Zombie Killer Squad – Android
Developer: Section Games Inc.
Publisher: 3BD Games
Release Date: November 21, 2013
Genre: Endless Runner
Nerd Rating: 7 out of 10
Reviewed by The Wastelander
Section Games have utilized a repetitive formula of endless runners, but have completely made it their own, proving that even if zombies aren’t new, at least they’re still fairly new to this genre of tablet/smartphone game.
Zombie Killer Squad is another swipe left, swipe right, kind of game. Apart from adding a few zombies into the mix, a slug-shooting shotgun, and a new landscape in which various obstacles are dodged, what makes it so different from any other? This runner’s mainstream popularity might stem from the fact that it has been developed in part by two famous gaming Youtubers: Adam Montoya(Seananners), and Tom Cassel(Syndicate).
The gameplay is pretty simple, for anyone who’s ever played Temple Run, or any likeable knock-offs, and even if you haven’t, there’s a tutorial in the beginning, which helps make this game easy to catch on to. Honestly, making a swiping motion left, right, up, and down a touch screen and tapping it are the easiest game controls I’ve ever used(try playing GTA V), so you should get going pretty fast with minimal stress.
The buildings you’ll sprint around are dilapidated, fraying…abandoned. The fronts are splattered with blood, and the first thing you see is the door of an apparently breached Victorian-style castle as your character bursts through, and inevitably runs for their life. The skies are a permanently ominous dark gray, and you occasionally run into an open grave and back out with only a grim atmosphere to welcome you. Some zombies have a cleaver stuck in the cranium, some don’t, but each has a disturbing, blank expression on the face which can only be remedied with a bullet to the skull. The visuals are nice and dark, also helping that no zombie explosion is the same, kind of like a bloody snowflake as your character rips though them with a lever-action shotgun.
With this being another runner, some of the power-ups are unfortunately predictable. Currency Magnet? Check. Double, and Tripled Currency? Check, and Check. Besides these two, the new power-ups are helpful; Though it stays with you always, and can’t technically be called a power-up, The Shotgun helps you clear some of the undead obstacles in your path, and even if it does have limited ammo, there are Free Ammo pick-ups all over the map, and you can buy some at the Main Menu(Honestly, an infinite shotgun would have taken away some of the fun). The Personal Ride power-Up is pretty cool, shown by a tappable yellow icon, with Luke’s being a donkey, Syndicate going all-out Sons of Anarchy in a motorcycle, and Seananners playing Atreyu, riding the back of a living creature(a giant cat), each Ride respectively taking one hit before returning to normal running. The Crow Flight is also pretty interesting, riding through the midnight sky, I couldn’t help thinking of Edgar Allen Poe(wait, that was a raven, wasn’t it? Eh, close enough), and who can’t look, not mention feel supremely badass riding a giant bull, knocking everything, and everyone out of the way?
With the music being a subtle blend of electro, synch and percussive beats, the tunes whip your mind into performing two simple goals: evade and shoot. But, while the music is catchy, it does get old rather quick, and speaking of “getting old rather quick”, the dialogue…ugh. While some of the quickly spoken colloquialisms are humorous at first, you eventually realize that they are recycled, clichéd stabs at lame puns and quips, not to mention that your character makes silly noises every time they move whichever direction(who says, “Zoop” when they turn left anywhere, in any situation?). You can choose to listen, or do as I did, and turn the volume all the way down on the device as not to disturbs the others around you, put your earbuds in, and blast some Incubus. Of course, you can always mute it, but I like my version better.
Although hacked, and cheesy in some parts of the dialogue at times, ZKS is a pretty solid game, with a well-balanced theme of zombies, running and gunning, and darkness, with a dash of humor sprinkled on top. And with cameos of playable Youtubers, you’ll try your best to keep a tiny Luke(No idea who this is, maybe a development member), Adam(Seananners), or Tom(Syndicate) from face-hugging backs of trucks, trash compacters, and storage containers, and killing plenty of green-skinned, slack-jawed, shambling flesh eaters. So if you need to kill some hours today, why not use this game to waste some time? -The Wastelander
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