By: Uma Smith
It appears that endless runner titles are “endlessly” spreading to all forms of game consoles; oh, and we are also seeing a lot of zombie games nowadays. So what do you get when you combine the endless runner with a zombie theme? You get Beatshapers’ latest PlayStation Vita title, Z-Run. Will this game get you “running” for your money?
There’s quite a bit to keep track of in terms of the controls in Z-Run. Every button and analog stick serves its own purposes. That being said, the controls actually feel pretty stiff while the movement itself is really slow. In particular, your character runs so slowly that getting around becomes really clunky. Ultimately, getting around doesn’t feel smooth or responsive, which is important for an endless runner title like this.
Visually speaking, Z-Run has a decent appearance with the graphics being pretty well detailed. On the other hand, the textures are somewhat jagged, and the frame rate doesn’t seem all that fluid. Additionally, the levels themselves don’t vary much in terms of appearance. Therefore, the monotony can potentially hinder players’ attention spans. As for the music, the soundtrack fails to leave any lasting impression. While it fits o the game’s theme, the tunes quickly lose their flavor.
As you jump into Z-Run, your character is trying to escape from a city populated with zombies. While you do have several routes to choose from, you’re basically trying to venture through the streets while avoiding the living dead. Specifically, you can dodge, jump and even slide your way around these parts of the neighborhood. But you’ll need to keep track of your stamina bar, since its depletion essentially leaves you helpless. You’ll also need to take note of your health, which can be replenished with the soda cans scattered throughout the levels.
Right off the bat, Z-Run feels mundane and tedious. The action and gameplay consistently feel repetitive and undiversified. While there is an opportunity to level up your character’s various stats, the game doesn’t really give any challenges, thus defeating the whole thrill behind leveling up. Even the weapons you end up using tend to be lacking in usefulness. You’re better off dodging and sliding at your zombies, but even then, Z-Run can get boring quickly.
And since your character is running slowly, there’s no sense of urgency, thereby failing to place your reflexes to the test. Despite the 40 levels featured in Z-Run, there isn’t much depth or variation to warrant continuous play. In fact, the game is very short to begin with. With the lack of content and stimulation, this title is not suited even for casual sessions.
Z-Run’s bland gameplay and slow action will have you “running” away from all this. It may suit those who really want a different type of zombie game, but beyond that players will most likely end up going “zzzzzzzzzz” after playing just a short session of this Vita title.