Thursday, May 4, 2017

Zombie Party

Zombie Party title art

Rating: 8.3
Happy Price: 4.99


Zombie Party is a simple twin stick shooter that puts the player through a series of waves in randomly set levels. There are six levels per run, each having the same first level and same final level. Once a run is completed, a harder mode is unlocked that generates more points per kill. The goal is to get the high score on online leaderboards, as there is no way to beat the game. 


There are two enemy types, hordes of "zombies" that rush you and try to inflict contact, and zombies that fire projectiles. There are hundreds of them on screen at any point, but the simple behavior of the enemies puts you in charge of how successful you'll be. Health potions are a rarity, but this is balanced by fair enemy AI which is consistent and allows for you to get better at adjusting to. Jumping provides invulnerability to both enemies and their projectiles, given that you land in a smart location. To heal 1hp cost 100 gold, which is a steep price given the amount of gold rewarded at the end of each level. It's very important you don't get hit or lose health to complete the run, because gold is required to buy new guns. Improved guns are a necessity to survive harder levels. 

Many zombies are on screen with a player shooting them with a gun


There are two progression systems at play, the character's that can be unlocked and the in game progression of your character with each gameplay run. When you begin, all that you have is a pistol without any upgrades. As ammo drops happen during the first level, the shotgun, assault rifle, and grenade launcher are unlocked. When the second level comes around, you have a full arsenal ready but limited ammo. Weapons can be modified with bullet modifiers like increased speed, larger bullets, homing, etc. These are universal upgrades that can be applied to any weapon type. So if you want a homing grenade launcher, that can be applied easily. There are also elemental upgrades to weapons which further modify it. These can consist of bullets that freeze targets, set them on fire, lasers, buzz saw's, etc. Elemental upgrades and bullet modifiers are combined, so you can have a homing, piercing, and freeze grenade launcher if that's what you like. 

At the end of each run, you get a gold reward that can be applied to character unlocks. Unlocked characters come with statistical upgrades that are better than the starting characters, which means you get to spend less skill points when building your character into the winning specimen you envision. New characters also come with new starting weapons, which saves gold because you don't have to buy the upgraded pistol. An example is unlocking Agent 47 (Yes from Hitman) will award you a pistol that has piercing damage. Atom is an alien, which has a piercing laser pistol and also 3 speed skill points to start, making the first boss a breeze to beat. When you've gained enough experience points, a skill point is unlocked. Skills include strength, speed, luck, hp, magic, and fire rate. These improve passive stats on our character which apply to all weapons or item pickups.

The zombie party upgrade and inventory menu


The 2D pixel art is charming and technically effective. Because there are so many enemies on screen and garbage collection occurring when many are killed at once, I was waiting for frame loss or the game to crash. Time after time I was surprised that did not happen. The art style compliments the gameplay in multiple ways and creates a seamless user experience. There is a great variety of environments, and the characters that populate them appear to belong in the world. The game goes for a retro twin stick shooter, and it accomplishes that look and feel perfectly.  


I enjoyed this game. It's a great way to blow of some steam and really brings back the great thing about video games. They are not real, and they are meant to be fun. Exploding fish guns in hell make sense here, and that is perfectly fine. A successful run where you get to hard mode takes about an hour, after that I'm not sure because I haven't finished hard mode, but I would imagine it takes around 3-4 hours of continuous gameplay to get the high score. I would recommend this game on sale, as it's probably not worth the 9.99 price it commands. Below is some gameplay

1 comment:

  1. Oh! A game! I had a real Zombie party in one of the event venues Chicago last month. Everybody looked pathetically good! They dressed like a zombie and girls did a great work on the makeup, hats off to them! I would love to try this Zombie party as well, thanks for sharing!