Akaoni Studio’s WiiWare title Zombie Panic In Wonderland happily sits in the centre of a Venn diagram composed of ninja, guns, fairytales and zombies, a mash-up of video game cliche to dizzy the mind.
Like the laser shooting galleries that you might find in a low rent holiday resort, this third person shooter has you firing at targets (the zombies, rather than the Little Red Riding Hoods) as they approach your fixed position, while you dodge left and right to avoid their vomit projectiles.
Story mode sends protagonist Momotaru through a series of fairytale-themed dioramas, each stage completed when you fill the ‘Enemy Destruction’ gauge, which fills slowly as you destroy enemies and objects. The destructible environments collapse under your fire, while tottering gnomes occasionally wander onto stage, offering better weapon drops if you manage to smash them before they depart.
This iOS port is technically accomplished, asking that you tilt the device to move your character while trailing your finger around the screen to direct the stream of bullets, although the enjoyable two-player mode from the WiiWare version has been dropped.
The 3D models exude Japanese charm and the colourful visuals make this one of the more attractive 3D titles on iOS. Meanwhile a combo multiplier that escalates your points if you kill zombies in quick succession ensures there’s an interesting score mechanic underpinning what is, essentially, an orthodox arcade game.
Once again, however, we have a game whose competitive edge is ruined by thoughtless in-App Purchase design. As a free-to-play game, it’s entirely reasonable that Zombie Panic In Wonderland Plus should ask players to purchase anything other than the most basic mode, and the option to buy new characters and outfits is understandable. Likewise, the decision to remove advertisements for any purchase is a good one.
But the ‘Combo Bonus x2′ IAP, that doubles your combo point in the end of the level tally to “Help you get the highest worldwide score!” is a game-ruining option for anyone wanting to compete across the Game Center leaderboards.
Nevertheless, it’s well worth a download to see if the tilt and shoot rhythms of play appeal.