If you mention zombies to most learned folks they will likely roll their eyes and sigh with sympathy for another mind given over to the current fringe fad. They may offer a few patronizing words about the origin of the zombie lore and something to the affect that the undead are no more real than Sasquatch and crop circles created by extraterrestrials.
Still, as years go by without incontrovertible proof that the hairy giant exists, and with a persistent sneaking suspicion that alien minds advanced enough to traverse the vastness of space would not be inclined to use corn and wheat fields to create elaborate folk art, I find that my affinity for and the belief in the possibility of zombies remains intact, and that the notion of a zombie apocalypse is a very real possibility.
I should qualify that. I don't believe that the dead can be reanimated and go in search of brains or whatever the recently deceased has a hunger for. I can't find any thing in science to validate why the dead walk in The Walking Dead. I chalk those and similar zombies up to Hollywood glam.
The zombies I believe could exist are those who are not quite dead from an illness of some sort and their disease induced goal is spread the contagion much like a rabid squirrel might. Get enough folks infected and you have a zombie apocalypse, and that's when the fun really begins.
These poor creatures are not who they once were, the disease has eradicated that part of them. All that's left are feverish, drooling hulks whose only purpose is to bite, or worse, feed.
I suppose their intent doesn't matter much at the end of the day, what matters is avoiding them at all cost. If you have a violent streak then a better option is to dispatch the almost dead by any means at your disposal. Hollywood has made billions on the concept. Game makers are catching up. I'm sure that a sizable portion of the games available for iOS have zombies themes.
If releasing zombies from theirs shambling existence is how you like to spend your bathroom time, I have three free iOS games you may be interested in, so let's get to it.
Call of Mini: Zombies [106 MB, all iOS devices, iOS 4.3 or later, Developer: Triniti Interactive Limited]
If you like your simulated zombie destruction on the cutesy side then Call of Mini: Zombies is for you.
There are several "Mini" games available all focused on Lego Mini figures, and in this game your hero and the zombie horde all look and move like real "life" Minis might. The game's a hoot to play too.
You can arm your hero with various weapons then go into an arena and collect as much dough as possible to buy better equipment. You'll need all the help you can get too because the zombie horde is relentless and each time they bite your little blocky guy his health takes a hit. The game is over when your hero's health is depleted.
Choose your hero then get to work
There are several arenas including a co-op that lets you and a friend watch each other's backs and a head-to-head arena where you go mini a mini while taking out the undead.
This and the other two games mentioned here are "Freemiums", meaning that the game is free to play, you pay real money for any serious upgrades. I like CoM: Zombies because you can still have fun without spending a dime.
Zombie HQ [85 MB, all iOS devices, iOS 4.3 or later, Developer: Fuse Powered Inc]
This game is a little less cartoonish, but the concept is the same, take out as many zombies as possible. In Zombie HQ, however, you get to go on missions with defined goals. Sadly, there's no co-op game.
The graphics are quite good and the controls are fine. There's lots of free or easily gained equipment to choose, but the interface is so busy that it's easy to wind up in a screen where spending real money is required. So just be careful.
The HQ in Zombie HQ
I like that you can swap your hero out whenever you make it back to HQ, and you can swap out weapons anytime. You can carry two weapons, one for long range and the other for up-close work. Be careful, get too close to some zombies and they explode(!).
Zombie HQ is a fun freemium so check it out.
Into the Dead [37.2 MB, all iOS devices, iOS 5.0 or later, Developer: Prodigy Design Limited T/A Sidhe Interactive]
This is my favorite of the three. It's a fairly simple twist on the running games that are popular now. In the game you've survived a helicopter crash, you're in a dark field and surrounded by zombies. Your only option is to run for your life.
The first-person view as you run flat out while dodging the dead is both creepy and fun. You can choose how you maneuver, but I'd stick with the default tilt control.
As you get further along you can find caches of guns, so now, not only are you running, but also blasting anything that gets in your way. You also encounter more zombies and other obstacles that might cause you to trip. Get caught and you become dinner for the dead.
Ummm..., I think you'd better run for it.
This freemium is a little different than the others in that you can pay to get rid of the ads that pop up between games as well as buy coins for upgrades. And it is possible to unlock most if not all the weapons without spending anything.
If I had a complaint about Into the Dead is would be that the tilt control doesn't quite impart the control I would have if I were running for real. I'd like to be able to sharply veer to the left or right, or at least sidestep on occasion. As it is now when you tilt you kinda move in that direction which sometimes isn't fast enough to avoid a obstacle.
Still Into the Dead is a creepy good time that you'll come back to time and again.
That's a wrap for this week.
This week's free App of the Week is a good one, Angry Birds: Space.