Zynga does Fruit Ninja with Weekly Friends as slasher Zombie Swipeout goes live in Canada

Not just about farming

Zynga does Fruit Ninja with Weekly Friends as slasher Zombie Swipeout goes live in Canada
| Zombie Swipeout

There was a certain amount of confusion last year when it was revealed that Zynga had bought small German studio Gamedoctors.

Renamed as Zynga Mobile Germany, the reason for the US behemoth's move can, perhaps, now be seen.

It's just released Zombie Swipeout for iPhone.

Dismembered with love

Labelled the spiritual successor to Gamedoctors' successful ZombieSmash defence game (a Silver Award winner), the new release uses the same graphical style and characters, mixing up Fruit Ninja slicing gameplay, plus the social glue for which Zynga's well known.

"We originally had considered adding this as a mode to ZombieSmash in an update," explains Matthias Hoechsmann, Zynga Mobile German's director. (He also set up Gamedoctors with his brother.)

In the end, however, it had so much potential, it become the center piece mechanic for the new game.

"We know the competition," he says of the obvious comparison to Fruit Ninja.

"You have to innovate to be successful. We have to come with something that moves the bar."

Your time starts now

The gameplay itself is very simple.

You have 75 seconds in which to swipe, slash, explode and freeze as many zombies that are thrown up the screen, also slicing gold coins to build up your virtual currency. But if you hit Joey, the good guy character from ZombieSmash, it's game over.

Well, sort of.

In arcade-style, you can use your currency to rescue Joey and continue playing. In a neat graphical touch, if you do this, the game rewinds, and Joey 'becomes' a zombie, legitimising your original swipe.

RPG lite

The key metric in the game is your score, which is built up using multiples based on chained combos, typically by targeting zombies' heads.

You can boost this by buying different objects - swords, bats, knives, machetes, katanas, as well as grenades (which act as smart bombs), nitrogen freezes, a rope to make it easier to slice heads, and slo-mo power ups etc.

These all have different attributes in terms of generating combos, while access to them is controlled by a levelling up system.

Items also combine with the game's energy system. The best weapons use more energy, which limits the number of game sessions you can have before either buying more energy or waiting for the recharge (around a hour for a complete cycle).


As for your motivation for playing, that's simple too.

A tournament runs every week, with the top three players in your friends list gaining trophies and bragging rights.

As you'd expect, this list is populated via Facebook, or you can use the game's own code system if you don't want to log into Facebook. There's also a gifting system so you can hand out gold coin currency to encourage your friends to advance quicker.

Currently released only in Canada for iPhone and iPod touch so Zynga can test the exact mechanics, Zombie Swipeout is available in a paid 99c and ad-supported free versions.

Global release is expected soon, and iPad and Android versions will follow.

You can see how it plays in the following video.

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Jon Jordan
Jon Jordan
A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.