Zday: Zombie Apocalypse Survival Simulator iPad Review

Anyone who loves zombies also daydreams about the inevitable undead apocalypse. More specifically, how he or she would survive, right down to the most minute detail. Carving knife or revolver? Hold up at home, or set off into the unknown? Heck, there's even a Zombie Survival Guide one can buy. You know, just in case.

To that end, we think the concept behind Zday: Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide is genius. It's essentially a text-based adventure that lets players make their way through a zombie-plagued world in a desperate attempt to live, where one wrong decision, no matter how far the person progressed, will result in death.

On the positive side, the story is well written and contains the usual zombie conventions, along with attractive illustrations from DC Comics artist Matt Haley. You begin at home in the suburbs, and from there (if you choose to leave...and you should) set off and eventually run into survivors while exploring a pawn shop, police station, bridge, parking lot and other locations. You may (or may not) run into an infected (but still human) police officer, encounter a band of rival survivors and even spy a helicopter circling overhead.

What to do...what to do? Ambush your rivals? Wave down the chopper? Attempt to break into the police station? It's all on you. In fact, you even have the option of forming a party or mugging people outright.

Along the way, you'll also gain access to various weapons and supplies, where choosing the right equipment is key to reaching the end of the game. If eleven zombies attack, you need to be able to deal with it.

If only the experience were more satisfying. Zday's good, no question, but a lack of options make it a 30-minute game, at best.

You always start the journey at home with the same choice of weapons (machete, baseball bat, sword or bare hands). Upon leaving, you always need to make the decision to ignore your best friend Dave or head to his place and pick him up, whereupon which he offers you the same old revolver.

This continues throughout the entire game, and we quickly reached a point where even making the wrong decisions on purpose (just for the sake of triggering new scenarios) stopped working.

Meanwhile, we've yet to figure out how the game rates our performances. We easily reached the end the first time through, yet the game said we practiced poor decision-making and chose average weapons, despite the fact that we killed all encountered zombies with ease.

Finally, we have a love/hate relationship with the audio. We would've preferred scary mood music, ala Resident Evil. Instead, we received lyrics from a group called Oxcart. No offense to those guys, but the songs don't necessarily fit, and they only provided two.

Bottom line, Zday's a cool game worth checking out, and at $1.99, you have little to lose. Moving forward, though, we'd like to see free updates that flesh out the story. Much like a zombie, this title could use more meat on its bones.

[Editor's Note: Publisher Mongadillo Studios will release updates in the coming months.]

Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later.

Download Zday: Zombie Apocalypse Survival Simulator

What's Hot: Choose Your Own Adventure inspired play, attractive illustrations from DC comic artist Matt Haley, universal.

What's Not: Not enough content, weird scoring system, music fails to set the mood.