Reviews: Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Arguably, the best horror game!

When you look at this game, you would probably argue "Why this game? This isn't very scary."

Truth is, it isn't. But that still doesn't stop Zombies Ate My Neighbors from being more fun than Resident evil.

And before you claim that I have not played Resident Evil, I have; It boggles my mind how that game became a classic, while Zombies barely saw the sun.

The concept is simple; you play as Zeke or Julie, and save the neighborhood from a Mad Scientist (Dr. Tongue,) and his army of mean monsters.

But the gameplay is complex, you have to conserve ammo, if you don't, you will find yourself practically defenseless. Lucky for you, there is plenty of ammo lying around, so unless you just Gung Ho into a room holding "Y" often, you shouldn't find yourself in that tight spot.

Unfortunately, Really tough enemies can and will soak up ammo like a sponge, and that's where it gets scary; many of the enemies are a combination of the following: Durable, Fast, Respawning, and/or Have a Deadly or annoying Special Ability. This is scary because I find running out of ammo the game practically hands to you like candy early on, is a lot more pulse-pounding than not being able to aim your gun.

With 55 different levels, Cool Music, Tons of Enemies, Useful Weaponry, Fair (for the most part,) Challenge, and Two-Player Co-Op, by adding it all together, you have a great game for your SNES/Genesis/Virtual Console/Emulator collection.


Depth and freedom make this comic horror shooter a classic

Zombies Ate My Neighbors is, at first glance, a relatively standard overhead view shooter with open-ended levels and a mock horror theme. But while it's certainly those things, it's a game that expertly follows my number one rule of good video game design: "Take a simple gameplay concept and get as much depth in there as you can without modifying the core concept."

Your goal is to rescue all the victims in every level, and they're scattered all over the place. So you have to head out and explore the levels to try to rescue them. Along the way, lots of horror movie monsters will try to stop you, and you fight them off with a variety of weapons ranging from the standard squirt gun, to silverware (one-hit kill for werewolves) and crucifixes (kills vampires quickly).

The levels are wide open and explorable, giving you plenty of freedom as to where you can go and what order to rescue the victims in. But there's plenty of reason to explore on the side. Tons of hidden items can be found in houses, garages, and so on, and even the entrances to secret levels.

One of the major game changers is the bazooka. It's more than just a powerful weapon. It can blow holes literally in just about any wall with even the slightest crack (and there's a ton of these), any piece of a hedge maze, and can also blow open any locked door you might not have a key for, or want to waste a key on. It becomes your best friend in the hedge maze level, where otherwise the chainsaw-wielding maniacs would have an unfair advantage over you, being that they can cut down pieces of the maze at any time to get to you or the victims.

Which leads to another thing about the game: the level design is hugely varied and inspired. While the core gameplay never changes, one level has you navigating a shopping mall, another takes place in backyards overgrown with weeds (which you can cut with a weedwhacker if you found one), another is the aforementioned hedge maze, and so on. While the levels all involve rescuing the victims so you can escape, they all have their own distinct design to them that forces you to play a little differently.

This is an example of how to take a very simple concept and make a high quality game out of it. Zombies Ate My Neighbors has a ton of depth, freedom to how you tackle the game's challenges, and yet remains simple at its core.