Retro Gaming: Zombies Ate My Neighbors

2012/11/05 16:37:25 +00:00 | Kyle Smith

Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a cult classic from my childhood. I haven't played it in years and I often wondered how it would hold up to today’s standard. Thankfully, it played out the same way I remembered. I still enjoyed the game and its quirks, while being challenged in the process.

You're given the choice to play as Zeke, a male that wears 3D glasses and a black t-shirt with a white skull on it, or Julie, a female who sports a red baseball hat and a purple jacket. There doesn't seem to be any differences besides the character models, so it's up to your personal preference. In addition to single-player, you have an option to play as a team in the two-player mode, which I highly recommend.

The title of the game should give you a general idea of what to expect. Your objective is to save as many civilians as you can before the zombies kill them. The more people you save, the higher your score gets. The game is lost if your health bar is depleted or if the neighbors all die before you can save them in a given level. Although this game is very straight forward, I applaud it for being so simple yet compelling.

There are over 50 levels (including bonus levels), that include areas such as suburban backyards, shopping malls, and haunted castles. I enjoyed the variety of levels that this game had to offer, as it didn’t feel like it was just rehashing the same old thing. As you might expect, there are the usual suspects when it comes to enemies: Zombies, spiders, mummies, vampires and martians. The enemies in this game can be overwhelming at times, but if you’re careful, you can avoid some sticky situations, so look for alternative ways of getting around. For instance, you can blast part of a hedge maze away with a bazooka, opening up a new path.

As cliché as the horror-themed monsters are in this game, you can expect the exact opposite from the weapons. The truly unique set includes silverware, bazookas, tomatoes, popsicles and the ever comical soda can grenades. They all have their own set of attributes and some even have better effectiveness based on the monster you’re going up against. For example, the silverware can kill a werewolf in one hit.

The music was a big highlight for me. It brought the tension to a whole new level and even had me anxious during the fourth level. As strange as this game was, the music kept me involved. I must confess to humming most of the soundtrack even hours after I had finished playing. There’s really not much else to say, except for it has top notch sound quality from a 16-bit game.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors doesn’t take itself too seriously and the humor was quite apparent scattered throughout the levels. If you get excited by B-rated horror or killing zombies and other classic monsters, you will not be disappointed, as there is enough of that to keep everyone happy. Anyone can pick up a controller and play it without much trouble early on, but the later levels are difficult enough to frustrate the casual gamer. I would recommend this game to anyone new or old to this experience. It’s one memory that has lasted with me for years and will continue to hold up in the future.

Platform: Super Nintendo (SNES) Developer: LucasArts Publisher: Konami