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Zombies Ate My Neighbors

 

Lucasarts 1993

Super Nintendo

 

 

 

 

 

Back in the 20th century Lucasarts actually used to make games that had nothing to do with Star Wars. Not that there's anything wrong with Star Wars games, but it's a good idea to vary up your product line a little bit now and then. This was one of the best to come out of Lucasart's golden years along with Manic Mansion, Curse of Monkey Island , etc.

The game is played in an overhead shooter style similar to Gauntlet, although this game is far more involving. You choose to be a chick with a red hat or a punk kid with 3D glasses, and the idea is to go around saving all your clueless neighbors from an onslaught of evil movie monsters. You do this by using common household items as weapons. Your default weapon is a squirtgun with limited range. As you go through houses, malls, etc. you can search closets, cupboards, chests, etc. Everything you pick up has a use; Soda cans turn into grenades that can go over walls, plates can be thrown, you get the idea. Collect all the neighbors and an "Exit" door appears to take you to the next level.

The real charm of this game comes from all the different enemy types, all based on classic horror/sci-fi monsters. The first few levels has you facing generic crawling zombies that go down easily. Eventually you face killer axe wielding dolls, hockey masked chainsaw killers, giant spiders, Frankenstein, Dracula, and the purple tentacle from "Day of the Tentacle." Certain enemy types can only be killed by certain weapons, like the killer mushrooms have to be cleared with a weed eater, football players only respond to (what else?) a thrown football, etc. All of the bad guys are detailed and have smooth animations, if generic attack patterns.

The game is long, a little too long for you wimpy kids today. What the hell is the matter with you children? Back in my day a game was simple, with one or two basic level types repeated 300 times, and you played the damn thing until the end because your mom didn't get you another game until Christmas. And when you eventually beat it you accomplished something dammit! When you went to school the next day and the teacher asked why your book report wasn't finished you said "Because I stayed up all damn night playing Zombies ate my Neighbors until I beat the stupid thing, and I don't care if I fail history because I AM A WINNER!" I myself would do a little dance at this point. Because there is no victory without a victory dance.

Graphics: Fluid and funny animations for the bad guys. Levels tend to be the same sprites used over and over, but there are several different environments.

Sound: Zips and bangs. A nice "Oww!" when you get hit, and good music based on 1950's horror movies.

Gameplay: Run around and shoot stuff, then scream at the TV when the Chucky doll kills someone half a second before you save them. Because you suck.


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