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We’ve got zombies (munching) on the brain this Friday -- Capcom has just released Zombie Cafe, a social restaurant/zombie horde management game that shambles along at a zombie’s pace, but gets addicting in a hurry. There’s also Stupid Zombies, an undead-shooting puzzle game that changes the dynamic and drops the action of zombie games, while still encouraging headshots. And then there’s Legendary Wars, a fantasy strategy role-playing game in which your forces will fight all kinds of monsters; surely there are zombies in there somewhere?
Zombie Cafe (iPhone) Free
A social game that mixes restaurant management with zombie mayhem, Zombie Cafe is one of one of those games that moves slowly, like many Facebook games, but gets addictive in its complexity. You start out as a human entrepreneur who uses zombie toxin to infect a patron of his cafe, instantly creating a cheap laborer/rival business devourer. You’ll spend your time gathering more employees and cooking more and more lengthy, complex food and serving it to your customers.
One of the cooler aspects of the game has you scouting your nearby competition on a map and sending your zombie employees to massacre the patrons and owners -- stealing rival recipes, more crucial zombie toxins and above all, customers. When you’re not on the warpath, you’re spending your time growing your business, fixing it up with furniture and other accoutrements, and generally trying to be the top zombie-employing food service establishment in your immediate area. Zombie Cafe is free, but is one of those games that you can’t play all the time unless you make in-app purchases, sort of like FarmVille.
Stupid Zombies (iPhone) $0.99
The cool part about Stupid Zombies: it’s actually quite a smart game. Rather than battle zombies in this puzzler, your goal is simply to exterminate them, even though they’re unmoving and harmless. You have a gun and only a few bouncing rounds, and a room full of zombies to take out -- so, like Angry Birds and similar physics puzzlers, you have to use your brain, geometry, and what’s on hand in order to drop all the zombies with as few shots as possible.
Stupid Zombies includes 240 puzzle levels for just a buck, and will have you doing everything from planning shots to move objects and blow up barrels, to gauging reflection angles and applying rules you learned in geometry class. And if you’re not sold on the paid version, grab its free counterpart -- still a good deal with 60 levels included.
Legendary Wars (iPhone) $2.99
Castle versus castle-type games are a genre that’s growing pretty fast in the App Store: It’s made up of strategy games like the popular Trenches, in which you earn currency by winning battles to buy soldiers of different types, which run out from your side of the battlefield and engage enemies in the center. A well-defined force matched to the task of your enemy will push their troops back, until finally you can take the enemy castle and win the battle. Legendary Wars is a member of that genre, but stands above it by mixing up the formula from time to time.
In addition to standard castle-on-castle action, Legendary Wars adds in some variations to the theme, adding in a hero character you must protect throughout the battle, or letting you control a single unit in a side-scrolling mission. You can also control units individually or en masse during battles, giving you the ability to exercise a lot of will over your forces, and resulting in a deep experience, especially for an iPhone game.