Apr 222009

>by: Aron Deppert
In 1993, LucasArts and Konami teamed up to release Zombies Ate My Neighbors, a run-and-gun survival horror game that came out on SNES and Genesis. In it, you run around and try to save people from zombies, werewolves, vampires, aliens, tiny killer babies, and giant killer babies—the list goes on and on. You can collect a vast array of weaponry, including exploding cans of soda and popsicles, but your main weapon is either a squirt gun or a ray gun (it’s hard to tell visually, and the game never says otherwise). You can also get a lot of different power-ups and diversions for the bad guys chasing you. The goal is to collect each of the townsfolk before a baddie gets to them. Once the final person is safe, a magical door appears out of thin air to allow you safe passage out of the current level.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors plays a little bit like Metal Slug, with eight directions you can travel in instead of four. It was a little overwhelming my first time playing it, (10 years ago…haha) and when I picked it up again today, it was no different. The first level seems to be designed to lull you into a false sense of security before plunging you head-first into the proceeding 50-something levels of carnage. By level 3, you are being chased by psycho axe murderers with hockey masks on. They are so strong, not even your bazooka-like weapon can put them down for good. The only way to make it through was to freeze them with a fire extinguisher (realistic!) and then run around like an idiot, grabbing up your “neighbors” left and right. I did make it through however, and only lost two people in the process.

F minus? Oh really? I let the zombies have her.

Despite the game being very difficult (the axe-wielding midgets were impervious to everything, I could only pass them by distracting them with the clown punching bag decoys) it was still a good time. I got very tense and excited, and ended up yelling a few words I wouldn’t even say in front of my own mother. The only thing that could have improved the game was if there was actually some sort of story – anything to let you know just why exactly all these monsters were on a rampage. This genre of game isn’t exactly demanding on plot, but this was looser than a Remero flick. Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a fun and nostalgic title that is worth picking up if you get the opportunity.

The Game Over screen: a sight seen a little too frequently in Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Image Credit: Aron, en.wikipedia.org

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