This week's iPhone gaming round-up happens to feature two games with zombies in them. I expected as much in the first title. The second's incorporation of the undead, however, was a pleasant surprise.
"Dawn of the Dead" ($1.99)
It takes less than five minutes to crave a better control scheme in "Dawn of the Dead." Ironically, it takes less than fifteen to conquer the game's lackluster campaign. Like a smaller "Soldier of Fortune," "Dawn of the Dead" is a run-and-gun shooter that pits you against zombie hordes as a well-armed survivor. Each level has a special hook to it -- "beat the timer," "find this key," or "stay alive" -- but its clunky on-screen controls and senseless AI fail to entertain. It's best to avoid this unless you're an über-zombie game-fan.
With a playful art direction and solid mechanics, "Trenches" is impressive. It's a horizontal tower defense title set during World War I. But don't let the prospect of early 20th century warfare scare you off -- weaponry fires at a steady clip and the on-screen action is fast. The game borrows its name from its unique mechanic, the trench. After entering one, your four different types of soldiers are protected like turtles, able to conquer foes with ease. Don't chill too long, though -- the breezy campaign mode forces lateral movement by shelling campers with mortars. If the campaign sections prove too short, there is a Nazi zombie mode that allows near-infinite play. Give this a look if you're into tower defense or just need a tight iPhone experience.