Retro Domination’s latest contributor Suz E.Q pays her respects to a LucusArts classic.
On a sad day that saw gamers bid farewell to such an icon in video game development that has been LucasArts, it seems only fitting to revisit what has become a lesser known retro classic amongst fans. ‘Zombies Ate My Neighbors’ is very much exactly what the title implies. Zombies popping out of the dirt, moaning and running between you and the victims – your neighbours!
GOAL: destroy said zombies, touch all of the neighbours on the level to save them, and go through the magical door to the next level . Sounds simple… But one slight touch from a zombie and they’re gone; out of reach and evaporating as a ghostly angel-figure into the heavens. This is where the game seems to get challenging, verging on impossible and somewhat frustrating, especially if you want to get the bonus level points for saving EVERY single neighbour in the level!
Instead of a slight increase in difficulty as you progress, suddenly you find yourself surrounded by the creepy zombie men, axe-throwing toddlers, and really fast moving chainsaw dudes slicing their way through hedges to get at you. At this point, I found myself lucky to get to one or two of the neighbours waiting to be rescued in the maze of gardens, buildings, swimming pools and malls as the cartoonish circus music plays in the background to the sounds of comical gunfire, explosions, and ghoulish groaning while I often accidently switched weapons I had picked up along the way, freezing enemies when I meant to blow them up.
Teamed with a bright colour palette that doesn’t take itself seriously as a horror-themed game, with blood-replacement purple ooze (apparently due to censorship issues at the time of release), and references to classic horror films, ‘Zombies Ate My Neighbors’ is one of those fun-loving classics that you can pop in the old console to have a quick run and shoot, alone or with a buddy. And I must note, as a female gamer, it’s always cool to have the option to choose a machine gun wielding girl as your hero. While this game is by no means as involved and story-driven as other LucasArts titles such as Maniac Mansion, Day of the Tentacle, and the Monkey Island series, it is entertaining even as a 16-bit gun and run in a 1080p resolution world. Note to self: get the cheerleader, then the cash!
3.5/5 for mindless, zombie-gunning fun