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iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 5

Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies

Developer: Activision
Price (as reviewed): £5.99 / $9.99 from the AppStore

We’ll admit that we’re dying to see Activision further capitalise on the hype of Modern Warfare 2 with an even more awakwardly named iPhone game – Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies: Special Edition: Colon, anyone? For now though all we have is this – a scaled down port of World at War’s zombie Nazi mode.

And it’s actually not all that bad, surprisingly. Just as in World at War players have to repell and increasingly large horde of zombies, barricading doorways and windows to stem the flow and buying new weapons once enough evil Hitlers have been felled, slowly upgrading from pistols to rifles and shotguns.

The controls are a bit sticky but are perfectly functional, while the audio and graphics work are top notch. It’s frankly astounding that Activision has squeezed it all into a 16MB app. Activision has also included a token gesture at an achievements system, which tracks your stats as you play - though with only 13 achievements it's hardly something to keep you playing. Most of the goals are annoyingly simple tasks, such as reaching Wave 9 of zombies without making more than 120 shots.

*iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 5 iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 5 *iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 5 iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 5
Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies

The only real complaint that we can seriously level against Call of Duty: Zombies is how little bang you’re getting for your buck. At £5.99 in the UK, Call of Duty: Zombies is one of the more expensive iPhone games around and yet it only carries a bare minimum of content. Like League of Legends there’s only one level on offer, with others likely to come via in-app purchases. It’s this simple fact which really sours the whole Zombies experience and leaves us reeling in astonishment at the lack of value for money.

The game itself is definitely a competent shooter and the option to participate in co-op matches over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 3G is excellent. Still, we’d recommend not picking it up until there are more levels included or on offer in a sale.

Verdict: A good game underneath, Call of Duty: Zombies on the iPhone is marred only by a high price point and lack of actual content. JM

Rock Band

Developer: Electronic Arts
Price (as reviewed): £3.99 / $6.99 from the AppStore

*iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 5 iPhone and iPod Touch Games Round-up 5When you first saw Rock Band, complete with plastic drums, mic and Stratocaster, you might have thought ‘music games can’t possibly get any sillier than this’, but you’d be wrong, as Rock Band on the iPhone is sillier than hiring a pack of wolves to act out Romeo & Juliet.

As it’s a Rock Band game, you can play along to guitar, bass and drums as well as vocals. Mercifully for those of us who have ears and who use public transport regularly, vocal duties don’t involve bellowing into the iPhone’s microphone. Instead you need to tap spots on the screen to make sure the lyrics are sung. It does mean the only reason you’d choose an instrument aside from the guitar is to make a song easier, though.

Guitar, bass and drums are all played in the same way, tapping at the bottom of the screen as the notes zip down the fretboard towards you and the game includes a tour mode, quick play, and a multiplayer component. Bluetooth (not Wi-Fi) multiplayer allows you to tap along with friends, while you can also use your Facebook login to co-operate with people online, and just like a band about to split up over musical differences, you can record your parts at separate times.

The width of the screen means there’s only four notes rather than five to hit, and even then it can feel uncomfortable to play. As the game only works in portrait mode, you’re limited to playing using your thumbs, and it can be difficult to get the required level of precision and you’re not helped by the fact that they’re ported the production gloss from the consoles. Having crunching chords accompany every menu and 3D models behind a list of options is overkill for the iPhone

The game includes twenty songs, and as it takes advantage of iPhone OS 3.0, you can also buy new songs in game. At the time of writing, a pair of tracks cost only 59p, which seems fair. The songs will definitely be familiar if you’ve played either of the console versions of Rock Band, but it’s a decent enough mix.

Verdict: There’s a lot to like about Rock Band – it has better features than its obvious rival, Tap Tap Revenge – but slow menus and slightly clunky gameplay mean it lacks a sense of fun. AW