Cube-headed heavy John Gore returns in the sequel to Mountain Sheep's addictive dual-stick arena shooter Minigore 2: Zombies. It's been three years since the original, and the creative team behind this surprisingly adorably bloodbath have chosen to make small, important refinements to the gameplay and environment rather than a complete overhaul. Since the end result is thoroughly satisfying and fun, I can hardly call this a lack of innovation.
The premise behind Minigore 2: Zombies is simple: your grimacing, Rambo-bandana-wearing protagonist is uttering gritty quips while you take out progressively greater waves of enemies. In addition to the standard, shuffling brain-eaters, there are also mummies, Frankenstein-esque monsters, Viking pigs, and even some undead moose to mow down. Also, an endless supply of med kits, ammo, and power-ups fall from the sky as you play, but it's still fairly easy to get swarmed. When you run out of ammo, it can in fact be more satisfying to hack away at the cutesy undead legions with an axe or sword.
The controls in Minigore 2: Zombies are simple and intuitive, as with any good mobile game; the optional auto-aim takes a lot of the "dual-stick" out of the equation, but it can be helpful during bad swarms, and for new players who want to ease into the difficulty curve.
Improvements over the original are all subtle, but they're well-chosen and valuable. There are more environments to unlock, more weapons to choose from, and both characters and weapons have a huge range of upgrades available. There are also more challenges and benchmarks to hit, which gives the game more replay value for hardcore Minigore enthusiasts. Visually, the game is clear and bright, with sharp edges and rich hues. The gameplay is also more dense; up to 150 enemies can be on screen at once, and yet the games run incredible smoothly. Playing on an iPad, I never experiences a single hiccup.
While the genre has become exponentially more saturated since the original game, Minigore 2: Zombies stands out as an excellent example. Rev up your chainsaws and your gallows humour.
GameDynamo's Score for Minigore 2: Zombies (Mobile)
Natalie Zina Walschots is a music writer, poet, and editor based in Toronto, Ontario. She writes about comic books, video games, combat sports, sadomasochism, feminism, and difficult music for a number of publications, both in print and online, and currently serves as the Managing Editor of Canada Arts Connect, as well as the Reviews Editor of This Magazine. She also has published books - DOOM: Love Poems For Supervillains and Thumbscrews, which won a Robert Kroetsch Award.
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