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Zombie Panic in Wonderland Plus Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on March 2, 2012


Zombie Panic in Wonderland Plus
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Bubbly cartoonish presentation; Manga-esque with an interesting combo of cute and apocalyptic visuals.
  • No-fuss intuitive controls; tilt to move and touch to shoot.
  • Clever and varied destructive environments; roam from Japan to Snow White's fantasy wonderland, slaying monsters all the way.

CONS

  • Obfuscated IAP options; purchase text unclear about the scope of each item purchased.
  • Game difficulty and poor 'continue' system invariably forces your hand to the IAP store if you haven't purchased the All-In-One pack.

VERDICT

While repetitive, Zombie Panic in Wonderland Plus is none-the-less a beautifully presented and fun action-packed shooter that harkens back to a classic era of Arcade shooters (albeit with a very modern Japanese spin) - however, much like these classics you'll have to pump in many a shiney quarter to scratch beyond the surface of the game's content.


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While I'm inclined to enjoy the odd round of Cabal, Blood Bros. or Wild Guns, the genre of running and gunning on a single screen never really appealed - this was mostly a fault of the controls as there was no real intuitive way to pair moving your character and aiming and shooting in a seamless way. Zombie Panic in Wonderland by Akaoni Studios took a fresh stab at things on the Wii, but now the 'new and improved' Plus version is available for iOS gamers to check out.

And the immediate verdict is that the controls do the game far more justice than a trackball and buttons - I'll admit that this may be a matter of personal preference, but tilting to move around the screen while touching where you want to shoot comes off as far more intuitive. The addition of easy to remember gestures such as swiping your character to perform a diving roll only make it that much easier to avoid enemy fire.

Much like its Arcade forebears, Zombie Panic is all about going all Rambo on a horde of enemies, taking on waves upon waves of zombies while shooting up the surrounding environment for bonus points, ammunition for special weapons and to squash undead foes with the resulting rubble. The premise is simple, but quickly ramps up to extraordinarily difficult proportions as you face newer, faster and more deadly foes including ninja goblins and demons that can block your bullets - it's mayhem, destruction and fun all in a tidy package.

All of this would be incredible if not for the rather shameless way in which access to the game's content is locked behind a pay wall. By now, iOS gamers should be used to such antics, but instead of providing options to earn progress through skilled play, money needs to invariably be exchanged if you want to make any headway. Unlimited continues require money; new characters require money; and the full story campaign requires money. Most insultingly of all, a score affecting bonus can also be purchased (Combo Bonus x2), making it all but pointless to compete in the leaderboards unless you're willing to open your wallet again. It's a minefield that gets even worse when you consider there's content yet to come and it's unclear if the All-In-One package will extend beyond the current version.

As a game, Zombie Panic in Wonderland Plus is a non-stop action-packed slaughter-fest that captures the best aspects of a rarely exploited genre and packages it with slick graphics, intuitive controls, and a difficulty curve that keeps you coming back for more. It's recommended you grab the free version and test out the available content first before jumping in to any paid content; your wallet may just thank you.

Screenshots

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