And then I go and throw out a curveball like Zombies Ate My Friends, a free to play game on mobile devices, that I actually played on a Kindle Fire. Because I have to keep you guessing as much as possible, don't I?
So my younger boy came over to spend the night at my place, and with him, he brought his Kindle Fire. Sure, he had every intention on geeking out on my gaming collection while he was over here, and did so quite a bit on Disney Infinity, of course. But while he was here, he wanted to show me and let me play with him this game, which he had gotten a few days prior to coming over, that he was super excited about. I don't know how he found out about this game, where he had heard of it or what made him want to download it (as he doesn't seem to download everything that's free, just ones he already knows something about). But he was thrilled to play it, and even more happy to see that I was genuinely interested in what he was playing.
My first thought was: "Of course, it's free-to-play, because it sounds like a cheap knock off of Zombies Ate My Neighbors. How good could this actually be?" Well, after playing it with him for a while, I realized that not only was it not trying to be a clone of anything (although I'm sure the name was purely a marketing ploy), but it was actually a fun game, for what it was. For the most part, I am weary of this kind of business model for a game, as I still think it tries to take advantage of those not paying attention to the micro-transactions, due to either ignorance of adults or the naive nature of children. But once again, I was surprised by quality of this game, even if the business structure is present in many aspects of the game.
The game is a cross between turn-based battles, point and click adventure and a sprinkle of RPG elements, all of which are highlighted by fantastic artwork and animation styles, great dialogue and genuine fun when it comes to collecting and upgrading weapons and engaging in turn-based battles with various kinds of zombies. I did notice how finicky the touch-based controls can be at times, with items not responding when being clicked on or overall lack of responsiveness of the game. For the most part, the controls worked fine and suitable for the game, but I just wish I didn't have random moments of the game not registering my touch, which continues to be my number one complaint for mobile gaming. Buttons work as they should, but touch buttons are sketchy more often than not.
Like I said, I thought the game was fun. Would I play it again? Probably not without one of my kids playing it first and asking me to be apart of it. But I am always happy to jump into games with them when they ask. Also, I'm happy that there are free-to-play games that are good quality and don't force you into pay walls that you can't get past without forking over some cold, hard cash. Makes me hopeful, once again, for the future of this genre.