Pirates vs. Ninjas vs. Zombies vs. Pandas in Review – It’s everyone vs. Angry Birds!

Talking about catapult type games, there’s no question that the top one on anyone’s mind right now, as well for the whole 2010, is Angry Birds. But whatever some may think, the genre itself is rather old. Born originally from the unique Yeti Sports: Penguin Toss, known at the time of its release back in 2004 as Pingu Throw, it has been a favourite of Flash developers ever since, and almost every kind of variation fathomable has been done at some point. So keeping in mind that the dreaded birds vs. hogs didn’t actually invent anything, let’s take a look at the most recent release hoping to claim Angry Birds’ crown – Pirates vs. Ninjas vs. Zombies vs. Pandas.

PvNvZvP is a character flinging/castle crushing puzzler with quite reasonable physics. No one remembers how the conflict began but now it’s all-out war. This unique four-way conflict have pitched against each other four factions – Pirates, Ninjas, Zombies and Pandas. Brave warriors from each side now have only one option: sacrifice themselves for honour and victory of their tribe!

The notion of PvNvZvP is deceptively simple. You have a limited number of ammo (ammo being one of the 8 available types of units) and you have to destroy all enemy units on each level, wreaking as much destruction as possible but making sure all allies are left unscathed. You do this by firing the units out of one of the cannons on-screen, taking into account the angle and power required to achieve the desired trajectory. And after you’re done you are awarded up to 3 stars depending on the final score.

Sounds easy, right? Well, not so much as it turns out. The enemy units tend to be hidden away behind layers upon layers of various defences, which in turn can hit your allies more often than not when toppling. On the other hand to help you out, you will have different kinds of characters available. In addition to the basic no-thrills live cannonball units, each faction has a special advanced one as well, this being a unique ability that can be triggered in-flight using a simple tap on the screen.

Visually PvNvZvP looks quite good. Obviously inspired by the popular and furiously feathered creatures, it takes after the same cutesy cartoony look. Full support for the Retina display allows everything to stay in focus even at max zoom out, and even when zoomed in, the graphics still look very nice and detailed. One rather frustrating thing is that regardless of whether you zoom in, the view stays locked to the bottom, meaning you won’t be able to enjoy the full detail of stuff closer to the top of the screen up-close. Other than that I had no problems, and plotting the shot is intuitive thanks to the small trajectory mark of the previous shot.

Having not played the original Angry Birds, it’s difficult for me to say how PvNvZvP stands up to the hugely popular App Store bestseller. But on its own I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of the vibrant graphics, polished gameplay and believable physics. Pirates, Ninjas, Zombies and Pandas – whichever strikes your cord, you’ll be able to get more than enough castle crushing fun with each. And with such an army, the poor birdies (and piggies) won’t stand a chance!

With this I declare Pirates vs. Ninjas vs. Zombies vs. Pandas officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Pirates vs. Ninjas vs. Zombies vs. PandasDeveloper: PAN Vision AB
Reviewed Ver:1.101Min OS Req:3.0
Price:$0.99App Size:19.50MB
  • Pirates, Ninjas, Zombies AND Pandas
  • Quite a lot of levels
  • Nice physics
  • Great Retina-quality graphics
  • Not a lot of different cannonball characters
  • Bottom-locked view

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