Killing zombies and FIFA World Cup action: iPhone apps of the week

This week's apps are both games, including one that lets you compete in the FIFA World Cup tournament and the sequel to a zombie-killing survival game.


With today's launch of the iPad 3G, the battle between Apple and Adobe over Flash, and the drama that continues to unfold regarding the leaked iPhone 4G, there's plenty of Apple to go around in the news. But instead of adding my two cents on any of these stories, I'd rather relay the rumor I read about over at Apple Insider.

Apparently, according to "sources familiar with the situation," the iPhone 4G may go on sale June 7, on the first day of the Worldwide Developers Conference. Like many Apple events, Steve Jobs will be giving the keynote speech that day at the Moscone Center in San Francisco;  these sources say he will announce its availability during the speech.

The interesting thing here is that in past iPhone announcements, the device officially went on sale at least one week after the announcement, so this would be a treat for those impatiently waiting for the new iPhone (me included). Of course, like any rumor about Apple, we won't know what will happen until it is officially announced, but it's always fun to follow the Apple rumor mill.

As I've whined and groaned about here many times, I have the old-school 3G, so you can bet I'll be one of the people waiting in line sometime safely after the initial announcement blitz (hey, I'm fanatical, but sensible). If you're impatiently waiting for the iPhone 4G like I am--especially after having seen the leaked photos--let us know in the comments.

This week's apps are both games, including one that lets you compete in the FIFA World Cup tournament and the sequel to a zombie-killing survival game.

FIFA World Cup 2010
Use the Skills button on the right side of the screen to pull off fancy dribbling moves. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)

FIFA World Cup 2010 lets you choose your favorite international team and play through the qualification rounds and on through the tournament for the coveted World Cup. I wrote about FIFA 10 in an earlier post and FIFA World Cup looks and feels mostly the same with some notable tweaks and improvements. FIFA World Cup lets you play any of 105 International Teams, even teams that haven't qualified for the actual tournament. The control system involves an onscreen joystick on the left side of your touch screen and pass and shoot buttons on the right. Like any touch screen joystick, it can be a little muddy compared with using a controller on a console, but once you get the hang of maneuvering your players, the game can be really fun. To add to your moves, FIFA World Cup offers a skill button to make your player pull of some fancy footwork to get around opponents. It's also added indicators to show you where your teammates are, making it much easier to make successful passes.

FIFA World Cup offers a few different game types to keep things interesting. Beyond playing a team through the World Cup Tournament and an exhibition game option, you can play Captain Your Country in which you create a player, choose your position, and try to play as efficiently as possible from that position. You also can play Penalty Shoot out to practice your crunch time shots. Its multiplayer options include playing with a friend over shared Wi-Fi or Bluetooth; however, sadly, there are no online match-ups. Overall, if you've been waiting to take your game to the ultimate soccer/football tournament, FIFA World Cup has plenty of extras to offer and challenging gameplay.

Alive 4-ever RETURNS
Once the zombies start to swarm around you, you'll have to think fast. (Credit: Screenshot by Jason Parker/CNET)
Alive 4-Ever Returns is the sequel to the zombie-killing survival game, Alive 4-Ever. Just like the original, the control system includes a joypad on the left for movement and another on the right to fire your weapons. As you blow away zombies, other control options will appear, like a button for grenades (when you find them) and various special capabilities you will learn as you level up. You have four characters to choose from that each have different strengths and weaknesses. As you level each character, you'll be able to add to their skills and capabilities and buy new weapons for even more fire power.

Alive 4-Ever Returns offers a story mode where you'll spend most of your time leveling up your characters to move through each level of the game, but there are a couple of other game modes to try. Survival battle lets you choose your most experienced character and drops you into an endless swarm of shambling zombies to fight as long as you can to survive. Horde battle takes a slightly different approach, challenging you to fight through waves of undead with brief breaks in in between the action where you can grab ammo and get more health. Once you have your zombie-killing skills down, you can team up with three other friends to kill zombies over a Bluetooth connection. Overall, if you liked the first game or you want to check out a well-made survival shooter with rich RPG elements, this sequel is easily worth the price of admission.

What's your favorite iPhone app? Do you think FIFA World Cup offers enough new features to buy even if you already own FIFA 10? What do you think of Alive 4-ever Returns? Let me know in the comments!

About Jason Parker

Jason Parker has been at CNET for more than 13 years. He is the Senior Editor in charge iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.