Zombie games are a dime a dozen these days. Thankfully there are still zombie games that are a bit different. Shelter is a card game that is out on iOS, mixing a card game with a tower defence game and you happen to be fighting back zombies.
You have the playing area with barricades running across the middle of it to keep you safe from the zombie threat. The goal is to keep the zombies from breaking through and taking your precious life points. At the beginning I was easily holding back weak zombies, but very quickly I had to fight tooth and nail to keep more dangerous zombies from breaking through. I found that when the game threw tougher zombies at me earlier in the game there wasnít much I could do strategically, just hope that I could kill all the monsters before they break through. Once the game gets moving and you have access to more cards then it gets better Ė youíre no longer just managing your guns and ammo and have more to do with the limited ability points before the turn ends. I found myself having a lot more of a challenge when card modifiers became more common, and I had to make do with more limiting weapons. There is a steep increase in difficulty once you finish the starting area.
You start off with one survivor, seeking out supplies to help get you out on the road and finding other survivors. Over time I found myself slowly being introduced to new ally abilities and new kinds of zombies and card modifiers that made the zombies even tougher. The cards and the story are both presented in a hand drawn style which I feel adds to the appeal, and thereís no shortage of different cards to check out. Playing on the iPhone meant that the play area can be kind of hard to see everything, as it is squished onto the one screen. To read the details of enemy cards there is lots of pinch zooming, and to look at your hand, it is on a different screen. Itís understandable that there have to be some concessions to fit the play area on a mobile screen, but it means more fiddling around with zooming and moving around than there needs to be.
Shelter is an interesting combo of card game, tower defence and zombie game. While strategy is needed to win, your only goal is to stop the zombies from getting through instead of all kinds of win conditions that card games can throw at you. The iPhones small screen does make the play area hard to see whatís going on without zooming, but it doesnít stop the game from being playable at all, it just slows it down a little. For lovers of card games that are a bit different then you should spend some time with Shelter.