Introduction Price: $0.99 iTunes Store link: Invasion of the Zakks Invasion of the Zakks Lite Developer: Marty Weiner Website: http://invasionofthezakks.com First off, I'd like to note that Marty Weiner is an independent developer who has a fantastic online comic updated every single day at "Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal". The basic story behind this game is that you're an adorable albeit squishy alien whose home planet has been invaded by Zakks. These robots were originally created to escort adorable old ladies across the street. Apparently something went wrong, and the engineers sent the Zakks off where they promptly crash landed on your planet. Please Register or Log in to view images Gameplay Long version (Actually quite short this time, but scroll down for diagram if you're lazy) Set on a top-down 2D plane, you tap eight directional buttons to move one step. After your step, all Zakks will attempt to squish you by walking one step in your direction taking the shortest route possible. The goal is to maneuver in such a way as to force the robotic dunces to crash into each other or into piles of broken Zakks created from previous crashes. Making things easier, there is a button to stay where you are, and another button to stay where you are forever, useful if you built a barricade with destroyed Zakks and want to speed through the rest of the Zakks. Zakk Please Register or Log in to view images (Source: http://invasionofthezakks.com) To aid you in your mission, there are bombs to blow up Zakks one square all around you, there is also the ability to teleport. The ability to teleport is useful, it allows you to get away when you don't have bombs, or don't see a way to create barricades. You have a limit of what the game calls "safe teleports" which guarantee you to teleport to a square that won't be occupied by a Zakk on the robots' next move. However, when you run out of safe teleports you can still teleport, but it's much more risky as you may end up teleporting right next to a Zakk. Just to make things even harder, advanced Zakks called Gergs appear in later levels. These robots are as stupid as Zakks except can move farther each turn. Watch out for these. Gerg Please Register or Log in to view images (Source: http://invasionofthezakks.com) This game has two modes of play which I'll begin describing. Puzzle Puzzle mode has pre-defined Zakks and Gergs in specific spots on the map. The goal is to destroy them all by tricking them into smashing into each other. You are not allowed to use teleport in puzzle mode and only rare are bombs available. The difficulty of these puzzles ranges from "Tutorial" which shows you the ropes, to "Even Less Easy" which as the name suggests, isn't easy. Puzzle mode difficulties/categories Please Register or Log in to view images In addition to the actual puzzles, it has three puzzles categorized as "Mindless Explosions" which are not really puzzles. All you do is stay still and Zakks and Gergs crash into each other with a beautiful, cacophonic explosions. I assume these puzzles are for destructive minds. Marathon Marathon is endless levels of pure robot destroying mayhem. You have the option to start at higher levels and skip the boring earlier ones. In this mode you are equipped with three teleports and one bomb on the starting level. In subsequent levels you are awarded with two teleports and one bomb. With these sparse powers you are to defeat upwards of 200 Zakks per level. You have the option of sending your high scores to the global high score server, which will also be posted on the website for everyone to see. Short version (For your reading pleasure) Please Register or Log in to view images A. Directional movement keys. Located on the edges of the game screen, simply tap to move. B. Barricade of wreckage. This is the result of two or more Zakks/Gergs smashing into each other. This will be your primary line of defense. Lure Zakks/Gergs into the wreckage. C. Gerg. Advanced drones that move farther than Zakks. D. You. This is the alien you are controlling. Protect him at all costs. E. Zakk. Simple dumb robots that move towards you. F. Bomb. Walk over this powerup to pick it up. Tap the bomb icon (K) to set off the bomb which destroys all drones in a one square radius. G. Stay and speed up. This button when tapped allows you to stay in your position while Zakks and Gregs advance towards you. Be sure to have an impenetrable defense before using as it only stops when all drones are destroyed or you are dead. H. Destroyed and Level counter. Displays number of drones destroyed (Zakks and Gregs) and current Level. I. Stay. Tap this to stay in your position. As opposed to the other Stay command, this only lets your alien stay in it's spot for one turn instead of until the end of level. J. Teleports. Amount of safe teleports left. Safe teleports guarantee, well, safety when teleporting. When out of safe teleports, you run the risk of teleporting next to a drone. Use wisely. K. Bomb icon. Tap to unleash a bomb. L. Remaining drones. This counter shows the remaining Zakks (White) and remaining Gergs (Red) left to destroy in your current level. M. Menu. Brings up menu. Controls All commands are issued with taps on the screen, which includes movement, teleports and bombs. You can zoom in and out by pinching the screen. Helpful in determining how many Zakks you're up against. When zooming out far, your alien, bombs, and Gregs are colour-coded. You can also drag your view around. Zoom zoom~ Please Register or Log in to view images Controls are mostly well done, except sometimes when I'm dragging around the screen, I hit a directional key by mistake. Extra Information An amusing ad for this game can be found here as well as a game play video here. There are no glitches I'm aware of. It runs smoothly and can be backgrounded without crashing easily. As for replay value, Marathon mode is the only source of that. For me, I play this game on and off, trying to achieve global high scores. So far, no luck. There's not much else to say about this game as it's fairly straight-forward. Hope this helped you in some way. Ratings Gameplay/Controls: 8/10 - Although the actual gameplay was good, I often accidentally move when trying to pan around the screen. Presentation/Graphics: 5/10 - Graphics are quite weak, though the menus and etc were good. Audio: 7/10 - Bombs go boom, robots go crash. Not anything special, nothing bad either. Replay Value: 8/10 - I've picked this up quite a few times since buying it waaay back when. Value for the Money: 9/10 - It's the cheapest it can get besides being free. No other game like it out there. Overall: 7.4/10 - "Good."