Retro Review: Zombies Ate My Neighbors!
It’s 1993 and zombies are attacking, the only thing you have to protect yourself is…..your water gun? A water gun doesn’t sound like much of a weapon but in Zombies Ate My Neighbors that’s the first weapon at your disposal as you venture through fifty-five plus levels as either Zeke or Julie in this very cheesy Zombie survival game straight from Lucas Arts.
Developed by LucasArts
Published by Konami
Platforms: Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, and Wii Virtual Console
Released on September 24th, 1993
The object of this game is to run through these fifty-five plus levels fighting zombies and other hideous monsters with a top-down view similar to the likes of Gauntlet, all while rescuing your neighbors. Your neighbors vary all the way from little babies to soldiers standing around unarmed. Each level has a varied number of people to rescue and they show up on your mini radar as a “blip”. They are all very easy to get to. Getting to all of them before the zombies and other creatures do gives you points based on which neighbor you rescue. If you don’t get to them before the monsters do, they are killed and leave the game as an angel causing you to miss out on those points. When you rescue all of the neighbors that you possibly can, a door opens out of thin air and takes you to the next level.
The level design is pretty clever. You fight your way through your neighborhood, grocery stores, department stores, and other venues that you’d see straight out of some cheesy horror flick. The level designs are very simplistic and can be destroyed in some areas to reveal hidden items and passages. Some of the stages are also easier for the baddies to navigate. Giant ants can climb up walls to reach you like in the mall stage. Chainsaw welding maniacs can cut bushes to cut a path to you or your neighbors quicker. Using the right weapons against the right enemies helps.
The weapons and items found throughout the game all have different effectiveness. Silverware, for example, hurts werewolves more than your water gun will. Potions found in the game aren’t as common and have several different uses. Some potions increase your speed significantly while others make you a “spirit”, allowing you to move around undetected. My favorite potion turns you into a giant purple monster that can thrash through everyone just like the Hulk. The different types of weapons helped keep the game fresh and fun. Switching between items is quick and easy and doesn’t slow down the game play at all.
Even after all the years this game has been out it hasn’t lost its appeal. From the 90’s outfits the kids wear to the cheesy horror music this game still holds up as a classic. It was fun playing through this game again reliving my childhood. While some games don’t hold up years later, this one still remains fun and fresh. So I pose this question: Where’s the HD remake?!