Portabliss: Age of Zombies (Android)

Did you know that you can download handheld games now? That's amazingly convenient! The only inconvenient part of it is finding the right games to buy -- and that's where we come in, with our Portabliss column. Three times a week, our new Portabliss column will tell you about a downloadable game on the iPhone, iPad, Android device, DSi, 3DS, PSP, etc. Today: Age of Zombies!

The only way to survive the zombie apocalypse is through constant, preemptive preparation and a cache of military grade weapons – thankfully for all the procrastinators out there, Halfbrick has found a way to make one half of that as easy as making a phone call.

Age of Zombies is a straightforward, zombie-slaughtering top-down shooter featuring our time-traveling hero, Barry Steakfries, because you never know when the next phone booth you step into will be a time machine covered in the t-virus. Barry travels through five eras of undead history, including the age of decomposing dinosaurs, mummies, the American mafia, ninjas and a cyborg future. Professor Brains, evil genius, infests each era with hordes of zombies, which Barry has to mow down with a variety of weapons and his supply of snarky witticisms.

Normal zombies are killed in one hit while Barry boasts regenerative HP, making running for your life a viable strategy at times. Guns and projectiles spawn across the maps frequently, and it is usually in Barry's best interest to grab a minigun, shotgun, turret or mines, as the pistol is largely ineffective when trapped in a corner by a mass of hungry zombies, which can happen often.

Age of Zombies comprises five eras of three rounds, each ending with a boss fight. The first levels are generally stress-free, but as they increase in difficulty the control scheme becomes equally frustrating. Dual-touch controls appear wherever your thumbs touch the screen, meaning they can shift at any ill-timed tap, and when you desperately need a grenade but only end up vacantly staring at the approaching horde again, the game can become incredibly irritating (Zombie lesson number one: Never vacantly stare down a zombie horde. You don't have laser vision).

Clumsy thumbs aside, Age of Zombies is entertaining, with as much strategy as Angry Birds and more violence than Words with Friends. First released on iOS devices last year, Age of Zombies released on Android July 8, 2011 and is available through the Amazon App Store, listed for $2.99 but available now for $1.49 – a small price to pay for your survival during the apocalypse. It's also available as a PSP Mini.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.