Late last year, the folks over at Chillingo launched a popular zombie-slaying game for iPhone by the name of Pro Zombie Soccer. Well, now the creators of this bizarre translation of the zombie apocalypse have taken the idea and put it on iPad with Pro Zombie Soccer Apocalypse Edition. Bigger, badder, and full of tongue-in-cheek zombie goodness, this $1.99 app is worth every penny.
An arcade style of game with a far from serious tone, Pro Zombie Soccer Apocalypse is the type of quality mobile game we’ve come to expect from Chillingo (whether they’re the developer or publisher). With simple controls, tremendous amounts of style, and a quirky flair you can’t help but smirk at, this title is easily a must-have for any iPad owner. In fact, the only complaint that can even be thought up is that sometimes the controls are a little clumsy, taking a bit of time to get used to.
Players take on the role of Jax, a failed soccer superstar caught in the middle of the zombie epidemic. It’s the typical zombie apocalypse (hence the game name), except this time around, our hero is bitten right from the get go. Interestingly enough, the bite begins to cause super “zombie powers” since the zombie that bit him was an even more awesome soccer player than Jax himself. Don’t question the details, just go with it. It’s more fun that way; trust us.
For those that haven’t played the original iPhone version, the play is actually quite simple. Players control Jax, who remains static on one side of the screen, while hordes of undead swarm in from the opposite side. Using the touch screen, players adjust the angle of each shot, and let go to shoot, slaying zombies with each hit and racking up points based on kills, successive kills, head shots, and so on.
Of course, that would be a little boring in and of itself, so Chillingo has thrown in an very large variety of zombies to contend with. Some zombies are fat, thus players must press and hold down a kick, charging it, before shooting them. Some tunnel underground and can only be hit when they emerge. Other’s are giant hulking creatures that require multiple hits, while still more have shields that require a bank shot to stop.
With varying amounts of speed and durability, the mix of enemies makes the game quite challenging without being frustrating in the least. In fact, the only constant, is that a head shot marks the only sure fire way to kill a zombie immediately. Even then, however, there are a few exceptions to that rule.
As part of the style that comes with Pro Zombie Soccer, some enemies sport helmets, while other’s are a bit more creative. For example, and easily the most memorable, there is one hulking zombie whose head is bent back behind his back, making it more or less impossible to hit. However, he can still be killed instantly with the ever classic “nut shot.”
Don’t think that play is all the same basic shots either. As users kill hordes of enemies, they will occasionally be granted temporary “zombie powers” that will boost their undead killing effectiveness. From slowing time to making a military satellite “angry” (Jax kicks a soccer ball at it), players are given brief moments in which they can obliterate dozens of enemies at a time. Furthermore, with the quirky visuals and animations, it is a very rewarding scene to watch unfold.
To further mix up the game, Chillingo has also thrown in different types of levels. Beyond the basic aim and shoot, users are occasionally placed in levels where they use a particular zombie power indefinitely, or travel to a new location and actually shoot zombies from a hover bike.
This latter game mode is intriguing, as the controls utilize the iPad’s accelerometer to aim. Unfortunately, this is also where the app’s few complaints come into play. For one, users must be sitting up for it to work properly, and it feels a bit sluggish. It’s actually quite difficult to aim quickly, and when the screen fills up with zombies, constantly tilting and turning the device makes it all the more difficult.
To add onto control qualms, the larger screen is a bit less effective, in regards to the aiming mechanic, than the smaller iPhone. However, this is a trade off for better quality visuals and sound, which — for the record — are fantastic.
On another positive note, since Pro Zombie Soccer is associated with Chillingo, that also means that it is connected to the Crystal social gaming network. With this, players can collect and compare achievements, compete in a wide variety of leaderboards, and in a more interesting addition, issue challenges to not only friends, but as general, global challenges to anyone interested.
Overall, Pro Zombie Soccer Apocalypse Edition is merely a new iteration on an older iPhone game, but it works fantastically for iPad. Yes, the controls feel a little awkward at times, due to the larger screen size, but the greater power of the iPad makes the game look and sound tremendously better. Of course, if you don’t own an iPad, the iPhone version is still just as good and is currently free to help promote the new iPad counterpart.