Cowboy Jed: Zombie Apocalypse, taking care of zombies in the wild west

Zombies just won't go away and continue a strong presence in the Windows Phone Store.  Now they are invading the wild west in the Windows Phone 8 game Cowboy Zed: Zombie Apocalypse.

As you would guess, you play the role of Zed, a cowboy dead set on wiping out the zombie invasion and protecting artificial brains that will cure the zombie hordes. He's got a handful of weapons to use against the undead, even a pet dragon (not sure where he comes into play though).

The story line is a little cheesy, the comic book graphics are good and game play takes a while to get used to but isn't too shabby. Overall, Cowboy Jed: Zombie Apocalypse is a decent game that is a nice way to pass the time with but needs just a little polishing.

Your main menu for Cowboy Jed has options to play the game and visit the armory and upgrade center to give your character a boost in the field. Quick note, the game's music is a little on the cheesy side so have your Windows Phone volume down. You'll have to pause a game to mute the sound and it would be nice if the developer added a mute button to the main menu.

When you launch into the game, you'll go through a series of story boards telling how a local scientist has developed an artificial brain that turns zombies back to humans. It's Cowboy Jed's job to protect these brains from the zombies.

Cowboy Jed is a multi-level game with 48 levels of play that are spread out across 4 scenarios. The game screen has three platforms that the zombies approach on with the artificial brains at one end. Cowboy Jed floats up/down on a jet pack shooting at the zombies. Head shots back the zombies up and eventually shooting one enough kills them.

Across the top of the screen has your cash earns stats, zombie kill counter, and jewel count. Along the bottom of the screen are your bonus weapons that range from a nuclear bomb to a freeze ray. As you progress through the levels, these bonus weapons become unlocked and increase in number. In the far right corner is your game timer and to advance to the next level, you have to protect your artificial brains for that set amount of time. Naturally, it's best to keep all your brains from being eaten by the zombies.

Game play has you flying Cowboy Jed between each platform, shooting the zombies in the head to keep them from eating the brains. Cowboy Jed fires his weapon automatically so you just need to concentrate on his movement. If a zombie reaches one of the brains, he'll start munching on it. If all your brains are eaten, game over. If you survive the time limit, you advance to the next level.

There will be times in which you take out a zombie and bonus items appear from coins to extra bonus weapons. Just tap to collect.

Cowboy Jed: Zombie Apocalypse isn't a bad game to pass the time with but there are a few quirks. First, the game doesn't seem to like multi-touch in that if you're touching the screen to move Jed around, tapping the bonus weapons doesn't work. If you stop moving Jed around the buttons work just fine. It makes things more challenging but it would be nice to multi-task.

The other issue is that while you can slow the zombies down by shooting them in the head, you can't raise Jed high enough to make such a shot on the top platform. The best you can do is shoot them in the waist, which really doesn't do much. You're likely going to lose the top artificial brain in every level you play because of this.

Cowboy Jed: Zombie Apocalypse has potential but just needs a little refining. For starters, add the mute button to the main menu, add a help section to let players know what they need to be doing, get Jed to fly high enough to deal with the top platform and add multi-touch support. All totaled, Cowboy Jed is worth a try but in the end the game may not appeal to everyone.

Cowboy Jed: Zombie Apocalypse is a free game for your Windows Phone 8 device that you can find here in the Windows Phone Store.

QR: Cowboy Jed: Zombie Apocalypse

George Ponder

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.