Zombie games are hardly uncommon on the App Store. Pity the poor creature itself: once the bleeding edge of urban horror, its now the go-to clown of videogames. By name, Zombie Gunship sounds little different from the pack, but it brings an unlikely new danger for the undead: Modern Warfare's AC-130 gunship.
As much a videogame phenomenon as zombies themselves, the AC-130 mission's grainy infrared camera, swinging motion and delayed gunfire are instantly recognisable in Zombie Gunship. The view circles slowly around a central bunker, which both zombies and survivors move towards. The environment is a drab grey, but survivors show up bright white and zombies as black.
Three levels of zoom cycle through three speedily unlocked weapons – a machine gun, rocket launcher and mega bomb – whose ranges and reloads differ hugely. At the game's beginning, levels feature a thin trickle of survivors and zombies, but inexorably the numbers of the undead begin increasing. Their mass gradually pushes back your last line of defence, getting closer to the bunker, cutting off survivors, and then eventually breaching it.
Zombie Gunship isn't a solemn game; there's comedy in its scattering limbs, all sorts of in-game helping hands become available for purchase (with both in-game and real currency) along with weapon upgrades to make each ridiculously effective. But it's nevertheless full of tense moments: deliberately killing a human to stop an overwhelming group swarming the bunker, or zooming in to help out a surrounded survivor with precision shooting.
Whatever you do, of course, they never stop coming. Zombie Gunship obviously has its influences, but it works them into something surprising: a slow-mo high-score shooter, a grainy panorama of survival horrors, and a greater sense of an undead horde than the rest of the App Store's zombie shooters put together.