that all the good stuff had already happened.  Who cares what it’s like 9 months after the zombies have taken over? I already know that Starbucks will be gone, my iMac won’t work and my natural hair colour will show.  I want to know what it’s like as hospitals fill up, the highways are jam packed and people are desperately trying to flee to safer ground.  That’s the stuff that makes a zombie show great!  Say what you will about World War Z, but the most exciting part was when the plague had just hit so Brad Pitt and his scarf were trying to get his family out of the city and they faced challenges finding resources and safety as society crumbled.  Therefore, in honour of the upcoming zombie prequel series, I have tested and ranked mobile app zombie games (I have an iPhone 6) to get you through the next few days before Fear the Walking Dead premieres on Sunday.

Dead Among Us

I just noticed that this game is for teens (that explains why I was so good at it) but that doesn’t stop me from loving it.  It’s a first person shooter game that you can control with just one hand, which I find thrilling because I love using my phone one handed (which also explains why it seems like I’m developing carpal tunnel). My siblings and I were never allowed to play video games as kids because my mom thought it would make us dumb, so I am horrible at combat games because (after 20 years), I still can’t get the hang of them, which destroys the fun because getting killed every 2 seconds is rage inducing.  Luckily, Dead Among Us doesn’t require too much coordination on my part (it’s like they’ve seen me play volleyball) so anyone can get the hang of this game pretty quickly.  My favourite aspect of the game is that I get to be a sniper perched on top of a building with my fancy bow and arrow and feel like a hero as I secure the location for fellow survivors and scientists to gather supplies.  I’m pretty sure this is exactly how Katniss felt.

I shall snipe you all

I shall snipe you all

 

The graphics for this game were high quality, appropriate, and interesting.  There were not a lot of options for weapons because I refuse to pay money on or for games, but that didn’t stop me until level 3.  Another feature I liked, especially when I was learning, was that I could zoom in and slow the action down so my first few attempts to oh, I don’t know, SAVE HUMANITY, weren’t stopped by my poor vision or reflexes.  Looking through the scope of the gun gave it a more realistic feeling for a newbie like me.  There was supposedly a radar available to keep tabs on the zombies as they came to eat my group but I never figured out how to use it and I didn’t suffer for it.

This does not bode well for my companion

This does not bode well for my companion

 

Overall, Dead Among Us was freaking awesome.  The navigation, design, graphics and interactivity were more than I expected.  For a more advanced player I can imagine the game might be less exciting, but it was exactly what I wanted and was perfect for my skill level.

Zombie Highway Android or iOS

The lure of this game was quite strong for me because I love racing games (they don’t require too much skill) and zombies.  Much to my dismay though, Zombie Highway under delivered on everything.  The instructions were vague and unclear, which I looked past because I like to play around and learn myself.  I played for a few minutes and thought ‘this can’t be it’ so I looked up the instructions to see if I was missing a huge part of the game or something.  I wasn’t.

Apparently not very far

Apparently not very

 

You basically just drive around in the desert trying not to let zombies hop on your car but from my experience, it was inevitable.  It didn’t seem to matter how far I drove around them, they would leap onto my car and murder me through the window (not cool guys, not cool).  Plus, they moved shockingly fast which seems to be the trend in zombie movies– don’t make them scarier, just make them faster.  I think that may have contributed to my disappointment in this game, it’s lazy and unoriginal to just make the zombies faster.  When the zombies jump on your car you’re supposed to shoot them but it all happened so quickly that it was impossible to get your gun out.  Remember when I said getting killed every 2 seconds is rage inducing?  Zombie Highway, I knew you were not long for this world (apparently there’s a Zombie Highway 2 but I refuse to waste a nanosecond of my life on it).

They didn't teach us this in Driver's Ed

They didn’t teach us this in Driver’s Ed

 

As a whole I didn’t like this game at all.  There wasn’t much stimulation, the graphics weren’t amazing and the whole premise seemed like something that seemed great in theory but horrible in execution.  If you like mindless, rage inducing driving games that go nowhere quickly but will remind you of every horrible childhood road trip you ever had, then Zombie Highway is for you.

Walking Dead: The Game

I had high hopes for this game because it’s the Walking Dead franchise and wow, I was not disappointed!  This was the game that plays like a movie and it was fantastic.  The stunning graphics open with the iconic Atlanta highway shot that everyone knows and the high quality art and production value are obvious throughout the whole game.  My annoyance with the beginning of the game is that you couldn’t skip the introductory video so I got halfway through it about three times and nearly gave up in frustration.  Luckily, I got over myself and persevered in order to get started with zombie killing.  As I attempted to maneuver myself out of the police car I crashed in, I was struck at how perfectly the music set the mood- I actually felt a bit of fear and dread!  

I'm in the back along with racial stereotypes

I’m in the back along with racial stereotypes

 

For a novice gamer like me, getting into full on zombie killing mode is difficult and doesn’t last long because I’m horrible at shooting and running (especially at the same time).  The Walking Dead wrapped the whole movie/story into the zombie killing so the pace wasn’t as fast and I was able to survive.  Having prompts for weapons or story items was a huge help so I didn’t have to fumble around in the dark looking for stuff.  I just clicked on the white dots and could choose what option I wanted.  The prompts felt like a Choose Your Own Adventure novel because I had so many options available to me.  If I wanted to snark at another character or answer questions, I was able to do so and their responses were based on what I said, not standard replies designed to continue a storyline.

This could get awkward quickly

This could get awkward quickly

 

The Walking Dead game had some really nice human touches like the old school answering machine that plays a message to the whole room (this never happens anymore in life, this needs to stop) and some heavy handed symbolism of a child’s colouring book (innocence!  a simpler time! we.get.it).  As on the nose as these items were, they did serve their purpose of forwarding the plot so I shall get off my soapbox.  

The Walking Dead mobile app game was very easy to control because you could move your finger along the whole screen instead of the bottom right hand corner which I never remember when I’m panicking and about to become a zombie’s dinner.  Since it wasn’t completely action packed I was able to enjoy the storyline and not die immediately.  So far I have met Hershel and Glenn who are characters in the TV series so there is a nice tie-in to the show.  

Take that!

Take that!

 

Zombie Mobile Game App Roundup

There are so many zombie mobile game apps available, it was hard to choose three. I am really impressed by the quality of the mobile games these days, especially the Walking Dead game.  Their production value was way ahead of the other games, but that’s to be expected given the success of the franchise.  The functionality and interactivity were the best in the Walking Dead game, but Dead Among Us was a close second.  The navigation only became an issue if the games weren’t clear after playing them for a few minutes.  The zombie mobile app game experience was a blast and I would recommend the Walking Dead and Dead Among Us games for anyone looking to have an undead experience before Sunday.  

See you Sunday for some Fear the Walking Dead!