It’s quite a simple concept; walk to the right whilst killing hordes of undead monsters, ranging from vampires to hulking centaur-esque enemies. Most enemies will go down easily but some require clever uses of your weapons or kicking ability to defeat. In the earlier levels, it’s all very manageable but it becomes quite intense later on when enemies are coming at you from both sides. Combining your weaponry with kicks to clear a little space becomes quite exciting when the odds are against you and enemies are exploding into gory masses around you.
Luckily there’s a range of weaponry to combat the undead. Jane’s main weapons are a pair of revolvers which you can rapidly fire into crowds by spamming the shoot button. She can also wield a shotgun, a gatling gun, a crossbow that freezes enemies and a fish that shoots grenades. Yes, really. All of these are upgradable with the coins that you receive from killing enemies which greatly adds to the replay values of levels. Trying out a new weapon or upgrade is incredibly satisfying. Ammo is reasonably scarce within the levels so proper preparation is a necessity. This also encourages you to use the weapon most suitable for a given scenario – try saving those shotgun shells for when you have more than one enemy to deal with for example.
The game is nicely styled like a cartoon (albeit with much more gore than your typical Saturday morning watch) with locations including a graveyard and a train. The soundtrack will grate on you after a while however. One song evokes ideas of a haunted Alton Towers but it plays so often, you will tire of it quickly. The story is expectedly bare bones with Jane dealing with the hordes in order to earn as much money as possible. Jane herself is an odd character. There is clearly an attempt to create a Lara Croft styled hero, although even Lara might be offended by the “front” Jane shows. No doubt some will love the heroine being a buxom blonde asskicker; others will probably turn their noses up.
There are thirty levels in the story mode, set across five areas. They’re all fairly similar, increasing in difficulty as you advance. There’s an Angry Birds style three star system which hinges on how quickly you finish the level, how many coins you’ve earnt and how much damage you’ve taken. It’s a shame that there is no reward for completing all of those though. The strongest mode of the game comes with the Survival mode, unlocked when you clear all the missions in an area. Reminiscent of Horde modes often seen in games nowadays, it adds a score attack element to the game. Competing with friends via the leaderboards could prove to be quite interesting.
For a casual game, Jane Wilde is pretty good given its simplicity. Further content, such as enemies and areas, would be welcome but for now, you get a solid amount for your money. Completing the story mode will take some time and the Survival mode that comes afterwards is quite addictive. Unlocking all the weapons and upgrades will also keep you entertained. Maybe one day, we’ll understand our obsession with zombies. Until then, let’s keep blowing them to pieces.