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A Classic Zombie Adventure - Zombie Incident Review
A little bit of history is needed for this title. Zombie Incident was developed in 2011 for the MSXdev'11 competition, in which it won first prize. The competition was to develop a game for the MSX, a computer popular in Europe and Japan in the 1980's. Fast forward to today and the game has been spruced up a little and put up for 3DS download, though the original MSX ROM can still be downloaded (as well as a proper cart that can be played on actual MSX hardware).
Platforms: 3DS [Reviewed]
Release: March 5, 2015 [NA] | February 26, 2015 [EU]
MSRP: $1.99 | €1.99
Press Copy provided by Coderchild
The great citadel Hamartia has become the embodiment of the seven deadly sins and overrun with monsters as punishment. You take the role of Nana who must invade the citadel and recover eight stars and return to the entrance. It's a very simple plot only there to justify the gameplay, much like many games from the 80's. The visuals are what you would expect from an 8-bit game, but have been improved slightly from the original MSX version. The music selection is very slim, with one track playing in the main portion of the game. Zombie Incident doesn't give much direction, or explanation to the game's mechanics. You're just thrown straight into the game after the brief introductory cutscene.
The player must overcome various kinds of zombies by jumping on top of them, which doors leading to the stars. Not all the doors lead to them, but each door acts as a save point should you die and wish to continue. The zombies themselves can't all be defeated at once, as you need to reach a certain power level to defeat certain coloured ones. Defeating certain zombies gives you more power, which levels up as you repeat the process. Travelling through the citadel is fairly straightforward, you must reach each areas in search of the stars dotted around the map. You will need to wall jump in order to reach most of the map, which is made up of 8x8 squares leading to 64 rooms in total. Each square is colour coded to show you which room has zombies left to defeat, or if rooms have zombies at a higher level than yours. The game steadily becomes an endurance race as your health is slowly whittled away. The health bar doesn't get replenished until all the enemies in a room are defeated, and even then it's not by a small amount.
The game is moderately unforgiving, but not outrageously hard. Once in the swing of things, it is not difficult to make your way around the game. Zombie Incident is very traditional in design. It is unlike most modern titles, adhering to a long forgotten style of game that was very popular on the MSX. It can be frustrating at times, especially if you lack the patience to hop on enemies repeatedly. Not only that, but it is often best to play through from the start to preserve limited health. Ultimately, it can be rather addicting to play, especially if you like beating a personal best score or competing on its online leaderboards. As a whole though, it's not for everyone. If you enjoy a personal challenge then Zombie Incident is a worthwhile buy, especially considering its very low price point.
- It is a unique challenge, unlike most things you'll find today
- Competitive leaderboard for high score junkies
- Priced very fairly
- Antiquated design mentality
Good games are simply that: good. They are generally fun to play but might be lacking in longevity, replay value, or presentation. These games might be good buying decisions for some people but not for others. Some otherwise great games may fall into this category if they are priced unreasonably high. The devil is in the details.
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