Every zombie movie worth its salt contains at least one standout kill scene in which our hero dispatches the undead with some manner of makeshift weapon, most usually an everyday household item or a much-prized personal possession, and most usually with gruesome yet hilarious consequences. See Shaun’s collection of dodgy eighties vinyl being used as deadly Frisbees in Shaun of the Dead, Lionel reducing a pack of slobbering monsters to goo with his trusty lawnmower in Peter Jackson’s Braindead, or Evil Dead 3’s eradicable carmageddon a la Ash for examples.
Super Awesome Hyper-Dimensional Mega Team! (try saying that after a few drinks) have taken this staple of schlock-horror and run with it as inspiration for their latest, surreal sports game-cum-zombie shooter Pro Zombie Soccer, with ridiculously entertaining results. The sort of weaponry no self respecting monster hunter leaves home without – Knives, guns, flamethrowers and the like – are conspicuous by their absence, and instead we’re given a soccer ball with which to curb the zombie invasion. Yep. A soccer ball.
Before I continue, time for a confession: I despise soccer with a passion. In fact since this year’s World Cup kicked off, I’ve spent my telly watching time desperately trying to avoid having to endure even a nano second of the most mind-numbingly tedious game on earth™. Furthermore, I honestly feel that zombies have been done to death on iPhone. With all that in mind, I approached this odd mishmash of flesh-eaters and footy with extreme caution. Lo and behold, mere minutes into PZS, I had completely forgotten those initial misgivings and was thoroughly enjoying kicking my way through this madcap misadventure.
A Jamie Hewlett-esque cinematic proceeds the action and introduces us to the main player, Jax, a down on his luck wannabe footballer. The victim of a zombie attack, Jax knows that it’s only a matter of before the virus takes hold and he will be forced to begin playing for the other side, so resolves to put his newly acquired super-human soccer skills (a side effect of the bite) to good use by taking down as many monsters as he can with him.
The majority of the game’s levels unfold in a similar manner, with you positioned on the left of the screen and waves of nasties lurching toward you from the right. Touching and dragging the fire button allows you to line up shots. Release your thumb, Jax boots the ball, and SPLAT! zombies explode in a stylish cloud of viscera. This remarkably non-complex control scheme is flawlessly implemented and easily grasped, meaning you’ll be playing like a pro in no time.
On paper PZS‘s arcadey shoot ’em up approach and soccer gimmick probably sound as if they could get repetitive a few levels in, yet honestly this isn’t the case; Super Awesome Hyper-Dimensional Mega Team! artfully avoid that particular pitfall of casual games by maintaining a breakneck pace throughout, throwing a variety of outlandish power-ups into the mix (my personal favorite? Jax lobbing his ball into outer space and triggering a satellite mounted death-ray which instantly reduces every zombie on screen to dust!), and constantly keeping you on your toes with a diverse array of undead enemies, a supporting cast of kooky characters, and varied environments. Of course, that the action is driven by a genuinely funny and well written script also helps no end.
Quick action replay: The smooshing together of zombies and footy works incredibly well (who’d’a thunk it?). The cartoony art style compliments the epically gory gameplay perfectly. And the wittily written story is head and shoulders above the usual brain-dead dross that passes for an iPhone zombie game plot. So what are you waiting for? Get yourself over to the App Store and pick up this little beauty asap; it’s a no-brainer.
iFanzine Verdict: Super Awesome Hyper-Dimensional Mega Team! (modest aren’t they?) more than live up to that hyperbole-laden moniker with PZS. Chock-a-block with OTT action and memorable set pieces, this novel take on the well-worn zombie apocalypse theme is one hell of a game. Score!