Zombies Everywhere! Brings The Walking Dead To Your Actual Street [Review]

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I’ve been on a zombie movie kick as of late, and once I’d caught up on Walking Dead and vintage George Romero films, I expanded my sights towards the App Store, where I discovered Useless Creations’ delightful Zombies Everywhere! Augmented Reality Apocalypse.

Zombies Everywhere! by Useless Creations
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Price: $0.99

As its name suggests, Zombies Everywhere is an augmented reality game. What that means is that you play the game by holding up your iPhone (or iPad — although iPhones tend to work better) in front of you as if you’re taking a photo. The device’s rear-facing camera is then activated, and the images that are recorded are pulled in as the game’s background.

Thematically zombies work very well in this role. What makes the zombie horrific is that it offers us a warped take on something that is very familiar to us: be that the reanimated corpse of a person we knew “in real life”, or the frenzied consumerism Romero mocked in his 1978 classic movie Dawn of the Dead. The idea, then, that your own home or neighborhood gets selected as the site for a zombie invasion works well. Everything looks the same, only a little bit different.

Must have something to do with the flies and flesh-eating monsters!

Does the game deliver on its premise? Well, kind of. Executing this concept perfectly would be immensely difficult, but very rewarding. By intelligently mapping out what is a floor, what is a wall, and where specific real world items are in relation to us in terms of perspective, Zombies Everywhere could be a terror-filled classic. Imagine, for example, walking around a corner in your flat, only to see a zombie emerge from behind the door frame, or half-obscured behind a table.

Instead the game goes the easier route by, essentially, featuring zombies that spawn wherever. While the game does a decent job of tracking them with relation to your iOS device — meaning that they don’t move when you move your phone or iPad — there is no comprehension of distance or whatever else. Sit at your desk playing Zombies Everywhere and tiny zombies will appear on your iMac in front of you, while others will hover in the air. It’s perfectly forgivable given how fun the game is, but it could have been so much better.

Zombies drop additional guns and ammo — hastened by a well-placed bullet to the face.

There are a few really neat touches. Your iPhone camera flash is used to create a gunfire strobe effect, which greatly adds to the effect — although, for obvious reasons, is no good for playing outside, on public transport, etc. The selection of weapons is good, and the shooting mechanism works effectively. The developers have been great about keeping the game fresh by adding new weapons on a regular basis, and alongside your regular pistol you’ll have the chance to use an AK-47, shotgun, 44 Magnum, flamethrower, mini-gun, and sniper rifle.

To shoot zombies, you tap on the screen, while aiming is done by moving your iPhone or iPad. When your weapon runs out of ammo, you simply swipe up to reload. Zombies also drop additional guns and ammo — often hastened by a well-placed bullet to the face.

Speaking of enemies, there’s a fun range of them — and new categories are added as you survive for longer, so that the game feels like it has some genuine forwards momentum that makes it more than just about racking up a new high score to post on Facebook.

The whole thing’s not perfect, of course. In their current form augmented reality games are likely to remain an acquired taste, since not everyone is going to want to play a game that requires physically moving around. There are a few glitches when it comes to the graphics, and the issue of IAPs continue to be an annoyance, but overall this is a lot of fun.

For a world-ending zombie apocalypse, that is.

Screen_Shot_2014-03-25_at_17Game Name: Zombies Everywhere!
The Good: A great concept, entertainingly executed.
The Bad: The odd graphical glitch slightly ruins the atmosphere, and IAPs are rife.
The Verdict: A fun zombiepocalypse, staged in the comfort of your iOS device.
Buy from: App Store

Cult of Mac rating: 3/5

  • Plantastic

    and now you can grow a REAL ZOMBIE plant that PLAYS DEAD when you Touch it…then it comes back to life!!

  • Plantastic

    See the real zombie Plant here
    http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/1692/

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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