Two very tired concepts right now are zombies and ‘freemium’ mobile games. Merging those two themes is the new entry from Dragonhead Games, Zombies & Trains for iOS. Even if it’s just a buck, is your train ticket worth the price, or should you just skip this railroad ride?
30 Second Review
(+) Fast, frantic action, perfect for on the go
(-) Can be repititious
Zombies & Trains is not very different, in concept, from many mobile games: give the player a simple objective that becomes increasingly difficult to attain. The main ‘Arcade Mode’ features a golden brain statue in the middle of four crossed train tracks–two vertical and two horizontal. As zombies spawn on the map, your job is to touch the tracks you wish to summon trains on and crush the zombies before they can reach the brain. Be careful, it is entirely possible to cause a train wreck and limit your ability to summon more trains for a couple seconds. You earn points and coins for kills and high scores, allowing you to unlock power-up items and boosts that can be used during rounds, similar in theory to features used in Jetpack Joyride and Temple Run. Of course, you may also purchase more coins with real money via microtransactions, but that is a feature I seldom, if ever, have used.
If the main ‘Arcade mode’ doesn’t tickle your fancy, there are three more game modes to satiate your thirst for zombie train wrecks: Wave Mode, Crossing and Slaughter. Wave Mode is just as it sounds: find out just how many waves of zombies you and your trains can survive. The last two game modes, Crossing and Bloodbath, are similar in that each is limited to a one minute timer. Crossing has only two horizontal tracks, with a brain at the bottom of the screen and one minute to score high and keep the brain safe from zombies. Bloodbath removes the brain and tosses in a third horizontal track, letting you see just how many kills and points you can rack up in 60 seconds.
Zombies & Trains is a fantastic mobile game. The matches are short and addicting, letting that ‘one more round and I’ll beat my high score’ really sink into your brain. Of course, there are leaderboards and Gamecenter integration to make sure your zombie squishing skills are on par with those of your friends. The game modes are fun, the power-ups change up your strategies and the concept offers buckets of zombie blood and fun for the small price of entry. You’ll easily gain much more than a dollars worth of zombie smashing with Zombies & Trains. Grab your conductors hat and a Tide-To-Go pen, because this train ride isn’t cute like Thomas the Tank Engine; it’s bloody and a bloody good time!