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Over 9000 Zombies! Blends Genres in a Mashup as Morbid as a Walking Dead Person (Review)


Over 9000 Zombies! Blends Genres in a Mashup as Morbid as a Walking Dead Person (Review)

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Over 9000 Zombies!, developed by Loren Lemcke, does indeed have many many zombies for you to shoot.  The game is similar to a twin stick shooter in many ways, from the top down camera angle to the slowly progressing bullet spread options and increasing numbers of enemies on screen.  It differentiates itself from the twin stick genre not only in providing a fire button separate from the right analog stick (a rather odd design choice), but also with an emphasis on base development and crafting.  The crafting mechanic and shooting each have their merits, but in terms of complementing each other their interplay in Over 9000 Zombies! is troubling.

Turrets are great, but shotguns and grenades are much better.

Turrets are great, but shotguns and grenades prove to be much more fun.

Upon hitting “start game” the player is unceremoniously dropped into a rather desolate map with very minimalist graphics.  The twin stick shooter I Made a Game with Zombies in It! (officially titled I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MBIES 1N IT!!!1) immediately sprung to mind as a close analog of the graphical style and zombie theme, but unlike that Xbox Live Arcade gem Over 9000 Zombies! refuses to take any risks in tone or art style, leaving a boilerplate map designed strictly for function.  Various structures, most of which are either on fire or otherwise partially destroyed, are scattered across this map likely meant to support the game’s base building mechanics.  Other than that the map is entirely flat and provides very little in the form of variety as it remains practically unchanged as horde upon horde of zombies spawns for the player to dispatch.

Everything is so flat and barren...

Everything is so flat and barren…

The very first thing the player will have to make use of before beginning their base building is their automatically equipped pistol with infinite ammo.  The game seems torn between encouraging the player to bunker down and craft and to just stay on the move and approach the game similarly to a twin stick shooter.  In fact you have to run and gun, at least near the beginning of each new wave, in order to collect the randomly dropped scrap metal that serves as the game’s crafting currency.  These scrap metal drops felt too spaced apart, and led me to usually just forgo hunkering down for the more difficult yet immediately satisfying tactic of running around, killing as many zombies as possible with my guns, and occasionally picking up randomly dropped grenades and using them for great effect.  

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