Zombigotchi in Review – Love ’em or abuse ’em, it’s still a zombie

The appeal of the Tamagotchi has always been a mystery to me.  People have a hard enough time taking care of physical pets, so why would you want to be bothered with such things in the digital world, aside from the fact that they can’t really die?  Thanks to Zombigotchi, however, I’ve developed a slight appreciation for the whole concept.  Granted it’s a lot harder to feel guilty about torturing a zombie than a little puppy, but I’m sure the principle is the same.  I still rather be playing a game, but I can easily see this being a nice diversion while waiting in line at the supermarket or something.

In Zombigotchi you get to raise your very own pet zombie.  You can either love him and feed him and call him your very own – or you can torture the brains out of him.  It’s your call.  The interface is quite simple to use.  Down the left side are three buttons corresponding to “pet”, “prod” and “feed”.  You can also select “pet” by tapping on the zombie.  This will do something nice like give him a human to play with or a microphone so he can let out his karaoke urges.

You can prod him by swiping the screen as well as hitting the button, and this will cause such action like a bat striking his head or a laser cutting him in half.  Naturally these things will tend to get him angry.  Finally you can feed him by pressing the button or double tapping the screen.  Usually he responds favorably to petting and food, but his overall mood can sometimes affect these reactions.  You can rotate the viewpoint by dragging left and right at the bottom of the screen, and you can zoom in and out by pinching.  The controls work pretty well, though sometimes trying to rotate the view gets mistaken for swiping and results in a misplaced prod.

From time to time a full screen picture of your zombie will pop up, and the first time a particular one shows it gets added to your collector cards.  Additionally, these cards give you clues as to the zombie’s overall mood as well as letting you know when certain aspects of the game have been unlocked.  Over time you’ll earn different skins for your zombie, and you’ll also unlock two games: Giblets (match 3) and Ragdoll (senselessly tossing the zombie around).  For a simplified match 3 game Giblets was pretty fun, but I found Ragdoll rather uninteresting.

The visuals in Zombigotchi are a treat.  I love watching the little guy take his brain out and play Hacky Sack with it.  The various skins for the zombie are also pretty neat.  I will say that I’m surprised at some of the animations Apple allowed, but I guess it is okay since this is a zombie.  The collector’s cards are a nice touch as well, as some of faces captured in the pictures are really amusing.

The sound effects are really funny at times.  Listening to the zombie “growl” in a high pictured voice or coo when he is happy can’t help but make you smile at least, if not outright laugh.  And if you give Zombigotchi a try you owe it to yourself to check out the credits at least once.  You won’t be disappointed.  On the other hand, what is disappointing is the lack of any sort of background music.  There is music during the match 3 mini-game, but nothing during the whole “play with your zombie” process.

I’m not going to say that I now heartily recommend Tamagotchi style games.  In fact, I still think the overall premise is kind of dull.  However, Zombigotchi is definitely a stand out in the crowd when it comes to such “games”.  If you love zombie games like I do, I can’t imagine that you wouldn’t get a kick out of this.  Just don’t get it expecting to play with it for hours on end, or you will feel gypped by your purchase.

App Summary
Title: Zombigotchi Developer: finkbom
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $1.99 App Size: 25.84MB
  • Great graphics
  • Amusing animations
  • Funny sounds
  • Decent match 3 mini-game
  • Boring for long stretches
  • No music for main game
  • Positive reinforcements somewhat limited


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