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iPhone App Video Review: Zombieville USA 2

by Andrew Koziara

One of the games to really help push iOS as a gaming platform back in the day was Zombieville USA, from MikaMobile. It's over two years later, and now that the studio has put out some other excellent titles such as Battleheart, we're finally getting a sequel in Zombieville USA 2, and just in time for Halloween!

Zombieville USA 2 is a simple game about blasting the undead for the sake of unlocking cooler ways to blast the undead. The formula has been changed drastically for this sequel. Most notably, the game now has a vertical dimension to the movement, rather than just a side-scrolling horizontal one. Now you'll have to line up your shots and be careful, as it's possible to miss. You no longer hide inside houses to gather money and ammo, but instead find them inside random objects or after they get dropped by enemies.

Each level or area is unlocked by destroying a certain number of zombies. Each sequential area has a higher infection level, and the zombies get tougher and tougher. Your goal is to earn enough money to buy bigger and better guns. Rather than have newer weapons replace old ones, you'll unlock and choose which weapons to bring with you on each mission, with a limit of three. Not only will you be able to buy and upgrade weapons, but you can also purchase different characters as well as special skills that enhance your character, such as increased explosive damage or armor. As soon as you enter an area, you'll have to survive for a set amount of time before being picked up by a helicopter and getting rated on your performance.

My only real complaint is that earning enough money to get the cool stuff is a slow process, at least at first. It may speed up when you can take on bigger waves of tougher enemies, but the initial grind can be off putting. Also, the control wheel/stick thing could be improved. It's easy for your finger to barely slip off and leave you exposed to attack. These are the only real issues in the game design, with most other complaints being more preferential in nature.

The art is greatly improved over the first game while maintaining the same aesthetics. The huge new variety of areas and enemies keeps the game feeling fresh. The soundtrack is well done too. The game is iOS universal, supports iCloud, and makes full use of Game Center, including random online matchmaking. That's right! Now you can blast zombies with friends or strangers in the new co-operative mode.

Virtually everything has been improved or changed from the first game. Some people might say they went too far, if app store reviews count for anything. The goal of MikaMobile was clearly to give players more freedom and choice than ever before. Now, instead of a marathon run that gets harder as you go along, you have a say in the difficulty at any given time. Instead of a certain character having a certain ability, any character that you like can have any ability that you like. This is a far stronger experience than the original game and more skill based, but it's also very different. I should mention that I encountered a pretty bad bug that completely erased my progress, so people should be cautious. The developers are already getting their next update ready, which will probably come with tons of tweaks and fixes. This game can be yours for just one dollar, which it is definitely worth. Celebrate the festivities of the day with this very appropriate game. Happy Halloween!

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