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Zombie Daisuki

A-shamblin' we will go...

Are you suffering from zombie fatigue? After seeing them in countless games of variable quality, it's perfectly understandable if you never want to fight another slow, shambling horde of flaky-skinned corpse-men ever again. But Zombie Daisuki is, we promise you, a completely different breed of graveyard fun

The name translates as Zombie Love, and they're the cutest bunch of brain-munchers you ever did see. It's not their fault they have blue skin, no heartbeat and a taste for flesh. Look at it from their point of view - raised from the dead, hated, feared and persecuted by the living. They want answers. They want justice.

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But without a guiding hand to organise them into an efficient fighting force they're nothing but the cannon fodder so frequently depicted in other games. Which is where you come in. Using the power of your stylus, you can bend the zombies to your will.

You can guide and nurture them, sending them off to raid their former world and discover who's responsible for their socially unacceptable condition. We'd hesitate to say you can actually command them, at least not in the normal real-time strategy sense of the word.

This zombie army dissolves into a hopelessly disorganised rabble at the first sign of something edible, and even if you tell them precisely where to go, a few stragglers will always split from the main group to investigate whatever it is that zombies find inexplicably fascinating.

The controls are really simple. You swipe across the screen to usher zombies in a particular direction, and swipe several times to make them hurry up. Holding the stylus down makes nearby zombies gather in a tight group, at which point you can draw a circle round them to try to keep them together. Tapping three times makes them scatter.

They'll attack any humans within their range. Potential victims tend to move around a lot, so you need to keep drawing lines to make them follow their target. If any of your brainless blue buddies notices a delicious picnic table or a shiny car, he'll wander off to chew on it, and if your destination is more than a screen's width away you'll find that by the time you get there a good proportion of your army has deserted you. The ingrates.

So you need to be on the lookout for any zombies in danger of forgetting the mission. When you spot wayward individuals on the map, you just scroll over there using the D-pad (or the little virtual D-pad in the bottom corner of the screen) and give them a few swipes to get them moving again.

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By which time some of your main group will have decided to occupy themselves by biting bits of wood and licking windows. Their short attention spans might sound a bit of an annoyance in a strategy game, but Zombie Daisuki gets away with it by virtue of being completely adorable. And by not having very much strategy at all.

You can split your zombies into smaller groups, dividing them according to their shirt colours, but even then it's almost entirely about chasing after lone victims. Some people run and hide, while others stand and fight. Either way, weight of numbers is usually what does for them in the end, as they're swamped by a tide of blue monsters.

Levelling up is handled in a similarly shambolic fashion, with stat-boosting treats thrown into the crowd after every mission. You can pick out individual zombies if you're very patient - they all have English names written in katakana - but when you've got 20 or 30 different goodies to distribute, you might as well just scatter them at random.

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