Can Fuse Powered breathe new life into the undead?
If the zombie craze is any danger of running out of breath, the App Store will surely give the genre its last dying gasp. They're everywhere (the games and the zombies) and they come relentlessly week after week. So what does Zombie HQ bring to this crowded area of the release schedule?
We'll start with the basics. It's a mission-based game where you select your next assault upon the endless hordes of undead from your titular HQ. A typical mission will involve patrolling an area from a top-down perspective, killing every last zombie on the map as you explore. Another might charge you with gathering up as many survivors as possible and leading them to a safe zone, or tackling a particularly monstrous zombie whilst also dispatching its minions. You can only take on so many in a play session though before you'll need to wait for your power to be restored.
Any survivors you rescue are put towards a tally that can be cashed in for Airlift rewards. There are different tiers of rewards depending on how many survivors you submit it any one time, so save them up if you want a mega-injection of cash and power.
Bonus missions are particularly challenging but offer up appropriately higher rewards: you can choose to wait one, four, or 24 hours for these to become available, depending on how great a challenge and how juicy a reward you fancy taking on.
The game gets its bite from the delicious array of weapons with which to eliminate the undead. These range from shotguns, to flamethrowers, to rocket launchers, to chainsaws and plenty more besides. It's a great way to incentivize you to keep on playing, although some of the meatier weapons can only be unlocked with coins which you'll most likely need to top-up with in-app purchases.
The controls work well for the most part with a solid auto-aim for the approaching enemies, although we did notice that our direction-controlling thumb had that usual touchscreen tendency to slip off the screen. We had to re-center our controls fairly often and it caused us a fair few deaths during our time with the game.
We're not going to let it affect the overall evaluation of Zombie HQ too much because it's a highly subjective issue, but one thing we should note is that even after a relatively brief bout of gameplay, the viewpoint and camera bobbing left us with a headache and a rather queasy feeling. Your own experience will of course vary depending on your sensitivity to such things, but it's well worth mentioning.
What we can say for certain about Zombie HQ however is that it's a highly-accomplished and satisfyingly brutal arcade slasher that should leave even the most over-saturated fans of the undead genre feeling very happy indeed. There's variety in the weapons, a solid aiming system, and even though the game relies on the gentle allure of additional purchases for meatier gameplay sessions, you'll have a blast with the game in bite-sized chunks.
Review code provided by Fuse Powered.
What's Hot: Meaty combat, a ridiculous selection of weapons, and a solid aiming system.
What's Not: Somewhat wayward movement controls, and a rather nauseating camera system.