Like Tapper With A Soccer Ball - And Zombies, Of Course

Pro Zombie Soccer got a special iPad version - the "Apocalypse Edition" this past week; today we'll take a look at the just-a-buck original which combines a single simple gameplay mechanic with that winningest of themes, the undead.

PZS is like a country music song that thinks up a catchy chorus and then writes the rest of the piece around it. In this case developer Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team (yes, really) figured out the drag-aim-release mechanic - the game's only control - and then wrote a breezy game, and story, to accomodate it. Unlike many games that rely on the iPhone or iPad's multitouch screen, PZS works because your hero is in a fixed position and the control is always set behind him, so your manic dragging and flicking doesn't obscure your objective.

In this case, that's the archetypal shambling (sometimes sprinting) horde of zombies who will, inevitably, overcome you. But not before you take out as many as you can with headshots, powershots, and one of three powerups, including a delightful orbital laser manipulated by the accelerometer.

In the video, I describe the game as similar to Tapper, the 1980s arcade classic, in its basic up-down movement and drag/flick controls. I played that old game forever, but it loses something in emulation on a keyboard. With Pro Zombie Soccer, and the Apocalypse Edition on the iPad, you restore some of that unique tactile feel that Tapper had in its unique cabinet control. It shows that the platform is at its best when it uses the multitouch screen more creatively than just slapping on another virtual joystick and buttons.

Pro Zombie Soccer is $1.19 on the iTunes App Store for iPhone 4; Pro Zombie Soccer Apocalypse edition is $2.49 for the iPad only.

Pro Zombie Soccer [iTunes App Store]

Pro Zombie Soccer Apocalypse Edition [iTunes App Store]


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