Alive 4-Ever Returns
Genre: Twin Stick Shooter
Available On: iTunes
Recently, we took a lengthy car trip, and to help while away the time, I decided to look at some of the co-op games you can play with multiple iDevices. A quick Google search for “best of” lists, and I was downloading Alive 4-Ever Returns. It appeared to be very much like Left 4 Dead, a game I enjoyed very much, and I was curious as to how the dual stick shooter translated onto a touch screen. Of course, the biggest test would be the strength of the co-op. I was quite pleased to discover that Alive 4-Ever Returns delivers a polished, deep zombie killfest that was much better than I expected.
The fist thing I noticed when playing Alive 4-Ever Returns was how slick and professional the interface was. It shows none of the rough edges that sometimes peek through in indie games. The graphics are bleak and moody, and the sounds are atmospheric, well suited to the subject matter. Setting up a co-op game, via bluetooth, was a snap, and after selecting a character, the carnage begins with very little hassle.
And when I say carnage, I do mean carnage. Each level is filled with wave after wave of undead brain-eaters, coming both singly and in large packs. Luckily, you are armed with all manner of weapons to relieve the zombies of their unholy hunger in the bloodiest way possible. When a level is complete, the ground is full of blood and bits, and your characters earn experience and money; the former makes you tougher to kill, the latter lets you purchase bigger and badder guns. The character progression is a nice touch that adds a bit of purpose to the chaos.
The emulated twin analog stick controls are the only area in which the game falters, but I think that’s more a hardware issue than anything. The tactile feedback of twin sticks isn’t easily copied, and there are moments when you’ll really wish you had a real joystick. However, as far as portable gaming is concerned, the touch screen is an adequate replacement, and the issues I had with the controls did little to dampen my enjoyment of it. Alive 4-Ever Returns is a fantastic game, and would be for any system on which it was released. If other “phone games” of similar quality are developed, gamers are in for a real treat.
Alive 4Ever Returns is Geared Towards: Left 4 Dead fans with an iPhone or iPod
The Co-Op Experience: Up to four players pulp some zombies together on the bus or during lunch break.