Mini-Review: Zombies Ala Mode

by: Bengi -
More On: Zombies Ala Mode
Title - Zombies Ala Mode
Developer - Crawl Space Games
Price - $0.99, Lite version for free
Other Platforms - iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad

In Zombies Ala Mode, you're a teenage zombie working as an assistant in an ice cream shop.  Your boss, also a zombie--a rather cranky one at that--insists on tough love and on-the-job training, and puts you right to work.  He scoops ice cream from behind the counter at the top of the screen and throws the scoops down to you at  the bottom.  Using the tilt feature on the device, you can slide right and left catching the scoops.  Customers hold their hands out to your right and left with requests for specific flavors and numbers of scoops.  The faster you fulfill each request, the higher your tip will be, but make the customer wait too long and they get angry and your pay gets docked.  Meanwhile, zombie obstacles are thrown at you, impeding your progress and docking your pay again if you get hit.  If you catch the wrong scoop by accident, you can tap the cone to get rid of it.  To help you out, there is a store that unlocks after the first couple levels where you can purchase items from your tips: some will offer protection from the thrown obstacles while others help in getting you bigger tips. 

This game is very intuitive and easy to pick up game with straightforward controls.  Instructions are direct, and the levels in Career mode progressively walk you through the different tasks being asked of you.  And hey, who doesn't love zombies?  It has simple but cute graphics reminiscent of Plants vs Zombies but without the animation.  The game does support OpenFeint for leaderboards and achievements.

There are three different play modes: Career, Survival, and Bug Attack!  You must play all the way through the Career mode first, however, before it unlocks the other two modes.  There's no way to go back through the levels you played, so if you get stuck on a level (hello falling objects!), you're stuck replaying it over and over again until you actually make money.  The difficulty ramps up quickly, so unless you're a whiz with the tilt, the chances of you getting stuck on a level are high.  The items in the store can help, but are rather expensive based on the amount of money you earn, and after an initial purchase or two, quickly become unattainable.  Adding to the difficulty is a lack of sensitivity of the touch on the handoff of the orders and the recovery from a wrong catch--misses that quickly to angry customers and loss of tips.  All of these factors can lead to a bit of a frustrating experience.

I think Zombies Ala Mode is a decent game for the $0.99 pricetag, and kept me happily entertained until I hit my nemesis level.  The free, Lite version gives a nice taste if you want to try your hand at it first, though seems a bit easier that the paid version.
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