Zombie Wonderland 2 isn’t bad, but it could have used a little more time in the ground before it was released
Being the savior of humanity and the man who’s willing to make a last stand against hordes of monsters is a lonely, hard job. It’s not fun and games. No, wait, change that: It’s totally fun and games, at least according to Chillingo’s new defense/RTS title Zombie Wonderland 2: Outta Time! In fact, the game manages to prove that when it comes to fighting the things that go bump in the night, sometimes all you need to have a good time is a couple of barrels of buckshot and some ingenuity.
Zombie Wonderland 2 takes place in the small town of Niceville, which is as nice as it sounds except for one tiny problem: the place is swarming with the undead. You direct the actions of a”zombie cleaner” (read: shotgun-wielding exterminator and janitor) who has to defend buildings from the incoming hordes of zombies. Chuck quickly goes from defending his neighbors to traveling through time in order to find some treasures that can help end the zombie menace once and for all. The plot is actually fairly cute and goofy, with memorable moments like with how Chuck is required to get a glass of milk to satisfy the appetite of a vegetarian vampire. Unfortunately the dialogue screens explaining the plot are so cheesy that they’re borderline painful.
Thankfully, the game’s graphics and sound do a lot to compliment the goofy/ridiculous feeling of the plot. The music is playful and fun, while the 3D graphics and automatically-adjusting camera do a great job of keeping track of the zombies as they approach, as well as shifting perspectives when Chuck moves from one side of the building to the other.
Chuck finds himself defending buildings for three nights in a row before he can move on to the next part of the story. Defending these establishments consists of boarding up the windows, setting turrets, and employing Chuck’s trusty shotgun “Betsy” to put the undead back in the ground. Gameplay is pretty simple: Tapping on a window will move Chuck next to it, where you can press a button to start boarding things up or deploy a turret. Meanwhile, when the zombies start approaching, tapping on them will cause Chuck to fire his shotgun at them. There’s an item in each building that you have to protect; if you can keep it safe and no zombies manage to make it inside, you’ll get a bonus score.
Meanwhile, Chuck can purchase upgrades from the in-game store with the gold he earns while fighting zombies. These upgrades include more powerful ammunition and weapons, including a cannon that is worn on the head and fires automatically. Of course if you want to actually speed things up and buy new gear early on, you can purchase some extra gold with real money, and the cost is pretty negligible.
While the gameplay is simple, it’s not perfect. The touch interface doesn’t always seem to work reliably. At the moment, it’s not too uncommon to have the game miss your taps, which is irritating, especially when you wind up getting overrun by the shambling masses because the game didn’t let you fire your shotgun when it should have. Also, the game is a bit unstable, as it seems prone to crashing at random.
Zombie Wonderland 2: Outta Time! is surprisingly fun, but it’s still got some stuff that needs to be addressed by the QA team over at Chilingo. Still, it’s been a while since we had a truly good zombie game released for iOS devices, and this is a title that — with a little work — could easily meet this goal.