See New Perspectives on the Zombie Apocalypse in Zombie Gunship on iPhone

Aside from birds, zombies are probably the next biggest cliched creature to thrive in mobile games. Even more cliche is the zombie apocalypse, where players are usually civilians trying to survive after the military has become all but extinct.

Well, Limbic Software is seeking to remedy that with its new iPhone title, Zombie Gunship. Released just last Thursday, the $0.99 game has already shot up the top paid iPhone apps list, and currently rests at #2.

A survival game, players battle endless waves of the undead from the gunner’s seat of one of the military’s premiere pieces of aerial hardware, the AC-130. Simple in its design, Zombie Gunship offers gratifying play and is almost certainly inspired by one Call of Duty 4’s most memorable levels. Even if the concept isn’t quite new, the iOS title feels very fresh.

Instead of playing the game as civilians trying to reach safety, players are soldiers and get to play with top military toys like the AC-130 gunship, with 25MM, 40MM, and 105MM rounds. Users have to defend a single bunker from an ever-growing horde of zombies as remaining civilians attempt to reach it.

Circling high above the desolate level, the play functions more or less the same as the Modern Warfare level, “Death From Above.” That said, the key difference is that Modern Warfare’s level was highly scripted and a one-time deal. Zombie Gunship, on the other hand, is a matter of simply surviving for as long as possible.

When starting out, players are granted a 25MM gatling gun and a wide-angled camera. With the 25MM, the camera zooms in significantly for more accuracy. With each shot, a small area of effect kills or damages nearby enemies as they meander towards the bunker entrance from all sides.

Along with black silhouetted zombies, players will also have to deal with white silhouetted civilians. They have to be wary not to hit any because if there are too many casualties, the mission will end. The game also ends if any zombies successfully breach the bunker.

To help the player out, cash is rewarded for each civilian that reaches the bunker and every zombie that’s killed. The currency can go toward upgrading the AC-130 with new and better weaponry. Players can buy a 40MM bofors gun and a 105MM howitzer. Each of these gives the player a wider view and also grants a larger area of effect for damage. That said, neither are ideal for avoiding civilians.

Each weapon can also be upgraded in terms of speed, reload time, damage radius and so on. However, should players be satisfied with their current load-out, they can also buy power-ups like more currency per zombie kill or automatic, limited-use defenses for the bunker.

As one might expect, this currency system also provides a monetization scheme on top of the $0.99 price tag. “Coins,” as they are called, can be bought in quantities ranging from 10,000 to 1.5 million, costing $0.99 and $49.99 respectively.

All in all, there is little surprise that the game has done so well on the top paid iPhone app charts in such a short amount of time. The game is extraordinarily simple, yet remains fun and addictive to play. On top of this, each attempt is not tremendously long, making play-on-the-go ideal. Along with Game Center leaderboards for even more longevity, Zombie Gunship is an excellent game well worth its dollar price tag.