Zombies Ate My Doctor is an endless-runner that takes place in a zombie-filled hospital. The protagonist-patient, wakes up to find out that zombies have taken over the world (…sounds familiar). Apparently our protagonist either has injured his legs, or is just extremely lazy, because he is the first zombie apocalypse survivor who I have ever seen, that does not even get up out of bed, to take on the undead. Propelling himself through the never-ending hospital wing, the protagonist must navigate his gurney around roving zombies and other equally deadly obstacles.
Luckily, and randomly, the patient has managed to acquire a pistol that can be used to blast the zombies which pop up in his path. Players simply tap-tap-tap the screen, to bust a cap-cap-cap into a zombie’s noggin. That is the extent of the gameplay…and my rapping ability.
Unfortunately, problems with the basic mechanics arise faster than the undead do. To clear the path, players tap the screen to shoot the zombies…but now the player’s finger is in the way and it becomes annoyingly difficult to see if the zombies are dead or not. Pair this with the absolute randomness of zombie appearances, —zombies are prone to swing open doors to take a swipe at you as well as many zombies who are simply glitched to the floor, and it suddenly becomes a serious annoyance to have adult-sized fingers. Things get absolutely ridiculous when, after some period of time, the game decides to launch the gurney to speeds of about 50 miles per hour (80.5 km/h) through the hospital.
To make things even more difficult, there is not just one track to stay upon, there are three. Players will have to consistently rotate between the left, middle, and right tracks in order to avoid obstacles like locked doors, walls, and traffic cones. The hitboxes on some of the obstacles (and the zombies, I noticed) are a bit off. There were times when I would switch lanes after an obstacle had passed and wasn’t even on the screen any longer, and I would still hit it and either take damage, or completely wreck into it.
As the player gets further into the hospital, they periodically come to the morgue where, for whatever reason, there are coins. Collect enough coins and the player can unlock more weapons and abilities to assist them in getting further into the game. This is where the in-app purchases come into play. Apart from collecting these morgue coins, players can choose to buy large amounts of them for relatively inexpensive prices. Players can also buy “keys” which allow them to continue further on into the levels. From my experience, to compensate for difficulty, the game simply rockets the player faster-and-faster, to make things more difficult. So Zombies Ate My Doctor was virtually impossible to navigate, after a certain amount of time anyway.
Through the hallways are scattered random power ups which are used for extra defense and other attributes. I only managed to pick up one, as they tended to drop right in front of obstacles, so to get them, I’d have to risk hitting one of the crazy hitboxes, and ending my run. The one I picked up was an offensive bonus, which added (I think) a ram’s head to the front of my gurney, as well as a protective cage. However, on top of my finger tapping away on the screen, I now had to peer out through the cage, with a giant ram’s head blocking the center of my view. Thanks to that “bonus” I died within seconds.
Zombies Ate My Doctor was never a fun game. Between the cheap difficulty spikes (the speed boosting), the annoying game mechanics (my finger was forced to be in the way), and just some problems that plainly must have been ignored (funky hitboxes, glitchy zombies, useless power-ups), I was more than happy to remove this game from my tablet. At the end of the day, Zombies Ate My Doctor is just another game in an already zombie/endless runner-saturated marketplace, to ignore. At least it was free.
I reviewed this game on my Nexus 7 running Android 4.3
- unique idea
- obviously neglected issues
- cheap difficulty spikes
- poorly thoughtout mechanics