Hello everyone out there reading this, here’s a really important question (aimed at saving everyone present some valuable time): did you personally happen to enjoy the infamous Flappy Bird? Because should you have answered ‘no,’ then I can tell you right now — with the utmost of confidence — that Zombie Food (out now, $0.99) is almost assuredly not the game you were ever looking for. Realistically, you should probably steer clear of this one either way — even if you did happen to like Flappy Bird — but now I’m getting ahead of myself in regards to proper review methodology.
You control this game — much like Flappy Bird before it — by touching the screen in order to command your rotting fish head to “jump” upwards, after which it will begin falling back down unless command it to jump once more. However — rather than dodging green pipes here, as was done in Flappy Bird — your objective this time around is to evade hideously mutated carnivorous foodstuffs (the titular “Zombie Foods”). You will lose one of your three life-points either when you slam into one of these no-good munchies; or whenever you attempt to go off the beaten path, rather than striving to thread-the-needle.
Before I continue on with this review, I think I should probably give credit where its actually due: the varied designs of the zombie foodstuff — which are always twisting and writhing — were all well implemented (but that’s about the only nice thing I have to say).
Anyways — getting back to topic — your goal here, unlike Flappy Bird’s high scores driven focus, isn’t to endlessly dodge these zombie food-things (which is probably for the best, given the game’s slow pace). Instead you’re striving to eat a specified number of items shown in the bottom right hand corner, with the level — of which there are fifty in total — ending when you’ve completed your entire shopping list. Although it probably goes without needing to be stated, you’re thankfully unharmed whenever your fish head bumps into any of the items listed on your ghoulish grocery-list of the utterly-damned.
Admittedly this probably does sound like a somewhat decent prospect on paper, but the chief problem would have to be that the entire structure of each level is 100% randomized. Therefore — as you’re endlessly tapping the screen to avoid slowly moving obstacles — you’ll often find yourself wondering how long before a stage can finally end, and the answer to this will often have more to do with luck than your actual skill. Although you could easily have a short run that ends in success, you could just as easily have a stage go on forever — eventually ending in failure after many minutes — all because the Random Number Generator decided to never spawn any of the items you needed.
This setup can quickly turn Zombie Food into a dreadfully banal experience, as opposed to the harrowingly fast-paced — utterly white-knuckled — experience that made Flappy Bird successful (after all, the average Flappy Bird session is measured in mere seconds). Although the developers have promised that you’ll later have access to power-ups, you’d have to first get past the game’s initial ten stages — all of which are mind-numbingly tedious — before you’re granted access to these. Still, if you’ve ever found yourself wishing for a far-slower paced version of Flappy Bird — featuring hideously mutated zombie foodstuff — then this is probably the only app in town offering what you want.
Although the various zombie foodstuffs are all creative and well animated, the ultra slow pace of Zombie Food – mixed with randomly generated levels that can make victory more about luck than skill — quickly lead to a banal experience. Although later levels do offer power-ups to enhance the player’s experience, you’d have to first go through many arduously long — not to mention utterly tedious — stages before they’re finally unlocked. Ultimately — unless you’ve long been wishing for a Halloween themed version of Flappy Bird, that furthermore contains evil food — this is one game you should just skip, especially when much better apps can be had for free.