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Zombie Apocalypse

Shiuming Lai goes beast busting

 

A crunchy and delicious YM chip tune accompanies the STAX loading screen of this game, originally released 11 years ago on the Amiga, by New Zealand based Vision Software, which also released the frenetic Defender-esque Cybernetix for the ST. It arrives on the ST this year missing Hallowe'en by a few days. Still, a new game to play is always nice, isn't it?

The chip music stops abruptly then the title screen comes up, the graphics are of a high quality and we get some slightly fuzzy digital music that is rather more creepy and tense.

[Screen-shot: Zombie Apocalypse title screen]

Any notion of scariness is quickly dismissed in the first level. The music changes back to a chip tune in the same style as the loading music, and it's not technically bad, but doesn't seem to suit the game subject. I can imagine it playing in the background of a disk magazine menu, it's too jolly for blowing the guts out of monsters! The screen looks like it might scroll or the baddies might come towards you, but they are simply lined up across the static screen, waving their arms and occasionally lobbing grenades at you. Every few seconds, a confused looking guy in a blue suit runs like a headless chicken from one side of the screen to the other. He has to be shot as well otherwise you lose energy.

This is like a simplified version of the STE game, Operation Garfield, itself a parody of Operation Wolf. You shoot anything that moves, making sure to keep your ammo topped up, and you can lob grenades back at the opposition when the going gets tough, it acts like a smart bomb. Control is entirely by mouse, moving the cross-hair to aim and the buttons to pump lead and launch grenades.

[Screen-shot: Level 1]

[Screen-shot: Level 2]

The graphics are generally average, nothing that even mildly stretches the ST, in fact it's plain to see it has lost a bit in the translation to 16 colours. The sprites especially look a little pasty, though I suppose your common garden zombie doesn't usually have a rich complexion!

I find the mouse tracking a little coarse, and perhaps a tad sensitive (but that could just be me, getting old). If it tracked exactly like it does on the GEM desktop, I'd rule this game!

[Screen-shot: Level 4]

[Screen-shot: Level 7]

[Screen-shot: High score table]

When the energy bar at the top-right of the screen is depleted, it's game over. Unfortunately, while you can replenish your weapons, the same cannot be done for your health. This would be a great game to play at conventions, easy to pick up and instant gratification. I only wish for more suitable music and some sampled screams, explosions and gun-fire.

I don't quite understand why this game (supplied in MSA format) unarchives to bootable disk form, and not just a file so it can be installed on hard disk. Apart from all that, it's good for a quick blast from time to time.

shiuming@myatari.net

Verdict

Name:

Zombie Apocalypse

Author:

Bod of Stax

Requires:

ST/STE with 1 MB or higher

Price:

Freeware

Pros:

  • Blow stuff up!

Cons:

  • Game design could have been enhanced for this conversion.

Rating:

3/5


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MyAtari magazine - Review #1, November 2003

 
Copyright 2003 MyAtari magazine