Call me a stickler, but I think the games should play well before they look pretty.
I think they should be functional, sleek and most of all, not frustrating. This seems to escape most of the developers who insist on using on-screen joystick for their products, as more often than not a buggy mess that is not responding.
To have poorly defined borders do not react well to the multi-touch, the system seems to be a bit 'spoiled.
However, Halfbrick Studios (developers of the wildly-successful Ninja Fruit) eventually managed to schedule a series of joysticks that operates directly out of the box, just change requests. Their new game, Age of Zombies,relies quite heavily on them, so I'm both happy and relieved that they decided to make sure people can actuallyplay their game before you released to the wild.
In the game, you play a stereotyped action star called "Barry Steakfries" like shooting zombies in the face. Barry's trip through time to thwart the efforts of a mad scientist who killed in the opening scene, leaving only a horde of zombies in different time periods to address.
As Barry, you play through a series of stages, each taking place in a different time period. It begins in prehistoric times, go to Chicago 1930, Egypt, feudal Japan and - ultimately - the future, killing the undead along the road. A virtual joystick controls the movements of Barry, while another controls the direction he shot his rifle. This pattern is similar to a number of other titles, such as Glu Mobile Gun Bros.
Your arms start with a single shot gun, take out zombies that can only efficiently enough. However, when multiple portals open and hordes of the undead rise, Barry will need to rely on weapon pickups, which have limited ammunition. This prevents the game to be stale, as you really need to watch your ammo conservation.
secondary weapons like grenades, Mining, and auto-turrets allow for some powerful attacks, Clearing a way through the crowds of zombies. Learning how to maneuver around the massive crowd becomes almost a 'art, as you can not just deal with it head on. Techniques such as the circle-and bomb-shaped corral eight movements become second nature.
This is where the system is in control. Although virtual joystick is not exactly new, Halfbrick threw some changes that really make these controls shine. I do not think Age of Zombies is the first game to implement joystick that actually move with your finger when you reach the limit of their movement, but here it is implemented well enough to earn a gold star metaphorical.
This eliminates a problem that I had in other games where I would "lose" the joystick to move too far away. Of course, these new joysticks have floating extent will travel, but can easily be restored by keeping your finger on the screen for a second.
I got to give props to Halfbrick yourself for not taking himself too seriously with the history; Steakfries really a Kurt Russell in "Big Trouble in Little Chinatown" vibe to him, spouting one-liners that are not exactly the smartest thing the world. It 's almost like the dialog in the game was run through Google Translator and forth once or twice, but it fits well. Playing Age of Zombies is like playing a B-movie, where all the bad things that need to be (for entertainment purposes) are bad, everything else just shines.
Little things like the voice that announces the pickup ("Shotgun, oh yeah!") Transition from one stage to another really add more polish and character. In the cave man level, my voice, and grunts, in the '30s, turns into a grin mafia.
Once you are done with the story mode, there is a "survival" mode that allows you to shoot zombies without end to your heart's content. What I could really recommend is a kind of cumulative update system to keep things fresh: upgradeable weapons (such as improvements in rate of fire or damage bonuses) could add some depth to this game sorely needs.
This does not mean that it is a bad game, in, I do not want to give that impression. Age of Zombies is one of the most fun games I've played on my Android, and I recommend it heartily. A $ 2.99AU (about $ 3.15 CDN) This is a relatively small investment for a big-time entertainment that actually controls well.