There has been a fascination with zombies among gamers since the very beginning of video games, iPhone gamers are no different. While there are a number of notable zombie shooters for the iDevice, very few capture the intesity and mood of such staples as “Left 4 Dead” the way TwoHeads Games’ “Aftermath” does.
What sets Aftermath apart from the competition is TwoHeads Games attention to mood and atmosphere. This may not be the most polished shooter in the AppStore, but the lighting effects , directional sound and a very efficient 3D engine make it one of the most immersive shooters available for the iPhone.
Aftermath places you in the middle of a large deserted city infested with zombies. As make your way through narrow alleyways in the dead of night, the only thing that lights the way is your flashlight and the occasional lighting strike. The undead are scattered throughout, charging at first sight of you.
The game has a surprising control scheme. Like others it employs the dual-stick control method with movement on the left pad and looking on the right. Shooting, however, is automatic and only triggered when a zombie crosses the stream of your flashlight. While this might sound odd, it works beautifully and lets you concentrate on running forward, watching your back and keeping track of ammo.
Aftermath has a surprisingly large playfield, consisting of several city blocks in which you have to make it from point A to point B, while killing zombies and picking up weapons and grenades along the way. The soundtrack provides an excellent mood along with directional audio that gives you a good idea to where the zombies are coming from. It is an experience that is worth putting on your headphones for.
TwoHeads Games has no other titles in the AppStore aside for “Aftermath”, but this game alone puts them on my list of developers to watch. There has already been an update for the game that featured a number of graphical and gameplay improvements. I’ve tested “Aftermath” on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generation iPod Touch, and it runs very well on every one of those devices.
The eerie survival atmosphere, 3D engine, directional audio, great lighting and a ton of zombies make “Aftermath” not only one of the best zombie shooters in the AppStore, but one of the best games in general. It is easy to recommend for any fan of the genre, hardcore or casual.
I would love to see support for the retina display, local and online co-op multiplayer and slightly more polished characters and zombies, at which point the game could be priced at $10+ and I’d still buy it. I personally hope that “Aftermath” becomes iPhone’s “Left 4 Dead” in both quality and popularity.