Epic Evil Twins – A Straight Forward Zombie Shooter

Finally product placement works for us! 

Epic Evil Twins is a nifty little free app for the iPhone and iPad. It is an entertaining spin on the age old, bread and butter concept of zombie games that is easy to get into. It stays fun even as you play through with all the upgrades, unlocks, and new characters you could ask for and for no cost at all is a great app to whittle down time spent sitting on a bus or waiting at the doctor’s office.

But let’s call it what it really is: blatant product placement.

Now before you cue the collective cringe that usually accompanies those words, stop and think about it. After all, this isn’t some OxyClean or Shamwow special polluting after-hours television. This is an enjoyable iPhone game that you get for free if you are willing to live with a little bit of elevated interest in gummy candies. In my book, the consumer won out on this particular deal.

The gameplay is straightforward, but has enough depth to play straight through without getting bored of it. Essentially, you and a partner (the computer in single player or another person in multiplayer) run around the scrolling city streets with a variety of candy projectile weapons blasting away at all manner of zombies. As you kill them, the zombies explode into piles of coins that snap into your inventory with that satisfying ringing noise that every gamer knows and loves. At any time you can use these coins to purchase upgrades for the variety of different weapons available. At the end of each level, the players are asked to defeat a zombie boss in order to save (and unlock) a new character. Each character has a unique special ability with different benefits and drawbacks. When I played through it I found that just as I mastered the use of this special ability, I had unlocked a new character and would want to see what theirs did. This way, every new level I was relearning the best way to use the special, and it was different every time. The partner that fights with you adds complexity as well, since in score and money you are in competition with them, but you need their help to get through most levels. These subtle mechanics make the game a lot more interesting to play than you would expect. It’s nothing ground breaking, but it is far and away better than you’ll get from ninety nine percent of the free apps out there.

Once you get over the product placement gag reflex, the game is unusually polished for a free app. However, there are definitely some drawbacks. Movement can be a little frustrating, especially when playing single player. Since the camera has to keep both players on screen and the AI only moves in weird stutter steps, some time is wasted trying to lead them forward into the next battle. Sometimes I would get caught and killed by running blind against the far edge of the screen to try to get my ally to move a little faster.

All in all, if more product placement was like Epic Evil Twins, I don’t think we would hate it so much. It’s a well-polished app for the price (free), it entertains you and doesn’t ask anything of you except that you think about candy a little more than is healthy. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go buy some Sour Patch Kids.

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