nazi zombies: the lord of sparta

24 06 2011

So on June 2, two days after the SpaceRide tweet that began this whole mess, I came across this glorious title: “nazi zombies: the lord of sparta”, and felt compelled to share it with the world as well. Note that the lack of capitalization is the developer’s, not mine. Nazi zombies I get, we’ve seen that before, and it works pretty well, but what in God’s Green Eggs and Ham did that have to do with Sparta (oh, sorry, “sparta”). Check past the break to find out, intrepid reader!

nazi zombies: the lord of sparta

Developer: Constantin remis / multiegg
Purchase Price: $0.99

One of the first things you notice about nazi zombies: the lord of sparta is that the icon graphics don’t match the style of the in-game art. The latter is of the hand-drawn variety made popular by the “Doodle” series and others, whereas the icon is a much more realistic and (ok, I’ll say it) attractive style. The app store description reads simply “Good game with awesome graphics”.

A visit to the AppShopper page for the game is rather revealing. First off, while the name is the same, the URL has “lordofdestruction” with no mention of sparta. The title for the game on my iPad displays as “Lordof…uction”. Apparently, “sparta” is more marketable than “uction” so they changed it. Actually, I have no idea, but let’s run with that explanation.

Then there’s this:

I wonder how many takers they had at $69.99? Thankfully, I managed to catch the game on sale. Hell, at a mere 99 cents it’s gotta be the bargain of the century, right? Right?

Anyway, I’m glad it went on sale, because I’m not sure I could have brought this fine game to you at seventy bucks. That just isn’t in the budget this week. I can just imagine that conversation with the wife….on second thought, no I can’t.

nazi zombies is a side-scrolling beat ’em up. You wander about a hand-drawn countryside consisting of a cave, stack of logs, and some trees swinging your weapon at bad guys. Arrow buttons in the lower left corner maneuver your caped hero left and right and the attack button in the lower right corner is used to swing your mace. Well, not swing your mace, precisely. It looks more like an Atlanta Braves fan doing a tomahawk chop while on crack.

Now as far as I can tell, nazi zombies: lord of sparta has nothing to do with Nazis, zombies, or Sparta. The guys coming at you have little pointy things on their helmets, so I guess that’s where the “nazi” part comes in. The dudes you’re fighting ARE dumb as a box of rocks, so maybe they could be zombies, although they bleed plenty when you hit them. We’ll come back to that shortly.

The game throws you right to the map screen with no explanation. After some exploratory tapping I discovered that hitting the dot in the upper left would drop you into the first stage. The countryside is not half bad if you like the “doodle” look, and as I passed into the second level, I was curious to see what the game would throw at me next.

New enemies? New countryside? Nope, but now I get to have three bad guys on screen instead of just two. I visit the shop and buy a weapon upgrade. The new weapon is actually reflected on my stick figure dude, but otherwise appears to make no difference whatsoever.

Trudging along to the third area on the map, I see we are leaving the yellow desert-y looking area into a region with water and a castle, so maybe we’ll get some new scenery, as I’m getting tired of this cave. Nope, but you guessed it, now I have four dudes on screen with me.


I think it was about this time my health bar didn’t look so hot (I didn’t realize the game starts you out with your health bar half full–don’t bother with the potions in the store, they don’t appear to do anything) and I started making more of an effort to move away from baddies. This is when I noticed that our zombie pals CAN NOT SWING AT YOU if you are moving. That’s right, I played through the rest of the game without taking a scratch by holding down one of the movement buttons.

nazi zombies introduces a clever feature I’ll refer to as random hit detection. You can have your weapon pass through an enemy repeatedly with no effect or swing at one half a screen away and watch it erupt in a doodle blood fountain. You never really know what will happen. Sometimes, you’ll hit more than one, or even one behind you, but usually, you’ll just swing your weapon in vain. Even better, when employing my serpentine method of never getting hit, the zombies like to teleport around the screen at random intervals.

So, I continued on across the map, each new area bringing yet another enemy to the screen and the same bit of countryside I’d seen since the start. I upgraded to the best weapon, which again made no difference, and the armor upgrade I tried didn’t even show up on your character. Eventually, I reached the final onslaught, and after forcibly removing the last helmet from its body with cold, pixelated steel, I was greeted with this message:

AND SO THE EVIL STICK HORDES WERE DEFEATED BY THE LONE CHAMPION, BRINGING LONG-LASTING PEACE AND STABILITY TO THE LAND OF STICKLIA

Wait, what? What happened to sparta and the zombies? You mean to tell me all this time I’ve been in Sticklia? I’ve been duped. It’s like I’m caught in the iOS Hell version of Ender’s Game And to top it off, after I hit continue, I’m suddenly fighting on a new background for the first time, now that I’ve won? Seriously? That’s the last straw.

I honestly didn’t think I’d have to do this so quickly, but the gameplay is completely broken, and I can’t really find any redeeming qualities to speak of.

Survey says:

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