We take the Lunar Racer studio's new game for a spin.
For players of games like Earn to Die and Extreme Road Trip, there's much that's - pleasantly - familiar about Zombie Road Trip. You take control of an auto-running vehicle across a series of landscapes that are packed full of obstacles. In this particular instance those obstacles are shuffling zombies on the road ahead, and there's also a marauding pack of them chasing you from behind - fluff enough jumps and they'll eventually catch up to you and end your turn.
With the zombie horde always chasing you, there are two ways to stay ahead of the pack. First, make smooth and even landings after your aerobatic front and back-flips so that you gain a little temporary speed boost. Secondly, your vehicle of choice can be upgraded with an assortment of high-powered weaponry - a tap of the screen at any roaming zombies on the path ahead will not just reward you with upgrade coins, but also prevent collisions which would otherwise slow you down.
What about those upgrade options then? Well, this isn't the first game to introduce a hamster-wheel approach to its progression, so you'll be playing to try and go further, so that you can become more powerful, so that you can go faster and further next time, and so on ad infinitum. Fortunately, and even though the early stages get a little repetitive, it's a slick enough production that the game never really feels like a grind.
Upgrades are split into three different catageries, and the higher up each chain of upgrades you travel, the more expensive each upgrade becomes. There are new vehicles which offer something a little different in the speed and survivability stakes. Weapons range from a humble pistol to a wallet-busting railgun for maximum mutilation, while you can also take advantage of gadgets that warn of upcoming zombies, or just give you a laser sight for your shots - great for accumulating headshot bonuses.
Zombie Road Trip does a fine job of following in the footsteps of previous App Store success stories in the genre. There's a far fairer sense of progression to be had from this free game than in typical freemium chaser games, there's more polish all round, and the upgrade system is slick and expansive. It's unlikely to convert any unbelievers, but for the faithful it's the next logical game to get stuck into.
Zombie Road Trip is free to download from the App Store but in-app purchases are available. Unlocking the ability to earn double coins costs $1.99, while additional coins are available in the following quantities: 10,000 ($2.99) / 20,000 ($4.99) / 50,000 ($9.99) / 150,000 ($19.99) / 400,000 ($39.99)
What's Hot:A very slick addition to the genre, with a fair sense of progression and some fantastic upgrades to be earned.
What's Not:Some of the upgrades will almost certainly require a dip into the cash store.