As I sit to write this review I’m struck by how busy life is. This hectic overreach is as clear with gaming today as it is with anything else. I often talk of my gaming shame pile – Those titles I’m still yet to finish or, in too many cases, even begin in earnest. Slice Zombies cuts straight to the point and wastes no time in providing your gaming fill. More subtly it offers some simple progression and variety that makes the game worth coming back to. The only way in which grind can be applied to Slice Zombies is as a description of your merciless attacks against the undead horde!
Slice Zombies has the look and feel of Fruit Ninja Kinect, a game familiar to me from the 360 and original Kinect. More recently it’s latest instalment appeared on Xbox One, boasting a 7.5/10 in our review. Made Apps’ game feels very much like a homage to Halfbrick’s now classic predecessor.
Despite the obvious transition from apples and pears to walkers and biters, there is added complexity in the player levelling system, unlocking a variety of additional zombie types on your journey from novice zombie hacker at level 1 to Z Samurai Master at level 21. I shamelessly say that I am yet to complete this road to Zombie mastery but am definitely looking forward to my next slashing session!
The graphics are bright, and cheery with zombie models similar in style to those from the popular Plants vs. Zombies games. The physics are fun and make for great back seat gaming as you assist (despite being encouraged not to) with the identification and prioritisation of Zombie victims flying, jumping or teleporting onto the screen. Zombie targets definitely get my vote over fruit! There are some very simple blood effects in the game in case parents wish to consider these, however their simple nature is hardly apparent.
The sound set is elegant, objective orientated and essential. The sound of bombs being launched is distinctive and offers some prior warning, though it may not help if you have the co-ordination of a hippo on ice. All in all, the game is a simple pleasure to the eyes and ears.
This brings me back to my original point. Slice Zombies is at it’s core a pick up and play game with character. It’s quickly accessible gameplay mechanics – slashes and grabs – alongside the simple rules of survive the clock, chop all zombies and avoid the bombs, make this the ideal family affair. Zombie hands (with a look of Cousin It from the Addams Family), which crawl across the screen can be swiped for bonus points and made more effective through upgrades. Whether you have 5 minutes or 5 hours, the simple to learn and hard to master style will spark that competitive inner flame. Having said that, don’t expect a Slice Zombies world championship any time soon. Instead, all home conflict should be settled in Slice Zombies; from who does the washing up to who is ultimate master king boss of the family. The tension, investment and inevitability make for serious fun!
The game also includes a shop well stocked with alternate backgrounds and swipe graphics (I went for rocket hands!) as well as gameplay bonuses. The extra life is a must! Whilst playing, you not only make character level progress but can swipe the coins necessary for the shop items. There is a cruel reminder of your own greed when swiping a bomb whilst reaching for these or, possibly worse, flailing in mad fashion at the end of round bonus coins as they dart across the screen, spelling out various positive messages.
What Slice Zombies lacks is a variety of modes. After playing a few rounds, I went back to the main menu hoping for a change in objective, but was left wondering. It is to be hoped that Made Apps (An indie development team of two) can use Slice Zombies launch as a springboard to success, perhaps rewarding it’s early fans with additional content (please?!).
One small side note that some may appreciate is that most of the achievements are in easy reach. Achievement hunters are generously rewarded for throwing their best shapes after only a short time playing and might even find the game keeps their attention beyond the 1000G.
Last, but possibly most important, we must consider price. At £7.99 Slice Zombies is one of the cheapest games on the Xbox One Marketplace and it’s solid but limited experience seems right at this price point. It does however sit amongst other great titles at this price, such as Goat Simulator and Ultratron, so it’s competition is by no means easy. If you are looking for a title that offers evenings of family fun for £8, this game should offer that solidly and possibly more. Grab it now and slice away!
Released: 8 May 2015
Zombie Slashing Family Fun! You’ll forget about your five a day when the Zombies come after you! Indie Developers Made Apps proud two man mission against the undead!