by: Simon Hill
; edited by: Wendy Finn
; updated: 4/17/2012
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What could be more fun than blasting some shuffling corpses to smithereens with a shotgun? Get ready for some undead carnage as we review the Stupid Zombies game for iPhone and Android.
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Like many people I am afflicted with a zombie obsession sparked by the genius of Romero’s original Dead trilogy. There’s something lovable about those shambling, brain dead, shells of humanity. In Stupid Zombies you are cast as a shotgun wielding, tank top wearing, hero with a quiff -- in the mould of Ash (Bruce Campbell) from the Evil Dead movies. Your aim is to wipe each level clean of the eponymous stupid zombies standing or shambling around.
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Getting Started with Stupid Zombies
The game is extremely accessible and it makes good use of the touch screen. You start each level at the bottom left of the screen and you simply tap anywhere on the screen to fire there. You have to complete each level to unlock the next, exactly like Angry Birds. Anyone could pick this up and play, although some parents may not want their kids to try it because there is blood involved and the zombie’s heads are easily detached.
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Stupid Zombies Gameplay
The puzzles start out gently. Each level is populated with some hapless zombies and you need to put them all down in order to progress. Your bullets will bounce off the walls and surfaces in each level and the fewer bullets you use to dispatch your undead foe, the higher your score will be. Stupid Zombies features a three star rating system for each level, again exactly like Angry Birds.
As the levels wear on, the architecture becomes more complex and some new puzzle features such as exploding barrels, switches to open doors and moving obstacles are introduced into the action. There’s usually a way to slaughter all the zombies with a single shot, so even if you complete a level there’s a lot of replay value as you try again in pursuit of a perfect three star rating.
There are four stages in chapter one with 60 levels in each. Then there’s chapter two, where you’ll find some interesting new ammunition options that allow for new kinds of puzzles. You can fire grenades, split shot ammo and even buckshot. The developers just released the first update which contains stage one of chapter two, offering another 60 levels taking the total up to 300. That’s plenty of entertainment to keep you busy. This is easily one of the best zombie games for Android.
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The Art and Sound of Stupid Zombies
It is an attractive game with a cute cartoon style. The zombies look great and they flop about as ragdolls when blasted. They can also come apart and it’s not uncommon to see a zombie head fly off, complete with a jet of blood spurting into the air, before landing and rolling to rest at your feet. The backgrounds are fairly basic but they strike the right tone.
The music in the menus works well. In game you get moaning zombie sounds at the start and there are squelchy sound effects for the slaughter. You’ll also hear bullet ricochets. The sound is perfectly adequate but nothing special.
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What’s Wrong with Stupid Zombies?
Played on my HTC Desire the performance isn’t perfect. The game takes a few seconds to load and individual levels also take a while to start after you select them. There’s also quite a long pause between levels and you can’t use the Menu button in game – you have to use the onscreen pause control. This also means you have to come back out to the main menu to turn the sound on or off.
The Android version is free, which is great, but there are ads. They aren’t too intrusive and should only be visible on the menu screens, although I did notice them creeping into a level on a couple of occasions which was distracting and irritating.
Since you have to tap on the screen to fire it can be tough to get the precise aim you want for some of the levels. The bigger your touch screen display, the easier Stupid Zombies will be to play.
The only other minor detraction from the gory fun is the bizarre physics on some of the obstacles. Wooden planks in particular seem to ping around as though they are on bungee ropes.
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The presentation and format of Stupid Zombies is very reminiscent of Angry Birds and the addictive hook is pretty similar too. The gameplay is distinct enough that the comparison can end there and Stupid Zombies definitely does have an identity of its own. One last similarity is that the iPhone version costs ($0.99) whereas Android owners can enjoy the carnage for free.
The problems with the game are not a big deal and Stupid Zombies is, for the most part, great fun. It offers a lot of entertainment and even at $0.99 it is well worth grabbing. The fact the developers have just released extra content and introduced some new gameplay elements with moving zombies and different ammo types bodes well for the future of the app. So, what are you waiting for? Those zombies won’t kill themselves. Fire up that boomstick and let the slaughter begin!