Weekly iCross: better off dead

, | Features

Back on April 21st I saw a little $0.99 game emerge on the App Store called Bunny the Zombie Slayer. Upon first inspection, it seemed like a trifecta of “cynical iPhone cash-in game” syndrome: a cute name (a riff on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), obvious similarities to other major hits (Angry Birds and Plants vs. Zombies), and a timed release with a major holiday theme (Easter). The klaxons went off. There was no way I was going to give these guys my dollar. These…Hothead Games…guys? Wait, the same Hothead that made the enjoyable-despite-its-flaws Deathspank and Penny Aracade games? The ones with that neat looking Horde? Ron Gilbert* Hothead? Shit. Here’s my dollar.

After the jump: Do not give these guys your dollar.

It’s honestly not often I say this, but this game is not worth ninety-nine cents. It is the shameless holiday cash-in that it appears to be. As the kids say on the internet these days, I am disappoint.

You’re a little Easter bunny that sits on the left side of the screen while some kids hunt for Easter eggs. Zombies shamble in from the left, and you chuck colored eggs at them. Headshots are worth extra points and three of ’em charge up a super-bomb move that throws automatic one-hit kill flaming eggs at every zombie on the screen. That’s uh…kind of all there is. Stage 1 is a single zombie. Each stage sends more zombie at you, sometimes new kinds of zombies that shamble a little faster. I went through 20 stages waiting for something to happen. A funny cut-scene. Some kind of barricade-building. New kinds of eggs to throw. Anything. But no, stage 22 is just like stage 1, but with a lot more zombies.

Sure, the sun slowly goes down as the stages progress. By the time I had gone through more than 20 stages, well into the night, I was ready to let these dumb kids — these clearly mentally handicapped kids — get eaten. I mean hell, they can’t find their eggs over the course of a whole day even though the yard is about 20 square feet, and they don’t even have the sense to go into the damn house when there are waves of zombies bearing down on them. I’m actually quite surprised they have enough brain matter to attract the zombies in the first place.

I know 99 cents isn’t much money, but this isn’t even one of those iPhone games that’s fun at first but grows old quickly. It’s not a “well it’s only fun for 20 minutes, but 20 minutes of fun is worth your buck” game. This game starts out boring and never goes anywhere. Don’t bother trying to save those damn kids. You can never succeed, and trying isn’t much fun. They’re better off dead.

* Ron Gilbert apparently left Hothead games last year.