It's not hard to guess what Judge Dredd vs Zombies is all about – A zombie infestation has struck the heart of Mega-City One and the baddest judge, jury and executioner around, Joseph Dredd, is on a mission to wipe out the undead nuisance in an arcade-style shoot-em-up. Sounds fun, right? head past the break for our review.
The game ditches the popular twin-stick model for a single stick and fire button coupled with a simple and wonderfully executed auto-lock system. This system is without doubt the best thing Judge Dredd vs. Zombies has going for it, with the auto-lock snapping to the exact enemy it should be. Also, if there is something specific we want to shoot, like an explosive barrel or zombie, we can just tap the screen and fire away to dish out a massive blow to the horde.
Graphically the game looks good. It's not an amazing achievement as far as iOS games go, but Dredd and the zombies are presented pretty well. The game ran very smooth and we're pleased to say we didn't experience a single glitch, freeze or crash while playing on our iPad 2.
Players are given thirty zombified levels spread over 3 episodes of 10 and are scored on a familiar 3-star basis with a specific number of accumulated stars unlocking the next episode. Getting from the first episode to the second requires what amounts to a 2-star score on all of the first episode's levels. Unlocking the third gets a bit more difficult, requiring the equivalent of 3-stars on all of the second episode's levels. Those of you with some extra coin lying around can spend $2 to unlock the other sections, but then what's the point point of playing?
As we make our way through an infested Mega-City One we earn credits that are used to upgrade weapons – the Lawgiver pistol, Widow Maker shotgun, Spitgun rifle and HI-EX Launcher – and equipment like body armor and extra ammo That's where things get frustrating.
The amount of credits earned as we play through is just not enough to to keep up with the increasing cost of necessary upgrades and players are not able to go back thorugh previously beaten levels to earn more. Instead we're pressured into paying for more in-game credits via $2-$30 micro-transactions. That would be fine if this were a free-to-play game, but it's not.
Judge Dredd vs. Zombies isn't the most unique iOS game out there, but an easy to follow user-interface, good graphics and an excellent combat system make it blast for pick-up-and-play gaming sessions. If Fuse and Rebellion would make some changes to the progression restrictions by going free-to-play or by charging a few dollars more for the game and removing the in-game transactions they'd definitely have a winner under their belt.
App Store link: Judge Dredd vs. Zombies (iPhone and iPad)
Note: A complimentary copy of this game was provided for the purposes of this review.