Nov 092011

Picture it: Chicago, October 2011. I awaken from a deep sleep and realize my throat is incredibly dry and sore, so I need to get up for some water. I lumber into the pitch black kitchen, groping my way around in the darkness until I reach the refrigerator. I successfully get it open, and the light from inside casts its eerie glow on my 3DS, which is charging at an outlet on the counter. “I don’t remember leaving it open,” I thought silently to myself. I tiptoe closer to the 3DS, my breath catching in my throat as I inch closer to the screens. I wipe the sleep from my eyes to be sure I’m seeing what I think I’m seeing…A FREAKING ZOMBIE INSIDE MY 3DS! “Oh wait,” I say out loud, “I just left Pet Zombies on. silly me!”

Pet Zombies is a spoof on pet simulator from the publishers at Majesco. If you’re not familiar with pet sims, you probably have at least seen someone play Nintendogs from Nintendo so the concept should be relatively familiar. You can pick what type of zombie you want (I chose the “nerd”), customize their facial features, and select what color of clothing you’d like them to be wearing. Observe your gruesome ghoul on the 3DS top screen and use the touch screen for interactions. To keep your pet happily undead, you will have to attend to its dietary needs by feeding it brains and other foods like moldy bones and old boots, buy toys for it to play with, and new torture implements for you to punish it with when it has been naughty. Torturing your zombie or nurturing it through play and grooming results in the zombie earning points toward leveling up. As the zombie levels up you unlock new toys and torture implements in the store. The leveling up process seems kind of slow, but this is a game one plays when they’re looking for more of a distraction rather than some intense mental engagement.

The waitress is one of the types of zombies you can torture in Pet Zombies 3D.

To buy the aforementioned items in the shop, you will need to earn some Zombucks, the game’s currency. The way you do this is by playing the mini-games. At first, the only mini-game that will be available is one that involves loading your pet into a giant slingshot and flinging it into the stratosphere to collect coins. To aid your mind munching minion you will be able to grab a magnet that can suck coins and other items to you, and energy drinks that let you boost the zombie’s flight temporarily. Collect coins, land bullseyes, and get the zombie as far across the course as you can to earn more points and more Zombucks. Other mini-games that can be unlocked as the zombie levels up include things like throwing garbage at a target the zombie is holding, to using the 3DS’s gyroscopes to roll a zombie head through a maze. All of these tasks are fun, and appeal to the sick, twisted, and sadistic kid in us all — the kid that used to like to burn ants with a magnifying glass.

Surprisingly, the graphics in Pet Zombies 3D are spectacular. Colors are rich and vibrant and the art style used to render the zombies is rather endearing. The 3D effect is top-notch, especially considering that this is a “budget” release. The amount of depth the game is able to simulate is almost startling at first because not many games of pulled off that effect yet. The sound is great too; most of the ambient music sets an appropriately gruesome and spooky mood. Zombies make all the guttural sounds and growls you would expect out of a virtual reanimated corpse.

Slingshot your zombie for Zombucks!

If you picked up Nintendogs and Cats when the 3DS launched, and thought to yourself, “If this game had drooling, slobbering, zombies instead of adorable puppies and kitties, I’d be set!” (and who hasn’t), then this game is for you. It’s a little slow-paced, but the weird and morbid humor will keep you coming back for more. Sure, a game centered around the subjugation of undead humans may be a little bizarre, but the crisp visuals, excellent 3D, goofy mini-games, and great use of sound make this zombie invasion on you should welcome with open arms.

This video is actually hilarious.

Pet Zombies 3D

This game is great for a few laughs, has quite a bit of off the wall humor, great use of 3DS features.Pretty slow-paced, unlocking things seems to take a little too long.
Verdict3DS owners who are into zombie-themed pop culture elements will definitely get a kick out of Pet Zombies 3D.

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