Zombies, Zombie, Zombies. The undead have taken over, movies, TV shows, and video games alike. Given, each story has its own version of what a zombie is but none the less we still love it them anyway. While playing games like Black Ops or Dead Island I find myself thinking of the first time I can recall playing a game with zombies. For me that game is Zombies Ate My Neighbors. Zombies Ate My Neighbors released on July 19th, 1993. This 55 leveled action packed zombie filled rescue mission of a game was originally developed by LucasArts and was published by Konami. Oh how awesome was this game, yea it had zombies but there was so much more. This was truly every sci-fi kid’s wet dream. Villains ranging from aliens to vampires and an armory of the finest weaponry like Uzi squirt guns and soda cans this game really had it all.
Dr. Tongue, the mad scientist, has fashioned himself a vast army of monsters within the bowels of his castle and has unleashed them on nearby areas, terrorizing its residents. Players get to choose between two characters, Zeke and Julie, or you can play the game in a co-op mode to take on Dr. Tongue and his minions. There are no actual differences between the characters performances like we would see in modern games today so in this case it is only a matter of gender. Players will search suburban neighborhoods, shopping malls, pyramids, haunted castles and other areas to help save their neighbors by destroying varies monster. These monsters will consist of vampires, blobs, werewolves, UFOs, giant ants, huge demonic babies, squid men, evil dolls, aliens, giant worms, and of course the zombies.
In this game scavenging for varies items and weapons is very essential. Players can collect many types of weapons, such as an Uzi squirt gun, bazookas, lawnmowers, explosive soda cans, popsicle, tomatoes, silverware, dishes, ancient crucifixes, fire extinguishers and Martian bubble guns. Each of these weapons will have their own effectiveness against certain types of enemies so play wisely. Some of the items you’ll come across will consist of keys that open up doors; health packs that restore health, and potions with various effects such as super speed or the player transforming into a powerful monster for a short period of time.
There are 48 main levels as well as seven optional bonus levels giving you a total of 55 levels. In each level you’ll have 10 victims to grab in order to save. In rescuing them all an exit door will appear which players enter, when completed, to move on to the next level. However if the player does not find a neighbor fast enough and a monster kills one of the neighbors then you can still continue the game but the next level will have one less neighbor to save. The goal is to maintain a consist rescue rate of surviving neighbors throughout each level. At least one neighbor must be saved from each level to progress to the next. The concept of the game is that neighbors MUST stay alive. So the game is lost if all of the neighbors are killed and if the player loses all of their lives. Scoring points earns players neighbors to save and extra lives. Each level has at most ten neighbors, and each neighbor type is worth a different amount of points.
So if you like zombies and all things sci-fi and just happen to like things old school this game shouldn’t be overlooked. It may be over a decade old but it’s definitely a challenging game with hidden levels and a keen sense of strategy you really can’t go wrong. Have I mentioned the kick ass soundtrack?
Did you know?
Zombies Ate My Neighbors was released before the ESRB inclusion and Nintendo did not want violence in their video games. It was then Nintendo ordered that all representations of blood and gore be taken out or altered to purple ooze. Obviously this didn’t take away from the greatness of the game as color pigment had no effect on the gameplay.
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