Gears & Guts
Make zombies go splat in this gore-filled game from Glu.
Gears & Guts reminds us of the film Drive with Ryan Gosling, if said movie took place within a post apocalyptic world filled with zombies, and uh, Ryan Gosling's character strapped rockets to his car. OK, we've made better comparisons, but that doesn't take away from this freemium game's appeal. It may not be the most original title on iOS and Android, but it still lets you plow into undead flesh eating monsters, sending globs of blood and gore flying in every direction. Besides, in this game, squashing a specific type of zombie causes your car to skid on its gooey remains. What's not to like?
To that end, the game features missions that'll sound familiar if you consider yourself a zombie connoisseur, with goals that involve slaughtering a set number of creatures within a time limit, protecting a small group of survivors or picking up supplies while causing mayhem along the way. That said, the majority of these tasks can be completed within minutes, giving Gears & Guts a casual-friendly feel that helps make it accessible to players of all skill levels. Well, that and the tight controls, which break off into touch screen and tilt. We tested both, and each one is spot-on. It's more a matter of personal taste, really.
Now before you head out to save the world (what's left of it, anyway), know this: those zombies will do their best to transform your vehicle into a fire-consumed wreck. Sure, the base level enemies just get in the way, but wait until you meet the ones that explode upon impact, or the guys that grab onto your car/truck. Ah yes, and how can we forget the bruisers that'll deplete your health bar in seconds? They're especially nasty.
Fortunately, the game comes with a wide selection of vehicles, some of which pay homage to classic movies like National Lampoon's Vacation and even the beloved TV series, Transformers. While you're free to make upgrades, eventually, you'll need to part with a favorite and go for something with a little more stopping power. You know, like a cement truck.
On top of that, you'll find a wealth of nasty toys to pimp your ride with, such as a flamethrower called Ripley (an obvious Aliens reference), chainsaw, Mk.2 Howitzer, laser rifle and even barbed wire grills. Naturally, some are better than others, and you can use duplicates to upgrade your car or truck.
Naturally, with Gears & Guts being free, there's the expected catch of in-app purchases. You'll find two forms of currency, bolts and gold, with the latter being increasingly difficult to acquire from normal play. And of course, the best rides and gear just so happen to cost gold. You can grab 40 pieces for $1.99, 5,200 pieces for $99.99 and varying amounts in between. Do you need to spend real-world cash to enjoy the game? No, but parting with some dough makes things easier and more rewarding.
As far as issues go, the game tends to chug with too many zombies on screen, though we doubt it'll affect your performance. Beyond that, those missions are really the same ones we've completed in countless zombie games before. No, we weren't behind the wheel of a futuristic Lamborghini armed with an assault rifle, but they still feel cookie cutter all the same.
Our biggest complaint, however, centers on the whole upgrade system, specifically with the menus. It's too easy to make an accidental purchase when you intended to cancel some undesired action. Some menu tweaks could go a long way.
Still, we can't help but consider Gears & Guts a guilty pleasure, thanks in large part to its wealth of vehicle/weapon combinations and of course, all that blood. If you can fit another zombie game into your collection (And why wouldn't you?), this one will keep you power sliding through corpses, perhaps much longer than expected.
What's Hot: Squashing hundreds of zombies, outfitting cars and trucks with cool weapons, excellent touch and tilt controls.
What's Not: Gold coins too hard to come by, unoriginal mission objectives, slight performance stutter with lots of zombies on-screen, not the greatest interface.