Should the time come to lock and load a shotgun at the dawn of an undead apocalypse, thank Alive 4-ever for having prepared you.

Thrusting into the middle of a desperate (and thrilling) fight for survival as the only humans left in a world overrun by zombies, Alive 4-ever distills the finer points of zombie action. That's not to say the game doesn't have a distinct identity, but it has to be said: Alive 4-ever is Left 4 Dead on the iPhone - and that should be considered a huge compliment.

The game plays much like iDracula or Minigore, with two virtual analogue sticks for movement and strafing. The beauty of this control system is that it allows you a complete freedom of movement whilst being able to shoot in any direction - and you'll need to when the relentless zombie horde attacks.

Alive 4-ever takes this basic formula to a new level, adding objectives that elevate the game above a simple hack-n-slash. These objectives see you taking out a set number of fat zombies, for example, or searching the blood-soaked environment for survivors and helping them get to the extraction zone alive.

Scattered about the place is ammunition, med kits, money and more, all of which attempt to seduce you away from your objectives with the promise of a reward on the next level. More than a few lives will be lost attempting to lug a briefcase full of gold bullion through a clawing, slavering army of the undead (but I guarantee you'll try to do it anyway, God bless you).

As awesome as all this gory action is, it's not the best thing about Alive 4-ever. The game really comes to life in multiplayer, where four survivors band together via Bluetooth. What was a desperate situation becomes a calculated, organised assault against the undead as you and your teammates work together to complete objectives.

There are four characters to choose from, each with their own unique traits. Some have a greater hit accuracy, while others survive longer when the living dead chew on their necks. Regardless of which one you choose, experience points allow you to refine their abilities.

The focus on multiplayer means the single player game suffers from a frustrating and often insurmountable level of chaos. Nevertheless, it's hard to criticise an action game for being too action-packed, particularly given its strong command of the genre.

While it would be splendid to also have wi-fi and online multiplayer, the already impressive scope of Alive 4-ever makes it an essential game for the hardcore player, and offers more than enough excitement to easily coax casual gamers over to the dark side.