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Price: £3.99

If the 80s were the decade of bad hair and the 90s were the decade of flannel shirts, then the 2000s were decade of zombies. Why? Well take a look around you. There have been many films and video games dedicated to our rotting friends. In the UK there is even a very minor political party dedicated to their rights which prompted an one day uprising of the “dead”. One of the more unlikely successes was the board game Zombies!!!. So successful in fact that there have been eight or so expansions that introduced zombie dogs and new stores. There is even a spinoff game called Humans!!! where you need to infect said humans and start the zombie apocalypse. So with that mind, small time developer Badonga have created a phone app based off this game, and have for the most part made a fully competent time waster.

For the uninitiated, the aim of the game is to either escape via the helicopter pad by making it to the centre of it, or to just go crazy and rack up 25 zombie kills. Moving around the tiled board, you get to place more tiles on the board, which spawns not only more zombies to get in the way, but also more hearts which grant health and bullets which allow you to improve dice rolls. Players take it in turns to move themselves; play cards which help them in situations and then move the zombies to potentially kill off their rivals. If you should meet your demise, all that happens is that you lose half your kill total and cards in use, and are warped to the town centre with starting health and bullets. As an actual game there is a tactical side of things. Some board games convey tactics far better than this; but for what it is worth, this game is a fat better conversion than one could have hoped for.

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Visually speaking; the game is about on par with the Nintendo DS, which considering that we have seen some really good looking games appear on the Windows 7 phone is a bit disappointing. The solitary track of music will grate slightly, so the additional feature of the phone to have Zune running in the background whilst still having the sound effects running is a bit of a godsend. Perhaps hoping for more sound from a mobile version of a board game was a bit too optimistic.

There are four game varieties. The first is the standard version of the game, but the other three are variants of this basic principle. Quick Play has the helipad shuffled into the bottom half of the tile deck; meaning the game could be over far sooner. Generated Map does away with the tiles, instead favouring the randomly generated map with all the zombies spawning in random locations. Survival is perhaps the most different in that it is like the previously mentioned game mode but with two key differences: firstly you are on your own; secondly if you should die, it’s game over. This is a good challenge, though certain situations are far easier to handle than others. Achievements are hit and miss as while they’re all brilliant, one of them will never trigger in the games current state.

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As far as being a board game conversion is concerned, Zombies!!! achieves this brilliantly and makes the important step of being on a mobile phone. As a result, it is one of the better games currently available on the Windows 7 phone. With all that said, it could have been better. A small bit of product testing and some presentation polish would have helped dramatically. There should also be potential for this game to be the first mobile game with DLC, as the board game has many expansions. It is a good start, but there is plenty of room for improvement…

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