SWAT and Zombies Season 2

App review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
SWAT and Zombies Season 2 App Poster Image
Wacky knockoff zombie game mixes strategy, cartoon blood.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Easy at first; difficulty quickly ramps up. Purchases of powerful weapons or items make things easier.

Violence

Cartoon violence with guns, bats, bombs. Cartoon blood spatter when humans are injured, blood also shown in background images.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Purchases make progress easier. Ads play both by choice and automatically after certain gameplay moments.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that SWAT and Zombies Season 2 is a cartoony free-to-play strategy game similar to (but not part of) the popular Plants vs. Zombies series. Its focus is twofold: having players use all manner of ranged weaponry -- pistols, rifles, machine guns --and use different kinds of SWAT team agents to fight off marauding zombie hordes. Some blood is shown when humans are hit, and blood spatter appears in background art. The game can be played single-player or against other players online, and you can connect the game to your Facebook account. Ads play periodically, and players can opt to watch more in exchange for in-app currency. The app's privacy policy details the kinds of information collected and shared. To read the privacy policy in full, visit the developer's official website.

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What's it about?

SWAT AND ZOMBIES SEASON 2 is a "tower defense" game (a game where your job is to defend a static base from waves of attackers) that pits a range of different SWAT team agents against waves of wacky zombies. Players defend a human town by strategically positioning their agents in various locations; when zombies approach, these agents fire automatically. With every zombie killed, players earn coins they can use to add more defense. Completed levels reward players with experience (XP), currency, and items they can use to upgrade their SWAT members and weapons. New story chapters and new difficulty modes unlock as players progress, and players can test their strategic mettle in single-player Infinite mode (where gameplay goes on until the player's defeated) or against one another in online Arena mode, or they can test their cooperative skills in co-op World Sweepers mode.

Is it any good?

It'd be easy to mistake this app for something in the Plants vs. Zombies series, thanks to its copycat gameplay and aesthetics, but while it's more violent, it's still entertaining to play. SWAT and Zombies Season 2 differs from the friendlier game by using human fighters instead of plants, raising the blood factor of the on-screen action despite the cute and colorful look of the app. That said, the app succeeds in co-opting what makes Plants vs. Zombies so much fun. There are lots of human fighters with different abilities to choose from, and more than 50 weapons. There's also a load of kooky zombies (Skateboarding zombies? Zombies who kill by throwing bowling balls?), all of which do ridiculous kinds of damage. Things start slowly enough, but with each level, the difficulty rises and the need for strategy grows.

Around chapter two, your upgrade progress slows way down, and that's when the amateurs get separated from the dedicated zombie killers. Though currency and upgrades are fairly easy to earn both by completing levels and by watching ads, the trickle of both is slow. More ambitious or impatient types could prefer to pay for faster progress as well as the luxury of not watching ads. Still, different difficulty levels and different modes provide plenty of ways to play, and the selection of agents, zombies, and weapons provide plenty of reasons to stay. Never mind that SWAT and Zombies Season 2 shamelessly emulates another company's hit game series -- just be glad it does it well.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in video games. Do you see violence against zombies, like the ones in SWAT and Zombies Season 2, to be as problematic as violence against humans? Is it OK because the enemies are undead?

  • Can you tell when a game or movie is a copy of something else? If so, do you care?

  • In light of some tragic events, should games featuring guns still be made? Is there a reason to pause the release of some games that feature guns?

App details

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For kids who love strategy

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