Desert Zombie Last Stand
Turn the undead into goop in this flawed but delightfully brutal third person shooter.
In some respects, Eighth Wonder Studios' Desert Zombie Last Stand reminds us of Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies, in the sense that players must defeat waves of progressively difficult monsters, but it's so much better. While rough around the edges, the action packed iPhone and iPad game has a ton of thrills, four unique maps, a sweet weapons cache and buckets of gore, making it one of the guiltiest pleasures on the App Store.
This third person shooter tasks you with slaughtering an infinite number of zombies and even a helicopter, because for some strange reason, the rapidly decaying freaks can fly. A select number can even shoot machine guns and rocket launchers. Not exactly the most realistic (and we use that word loosely) premise according to zombie rules, but it keeps players on their toes while providing a stark contrast to the more normal "I'm just going to bum rush you and hope for the best" creatures at the start of the game.
Here, you hold down the fort in one of four arena style boards (one of which takes place in a cramped version of Hell) mowing down monsters and watching flesh and blood fly all over the place. In fact, there's a surprising amount of dismemberment, as you're able to destroy heads, blast off limbs and turn chest cavities to mush, reducing a zombie to a pelvis and pair of legs.
The developers, meanwhile, provide traditional yet effective real world weapons, including a Desert Eagle, AK-47, SCAR, Mini Gun and other cool toys. To acquire them, though, you'll need to A.) accumulate the necessary amount of dough earned through playing the game, and B.) outlast specific waves.
That said, we love the way Eighth Wonder Studios' handled this. Although the game includes the option to make in-app purchases for more cash, you'll receive plenty of loot from playing Desert Zombies, maybe not enough to unlock the different character skins (which includes a zombie), but enough so that you can eventually purchase useful items like a shotgun.
On top of that, you can equip up to three perks to aid your character in battle. These range from faster reloading to extended ammo capacity and a speed boost.
Unfortunately, and as much as we love this game, it comes with baggage. For starters, the fire button has a tendency to stick, resulting in your hero shooting all over the place, even in the direction of exploding barrels that can and will kill him or her. We managed to keep it somewhat under control by tinkering with the controls, but it's still a problem, regardless.
The camera also has tendency to randomly go into first person view with the character backed into a corner, forcing you to fidget with the virtual analog stick to pop it loose.
Finally, where's the multiplayer? For whatever reason, this is a single player affair. Not horrible per se, but it would have been so much cooler to defend with a friend, even through local co-op.
Despite these issues, we strongly recommend Desert Zombies Last Stand. While in need of polish, it's still a zombie splattering romp shooter fans will play for weeks. Enjoy.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
What's Hot: Non-stop action, lots of gore, satisfying number of weapons, four maps, no pressure to make in-app purchases, helpful skills, impressive Unreal Engine powered graphics, universal.
What's Not: Cracked out camera, buggy shooting mechanics, no multiplayer whatsoever.