Z-Run is an endless runner, much like the popular mobile game Temple Run. However, what Z-Run brings to the table is the addition of zombies.
The game then immediately drops you into the action. At first, I was thinking the controls would be simple and responsive like Temple Run. Unfortunately, they are sluggish and seem to take a second to register the commands.
The game has a melee system, which uses up your stamina bar, which regenerates slowly over time. While the health bar appeared large, running into obstacles or a zombie attack drained it quickly, even on normal difficulty. Health and stamina potions are sparsely scattered throughout the levels, and can be stored until needed.
interestingly enough, I discovered the inventory by accident, and found you can equip previously picked up items for use in the next run. It would have been helpful to have the game explain this, since there was no indication of this at all.
The level selection screen is designed by choosing your next route. This was extremely simple. There were usually two options. One path takes you down one road, occasionally offering a second path to to choose. You receive no details at all as to what is down these routes. Each route lasted approximately 30 seconds but this also added up if you died. I found myself draining stamina so fast trying to mix up the attacks, and add a little variety. Some of the zombies have a very long reach and will hit you from far away. There is an upgrade system which allows you to increase your to health, stamina, and other stats but that was one of the features I didn’t find all that helpful or interesting.
Picking up a melee weapon did add a nice change of pace at times, although most of them had limited durability. With that, on top of requiring stamina to literally do everything, I found myself getting winded very quickly. Some weapons did have a lot more durability than others, but the melee speed felt off to me. Drawing your melee weapon for the first time once a map loaded was time-consuming, and the animation consisted of getting a quick swing in before letting you do anything with it. There were times when I would draw the weapon just before a zombie encounter just to be able to hit them at the perfect moment.
You really have no control over your movement speed at all during gameplay, except for being able to sprint. Using the right trigger to sprint is helpful at times, especially when avoiding massive hordes of enemies. However, it drains your stamina quickly, so use it sparingly.
One of the things I found interesting at first, but then extremely annoying is the on-screen splatter. What I mean by that is when you hit a zombie, 90 percent of the time they would do a hilarious somersault in the air. Then I noticed blood would splatter on the screen all the while the undead was in the air. You needed to use the touchscreen on the Vita to get rid of the blood so that you could see. It is really annoying to have to do this with every zombie, especially when there is a horde of them you have to plow through. I suppose that’s where part of the challenge of the game comes in, but I think they could have really turned that down a lot. It took the enjoyment of the game down quite a bit when you had to madly scramble to clear your screen before being splattered with blood again.
One nice feature of this game was the music. The game featured a rock soundtrack that i enjoyed. However, it was the only aspect of the game that I enjoyed.
In conclusion, this game was quite disappointing. With the lack of diversity in the levels, combat that felt unnatural, and a lackluster concept, the game didn’t have a lasting appeal to me. Unless you are a major fan of the zombie genre, I’d recommend skipping over this one. I do not believe it’s worth the $8.99 price tag.
I give Z-Run a 2.5 out of 10.