Alive 4-ever RETURNS iPhone Review
Last year, Meridian Digital Entertainment carved a name for itself on the App store with Alive 4-ever, a twin stick shooter that challenges gamers to outlast hordes of flesh-eating zombies. Now the company's back with a brain-munching sequel, aptly titled Alive 4-ever RETURNS. While it provides more of the same monster slaughtering action we know and love, some new skills, weapons and multiplayer make it stand apart from its predecessor.
This time, the deadly zombie virus winds up on Marilla Island, a tourist trap full of people waiting to be a hot lunch. You play as one of four survivors, and must complete a series of objectives to move on to the next stage. These include killing 120 zombies within two minutes, rescuing innocent civilians (and bringing them to a checkpoint unscathed) and defeating a boss. Succeed, and you'll earn valuable experience points and unlock 37 weapons (SCAR, P90, G36) and 13 skills, a list that ranges from adding health to boosting weapons damage.
You'll need all of this stuff, as the game throws endless hordes of critters onto the screen. There are 18 different types of monsters, such as standard issue zombies, fat ones, diseased cops who still know how to fire their pistols, crows and worms. Fortunately, things like dual handguns, rocket launchers and sticky grenades (slows them down) make it a bit easier to turn them into piles of red mush.
That said, the game quickly becomes impossible. Enemies pour in from all sides, surrounding your hero and quickly making short work of him or her. Thankfully, there's four-person co-op via Wi-Fi, so if you have three friends who own the game, we strongly suggest tackling it as a team.
Aside from that, Alive 4-ever RETURNS offers a similar experience to its predecessor. Meridian didn't do much to flesh out the story, and the visuals, while marginally improved, are a bit too dark and muddy to appreciate. However, it's still one of the best dual stick shooters on the iPhone, and quite a bargain at $1.99 (limited time only). Now get those folks off the island.
What's Hot: Forty stages, 37 weapons, four characters to choose from, 18 monsters to blast, four-player co-op, lots of blood.
What's Not: Missions similar to the first game, later stages seem impossible.