Gun Zombie: Hell Gate
When there's no more room in hell, the dead will walk onto iOS and Android.
Gun Zombie: Hell Gate bears a welcomed resemblance to old arcade games from the early 90s, complete with pixelated sprites and a mysterious announcer who never shuts up ("Headshot! Headshot! Headshot! Alert!"). The only thing missing is a light gun. In this case, you mow down waves of flesh eating monsters with quick taps of a smartphone or tablet's touchscreen, and while the inclusion of ads and constant urging to make in-app purchases are ever present, this free-to-play first-person shooter is a fun way to pass the time while training for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
Now when we say first-person shooter, there's a catch. Although you view things through the unnamed character's eyes and guide the weapon (of 23) around the screen, you cannot move within a 3D space. In fact, Gun Zombie: Hell Gate doesn't contain a 3D world at all, but instead comes with static 2D images; backdrops, really.
That said, the flat zombies appear from the fog and you kill these suckers as quickly as possible. There are multiple creature types, so it's in your best interest to learn how each behaves, paying close attention to ones that jump, move in zigzag patterns or come with explosives strapped to their bodies, whereupon which they blow up; don't let those guys get too close.
Thankfully, those 23 guns do an excellent job helping you splatter zombie heads, and you'll find a variety of deadly toys to play with, including the reliable AK-47, P-90 (the N64 GoldenEye gun), M4A1, MP5 and others that require leveling up, which is also why publisher PNIX Games claims that Gun Zombie contains over 500 missions. Easy to say when each gun is, in theory, its own campaign.
On top of that, you also have screen-clearing grenades at your disposal, along with a bullet time option that slows enemies down temporarily. Thing is, both run out quickly, leaving you to consider spending real-world cash to buy more, and PNIX Games does its part to thrust the option into your face on a consistent basis. In fact, you can buy a whole bunch of things, such as a health boost, more bullet time, grenades, Game Points (Gun Zombie's virtual currency) and even a Lucky Box that may contain 100 grenades or 100 bullet times (this costs 9,900 Game Points). As for the advertising, making some in-app purchases clears the game from ads entirely, so there's that.
Despite the aggressive IAP push, however, the developers did a fine job giving players opportunities to earn free stuff through a little work/promotion. Daily missions yield bonuses, along with 10 percent more Game Points at specific times on weekends, and promoting the game on Facebook and Twitter results in 500 Game Points a piece. It'll take multiple hours to unlock everything (expect to run into some walls along the way), but if you're OK with experiencing a fraction of what this game has to offer, you don't need to pay.
That's a cool setup. The presentation, on the other hand, is a bit rough around the edges. Let's face it, Gun Zombie won't win any awards in the "best graphics" category, since it looks even worse than the old Area 51 arcade game; PNIX Games' published App Store and Android screenshots look deceiving, to say the least. We also had a bit of trouble navigating, as the interface isn't as user friendly as it could've been.
At the same time, the old adage of "you get what you pay for" definitely applies. Gun Zombie: Hell Gate can't touch the best zombie shooters on iOS and Android, but it does provide several hours of arcade fun, great for a couple minutes or hours per day. If you enjoy using the undead as target practice, it'll help scratch that itch. That is, unless said itch is a symptom of a zombie infection. Then you're toast.
What's Hot: Arcade zombie blasting with early 90s charm, 23 unique weapons to level up, grenades and bullet time, daily missions and weekend bonuses, infinite Hellwave Mode, Simulation Mode for all weapons, free-to-play.
What's Not: Annoying ads, constant prodding to spend money, sloppy navigation.