Agents. I’m pleased to inform you all that our efforts to acquire a C130 Gunship for our department have been successful. Unfortunately, the Department of Defense has not allocated us adequate training time on a simulator. However we here at the Department of Electronic Entertainment are hardly without our own means of simulating combat.
I’m sure most of you are familiar with the Gunship sequences in Call of Duty where you controlled the weapons on a plane that was circling over a battlefield, and you used a night-vision display to pick off ground troops with your flying arsenal. Now how about all of those Zombies you fight in Call of Duty mini-games; wouldn’t it be handy if there were a game where you could fly around in an army gunship, taking down zombies on your iPhone? Well that game exists, and CoD’s publisher Activision had nothing to do with it.
Despite the uncreative title, Zombie Gunship is a very inspired game. It blends military realism with the zombie apocalypse in a simple app that has intuitive controls, and addictive gameplay. Agents, this app will henceforth be our training simulator for all personnel who are assigned to the gunship.
If you aren’t familiar with the AC-130 Gunship scenes in Call of Duty, they give you a bird’s eye view of a combat zone, which you see through a thermal camera mounted on a heavily-armed plane. Zombie Gunship uses the same idea, only instead of fighting Russians and Terrorists, you’re trying to protect civilians from a swarm of the undead.
The backstory isn’t explained, and doesn’t need to be. Zombies are bad, and have taken over the Earth. All you need to know is that there is a survival bunker on one side of the map, and you’ll have to provide cover fire for groups of people who enter from various points on the map as they make their way through the zombies. The zombies are also heading to the bunker, and you have to prevent them from reaching their destination like in a tower defense game. The aiming is tricky because it takes a second for your bullets to travel the vast distance to the targets on the ground. Adding a bit more challenge is the fact that you’re on a moving plane, so your view of the field is constantly changing. You also have to avoid friendly fire; one wrong shot and you’ve taken an innocent life; kill too many civilians and you’re mission is over.
You have three weapons, a machine gun for targeting individuals, a 40 mm grenade launcher for small groups, and a 105 mm howitzer for providing shock and awe. Ammo is unlimited, but each weapon has a reload time, or a cool down. You get a bounty for each zombie you kill or civilian you rescue, and after each mission you can upgrade your firepower and equipment. This provides incentive to replay endlessly in order to get that next upgrade (Or to spend real-world money to buy more game coins).
The graphics are very simple because you’re viewing the action through thermal surveillance equipment. The zombies are just black shambling stick figures, and humans are glowing white figures. The animation is done well enough for you to tell the difference between good guys and bad guys. While there isn’t much of it, the sound design is excellent. The plane’s engines, the guns and explosions all sound authentic, and a voice over gives you commands in realistic military jargon.
Unfortunately, each mission is essentially the same thing. There’s just one map, and only a couple of enemy types, regular zombies and bigger zombies. Missions take about two minutes before your bunker is reached by the rotting horde, so Zombie Gunship is very repetitive.
Of course that repetitive action is blowing up zombies with a Howitzer so it isn’t a big complaint.
At .99¢ it’s a great bargain and will definitely hold your attention for longer than most games in that price range, especially if blasting zombies with heavy artillery is a thing you like to do. However, at the time of this writing, the game is free on the iStore. Needless to say, Call of Duty fans who’ve been waiting for something like this for years will find this a must-buy app.
All DoEE agents are advised to download this app ASAP.