Late night zombie run.
Zombie shooters are nothing new on the iOS front - we're still playing Dead Trigger after all - but BitMonster's Gunner Z offers a nice twist on the genre. Rather than running around on foot and slaying the undead, you're instead sitting in a heavily-armored truck, using a turret to lay down bullets and rocket fire upon the lumbering zombies. And it's a lot of fun.
Here's how the game works. You ride around in a truck that moves automatically, fully capable of rotating your turret 360 degrees and firing at anything that moves. It's hard to miss targets in this game, as you use a kind of "night vision" that highlights them in white silhouettes. While this removes the gore factor from the game, you can still see them collapse in a satisfying heap.
To keep the challenge level worthwhile, you'll have to contend with bigger and bigger hordes of the undead, along with larger zombies that take more damage to bring down - not to mention rival vehicles that try to steal your job from under you. You'll be ready for this escalating challenge though, as you can level up and obtain better weapons, or just see how newer vehicles fare for you.
The controls that underpin all this action work really well. You aim by dragging your finger over the screen, then hold down the fire button to clean things up. The basic aim is very accurate, and - once you earn the necessary upgrade - you can even pinch-zoom the screen for better scoring takedowns via headshots. The core gameplay never changes much beyond this, but as a quick arcade shooter it doesn't really need to.
As a free-to-play game, we were prepared to have some concerns about price-gouging, but BitMonster's system isn't bad. You earn plenty of cash and Z bucks to purchase upgrades and repairs with, although on occasion, if the going gets rough and you die several times, you may need to put down real cash or wait a while before getting back into action. It's completely optional, though, and not nearly as intrusive as these kinds of systems are in other games.
While Gunner Z's presentation won't win any awards, it's still good. As we mentioned above, the "night vision" set-up works wonders for the game, even though that means missing out on the glory of gore. The sound effects are also pretty neat, and we love the "whoosh" of rockets as they rush towards the target. We only wish that your secondary companions in the game weren't static, wallpaper-like figures - they just stand there without showing any emotion at your successes or failures.
No, Gunner Z won't change the zombie-shooter genre as we know it, but it's a solid entry that deserves a download, especially if you like watching black-and-white carnage fly. Destruction is still destruction, after all.
Download Gunner Z iOS
What's Hot:Free-to-play with a moderately fair freemium system, lots of fun mowing down zombies and rival vehicles, and plenty of upgrades and new vehicles to play with.
What's Not:Needing to pay money for certain upgrades and vehicle recoveries, the gameplay doesn't change much outside of shooting, night vision graphics may turn off those looking for more traditional gore.