Few end-of-the-world scenarios seem as exhilarating as the zombie apocalypse. With just a few trusted companions by your side and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of ammunition, you have to survive in a world overrun with shambling horrors. Alive-4-Ever takes the timeless scenario of an undead invasion to the next level, with 30 increasingly complex missions and an equal number of intense side challenges.
Choosing one of four stylishly designed characters, you gain experience points and cash by simply surviving scenarios, such as killing 50 zombies or rescuing two survivors. In addition, bonus objectives, such as bringing home a suitcase full of gold bullion or vaccine, earn you extra items that grant bonuses to your weapons, health, or experience. It's an elegant system that rewards your progress at every step; whether it's unlocking more-effective guns or spending your experience points to increase the likelihood of making a critical hit.
There's a good variety of enemies in these 30 missions, and they work very well for this type of game. Fast zombies, fat zombies, and wild zombie dogs join exploding and tongue-lashing zombies. These last two are not unlike those found in the similarly titled Left 4 Dead PC and console games. The game also has three boss battles; one for every 10 levels.
The gritty, grimy environments in Alive-4-Ever are appropriately spooky--especially the Forest level, where treetops can obscure hidden pickup items or zombie attackers. While the graphics aren't the most vibrant you'll see in a twin-stick shooter on an iDevice, the gameplay has more depth than most.
Another fantastic feature is the Bluetooth multiplayer. The missions used in multiplayer matches, which can also be attempted solo, offer much tougher missions where you must fight more zombies and recover more survivors, vaccines, or gold. Alive-4-Ever also has score leaderboards.
While the gameplay of gunning down hordes of zombies is a blast, rescuing survivors is a pain because they can't fire guns themselves. Some of them can't even walk, which means you have to pick them up yourself. Still, a cash penalty will make you think twice about abandoning these helpless victims.
Cash is an important commodity because it lets you unlock the best guns. However, you can earn cash quickly by replaying the first few easy levels over and over again. Once you unlock the best assault rifle and handgun, the last third of the game ends up being a lot easier.
Still, in Alive-4-Ever, you're otherwise constantly gaining experience levels that make your character more powerful and always unlocking new, more-destructive means of wiping out zombies. The game has pretty much everything you'd want in an iDevice action game where you're fighting off an army of zombies.
This review was provided by GameSpot mobile content partner SlideToPlay.com.