Zombies are pretty scary, right? They dribble and moan and stuff. Just thinking of them, shuffling towards me with that slow swagger of theirs, it gives me the creeps. Well, it did, until I found the ideal antidote: Zombie Rider. Because what’s scary about a zombie if it’s perched precariously on a motorbike, repeatedly tumbling into the ground and dislocating its head? It makes it seem almost like zombies are brain-dead. What next, zombies that fight plants?
As well as curing my zombie related anxieties, Imperial Game Studio’s 99 cent Zombie Rider also made me very frustrated. I’m used to being fairly good at games because of how many I play, but initially I just couldn’t get the hang of this one. You drive a motorbike-toting zombie across bumpy 2D tracks by touching the right of the screen to make him accelerate, and the left of the screen to make him brake or reverse. Tilting your device tilts the bike forwards or backwards – this is the crux of the gameplay. You need to stay upright whilst driving, avoiding a neck-snappingly painful injury. Tilting the bike also affects how high or far it travels through the air, and can be used to help you travel up steep hills. The controls suit the game well. Worth noting is that accelerometer sensitivity can be adjusted, allowing you to fine tune the app controls to your liking.
The game contains three levels, each split into seven or eight different stages – effectively, the app consists of 22 different tracks to conquer. Each stage can apparently be completed within a minute or so, but I found that I often took around five minutes. Getting certain times on each track gets you a bronze, silver or gold medal. Picking up the coins that litter each track takes important seconds from your time, boosting your chances of getting a shinier medal.
Graphically, the game is appealing, with different backgrounds for each level and comical zombie ragdoll limb-flailing when you crash. The app’s audio is fairly good, with a few functional sound effects and a soundtrack to rock to, but nothing that really stands out as amazing.
Overall, Zombie Rider is worth a download if you’re into driving games that put precision before speed. Track design is good, providing an entertainingly frustrating challenge that mounts as you progress through the game. The app only takes one to two hours to complete, even if you’re as bad at it as me. However, you’re likely to want to replay levels to get those medals and kick ass on the game’s leaderboards. Or, you might want to show off how dedicated you are to being rubbish by earning the ‘crash 1000 times’ achievement. I think I know which one I’ll be doing.