I’ve just completed the iPhone game Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the game version of the Quirkbooks book, made by Freeverse. It’s a mere AU$3.99 for a pretty cool 2D game, and kept me playing (with my brother!) for the last two hours until we managed to complete it, unlock everything and have a brief chat about what was good/bad et cetera. He is a big gamer, and I am a big Regency fan. I found that this combined both worlds really nicely in a “sidescrolling action beat ’em up” (App Store description).
As my brother and I come from two different planets when it comes to games (I stab the screen like a maniac on cocaine in between reading lengthy passages, he calmly creates a strategy and attempts to learn all the different techniques while skipping all the “talking”) I will discuss this based on the two premises. That the person who is playing it is a) A Gamer or b) A Janeite.
This 12 levels long game that we have been waiting for ages for (check out my Preview of the game before it came out and my subsequent update) is rated 12+ for a few suggestive themes (mentioning of balls of the non-dancing type), crude humour and intense cartoon violence (limbs flying around the screen, zombies hurtling towards you on fire, blood baths) but isn’t disgusting- although several larger zombies vomit green gunge.
The instructions are vague, because there isn’t much to it. I, as a Type B (Janeite), play a few games here and there on the Xbox, PS3 etc, but I am by no means very good at it. I found this fairly easy to pick up, although I soon resorted to just clicking everything in a haphazard manner, and using one attack that I managed to learn. It says that there are 8 different ways to touch the screen to have different attacks (which can all be upgraded in this little “shop”/tea-time/dojo using coins you earn in the game) but I managed to use two attacks successfully, the others all being potluck depending on how I clicked the screen.
My brother on the otherhand, the Type A person (gamer), found it similarly irritating. He managed to use all the attacks, and practiced them in the spare moments when not as many zombie hoardes (there are a tonne of the green people) are on screen, but he failed to carry a lot of them out while fighting. Perhaps he has big man hands, or maybe it’s just that there are too many things to click on screen. I think the latter. With this in mind, it isn’t challenging and it’s far too easy to get coins to unlock all of the different attacks and special moves/lives which make the game virtually unloseable.
There are some little jokes in it that hark back to the Old-School games we love. It looks a LOT like Tekken when looking at the simple design concepts:
This joke is contined on in the names of the characters themselves. Some of the Zombies/Ninjas are called names such as Yoshimitsu and Heiahachi which are popular fighters in Tekken.
The Pride and Prejudice side of it:
The actual Pride and Prejudice part of it was quite nice for a Type B person. There are some lovely little moments, with beautiful music (by Dynamedion, Dominik Hauser, Jack Francis, Tempero, Elliot Simons, Gavin Courtie, Liz Radford, Wojceich Panufnik, Pawel Blaszczak and Piotr Pacyna) and a whimsical feeling (Chapter 10 Pemberley Manor, and Epilogue were fantastic for this). There were also some lovely Lizzy/Darcy moments- such as their fight in Chapter 8 Mr. Darcy’s Proposal that was interspliced with their heated comments to each other.
I especially enjoyed the way each level was a ‘Chapter’ and turned like pages of a book with illustrations- this made it feel a little more sophisticated as well. There is actually also an ‘etc’ page ribbon that leads you to descriptions of all the characters (and allows you to change music settings, left-hand/right-hand, look at credits etc).
There wasn’t that character development, but you don’t expect it in something like this. There also wasn’t much tension between the romantic couples, but the storyline was definitely maintained through the dialogue. To me, as a Type B, I felt this went for the right amount of time, and although my brother complained about there being “too much talking” he did laugh a couple of times at the part with Lady Catherine and ninjas, and got into the plot I think. You can fast-forward through this dialogue, which suited me as I didn’t want to watch it a billion times when I died, but I think that it should’ve been disabled for first viewing so that gamers are forced to know what they are playing!
So who can you actually fight during the game? A whole load of people- dead and undead alike.
There are normal zombies and more difficult versions called Elite zombies. There are three levels with flaming zombies (basically zombies on fire that seem to be more difficult to kill). Ninjas and zombie Ninjas. There is also a ‘Master’ ninja of Lady Catherine’s who you fight. And, um, you can also fight her. You fight Mr. Darcy, Mr. Wickham (as Mr. Darcy) and even massive vomiting zombies who have different names e.g. Mr. Gatsby. There are chef zombies that run around with large butchers knives and are very hard to kill. There are also zombie deer, rabbits and birds. Heck, there are even zombies that come up through the ground.
It did manage to bugger up around level 10, cancelling out each time I died (as in many times) and going back to my homescreen. I thought this was just my iPhone, but apparently it is “faulty” on other peoples’ as well, however it eventually went back into the game (I had to go in after it quitted out and wait for a while) and I managed to beat all the last two levels.
It also runs the battery down a lot. I had pretty much run out by the time I was on Chapter 9 of the game.
So what do you think? Have you played it? Is the story more important than the game or just as important? Let me know.