Sometimes games are re-released. It could be because they fancied updating a classic, a la the various HD collections that are floating around; perhaps they want to include some new content that didn’t make its way into the original; occasionally it’s just because they want to drum up interest in the series once more, and every so often it’s because a new platform has arrived that provides a whole raft of new opportunities. With Laughing Jackal’s OMG-Zombies it’s the latter as it’s now arrived on PlayStation Mobile for a whole new audience of pocket gamers to enjoy.
Having been released on PS Minis for PSP and PS3 as OMG-Z, this pleasingly gory arcade shooter-cum-puzzler won my heart over last year. A year on and boasting a new platform to enjoy, along with some lovingly updated visuals, OMG-Zombies is still every bit as fun as it once was, although the sheen it once had has been stripped away a little by age and the copious amounts of other games available on smartphones and handhelds.
The chain-reaction zombie action hasn’t changed in the slightest, and that could be part of the problem. While I was fine playing on PS Vita using its physical controls, it may have been a missed opportunity to not include touchscreen support for mobile users. After all, zombies are peculiarly back in fashion once again and so the barrier of no touchscreen support could turn plenty of willing players off the idea as they can’t just tap the zombie they want to shoot into meaty chunks.
Still, OMG-Zombies is the game I once loved. It’s still got the vast array of zombie upgrades to purchase, it still has an astounding amount of levels to churn through – along with the varying medals you can earn on each level – and that high score attitude to creating chain reactions. It’s still great fun, but now it’s muscled into the mobile market in a bigger way its success isn’t as guaranteed as it was on the PSP.
Audio/Visual – 3/5: The hand-drawn comic book style is wonderful, and with upgraded visuals for sharper screens is lovely to see. The audio, however, is nothing overly fantastic.
Gameplay – 5/5: Simple to use, difficult to master. Plenty of upgrades to change the experience, and you’ll always be striving to hit the high end of the chain reactions possible. Addictive.
Value – 4/5: Priced at £2.39 it may have out priced itself against some of the cheaper options available on mobile devices, but you’ll get your moneys worth across the many levels and tons of replay value found within.
Innovation – 3/5: Core mechanics remain completely unchanged, but that’s no bad thing. Upgrading zombies to increase chain reactions – instead of upgrading weapons – is a stroke of genius and makes old levels enjoyable too.
Final Score: 4/5