Retro Review: Zombies Ate My Neighbours
Zombies Ate My Neighbours
Platform: Super Nintendo
Zombies Ate My Neighbours caused a bit of a stink when it was released as it was seen that zombies actually eating people would be deemed a bit violent. I’m not sure what they expected zombies to do unless they thought that it was high on the brain feasting zombie agenda to take out their neighbours for shopping, go for long walks on the beach and buy them candy rather than munch on a bit of the old grey matter. Hence the name was changed to ‘Zombies’ in certain territories and some of the pixilated “graphic content” removed.
Zombies Ate My Neighbours is a run and gun shooter that isn’t quite top down and isn’t quite side scrolling. You pick from two characters called Zeke and Julie but the reality is that there is no gameplay difference who you choose. The game can be played in single player or two player couch co-op.
The aim of the game is to rescue as many potential victims as you can from the hordes of the undead. These range from defenceless babies, explorers, sight seeing tourists or cute little doggies. When you rescue a victim you receive points based on their value. One of the things I love about the game is its sense of humour. For example; the cheerleader is worth 1000 points and the horrible school teacher brandishing a paper graded with a big fat F is worth 10 points. Luckily you have a radar which helps you as you frantically search for potential zombie fodder.
To help you in your fight there are a multitude of different weapons to find and use. You start off with a water pistol which is fine for the standard zombies however, this wont cut it against mummies or a hockey mask wearing axe wielding maniac. The number of weapons is huge and what I really like is that certain weapons are more effective against specific enemy types. For instance you can pick up a lawnmower which is ideal for taking out the plant spores which create a deadly doppelgänger of your character, whereas knives and forks are more effective against werewolves because they contain silver.
Not only do you have lots of weapons but also a number of cool accessories. These range from speedy shoes that make Usain Bolt seem slow, to inflatable decoy clowns which laugh like idiots as they distract the bad guys giving you enough time to run away. There is also a potion that you can pick up which turns you into a purple monster. This makes you temporarily invulnerable and gives you the ability to smash the environment to bits, which comes in very handy when looking for shortcuts. Standard medikits are also dotted around giving you a much needed boost. All of these are much needed as the difficulty ramps up very quickly indeed.
The graphics and sound in this game are second to none in terms of really creating a wonderful atmosphere and paying tribute to the B movie source material. The animation in general is great but in particular the well defined, different types of monsters. Everything is bright and colourful, even the zombie skulls as they to fall to the ground when they’re shot off the shoulders of the shambling shufflers.
There are so many different enemies in the game ranging from classic monsters such as Vampires, Frankenstein and Werewolves to more modern monsters like knife wielding Chucky dolls. There is even a homage to Invasion of the Body Snatchers as aliens hatch clones of your character. The makers of the game obviously have a deep love for the subject matter. The game also features boss battles such as a giant baby that squirts milk from its bottle and attempts to stamp you into oblivion.
Zombies Ate My Neighbours has over 50 levels featuring different settings including the classic horror locations such as zombie infested malls and spooky castles. Trust me when I say that this game has a lot to offer and will keep you busy for some time.
Graphics – Superb graphics and animation with brilliant recreations of classic horror and science fiction icons. 9
Sound – Fantastic music that suits the mood and tone of the setting. The tunes will burrow into your head like a giant ant and stay there for a very long time. 9
Playability – The range of weapons, collectables and monsters add up to a really fun game which can be enjoyed with one or two players. 9
Re-Playability – There is so much content in the game for you to explore and enjoy which still holds up today. Your skills will be tested as the difficulty ramps up after a gentle introduction. 9
Overall – For me Zombies Ate My Neighbours is a classic 16 bit game. There is so much to admire with first class music, graphics and gameplay that is still wonderful today. 9
Review by Chris (co-host of 60 Minutes With and The Same Coin)