The first title from San Mateo, California-based Playforge, Zombie Farm, was a runaway success on iOS.
Now the company has delivered a follow-up in the form of the equally free-to-play Zombie Life. Whereas “Farm” was a charming mixture of games like Farmville and Plants vs. Zombies, “Life” takes the cartoonish undead of the latter and combines them with life simulation mechanics a la The Sims. When the game begins, players find themselves inhabiting the rotting corpse of a zombie, whom they must name and chose some basic appearance characteristics for.
From there, they enter the world. It’s a city laid out in a square like in a board game, that features businesses where they can get jobs and other stores that offer new appearance and clothing options. Then, of course, there is their home, which can be decorated to the player’s liking for a price. There are also additional towns to visit, with different businesses to shop and work at.
Before taking a job, players have some ropes to learn. This includes passing themselves off as a normal human by using deodorant — and not biting the legit living. This proves to be a double-edged sword. Biting people ensures the player’s happiness, but will eventually tip off the non-dead to the zombie’s presence. If this happens, players can’t work or shop until the alert level is lowered. It’s something that takes care of itself over time, or can be sped up at a premium.
Players must take a job, such as working at a Burger Kong restaurant, in order to afford better items and progress through experience levels. After being hired, players can return to their place of employment every so often and participate in mini-games in order to earn money and experience. These games rely heavily on the touch screen, tasking players with tapping puddles to clean them up and other such actions. Each interaction of this type exhausts a unit of the player’s energy, which will replenish over time or can be refilled for a price. Players can hold multiple jobs, depending on the amount of time they wish to invest.
Zombie Life is monetized through in-app purchases of Gems, a premium currency used to purchase some of the more elaborate or special clothing, appearance, and deco items, and also put an end to the alerts when townspeople learn of a zombie in their midst. Energy refills can also be purchased using Gems, should players not wish to wait for it to recharge on its own. The game does not support social features or integration with Game Center style platforms.Having launched on October 14, Zombie Life is sitting at No. 4 on the App Store’s top free games list for iPhone. It’s at No. 21 on the top grossing games list (Zombie Farm is still ahead of it at No. 18).
You can follow Zombie Life’s progress using AppData, our tracking service for mobile games and developers.