By Randy Nelson From Inside Social Games
Calling the release the latest step in its new cross-platform strategy, Digital Chocolate has released a free-to-play iOS version of its Facebook game Zombie Lane that is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The title hit Facebook in March of this year and is currently played by 2.5 million monthly active users, according to our tracking service AppData. A version of the game for Google+ was released in August. The iOS version debuted on November 22.
Zombie Lane for iOS is nearly indistinguishable from its Facebook and Google+ incarnations, although there are a few minor differences — and one more significant for players hoping to continue their experience between mobile and social networking platforms. That's because, despite the versions being so similar, there is no interaction between the mobile and browser-based releases. Anything players do in the game on Facebook or Google+ has no impact on the mobile version and vice versa. This differs from the approach being taken by other publishers, such as Pangalore, for their upcoming native iOS releases that share data with their Facebook counterparts using Facebook Connect.
Still, the mobile version does an admirable job of capturing the qualities of the browser-based release. The game is visually engaging, and runs well even on earlier generation devices.
In Zombie Lane, players take on the role of either a male or female survivor of an undead apocalypse. Rather than a pure action game, it combines defending a location from zombies — in this case the player's home — with building and farming aspects. Players must not only shoot zombies (by tapping on them), but expand and improve their home with various amenities and defenses as well. These goals are laid out in a series of various missions, that has players working towards goals such as repairing their homes so that their spouses will return, building new additions like tool sheds, and racking up a specific number of zombie kills in a 24-hour period. Players are able to unlock and purchase new weapons to aid them, but must also make sure to buy enough ammunition in order to keep using them.
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