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Zombie Night Terror Review

Remember those cute little green Lemmings? What if they were infected by a zombie virus? Wonder no more!

Zombie Night Terror, made by NoClip, is a great little throwback that feels like a darker, bloody version of Lemmings that you didn’t quite know that you wanted. Make no mistake, the comparisons to Lemmings is by no means a bad thing. In fact, it’s one of the game’s best qualities.

The game has a very simple premise: Direct zombies to infect non-zombies. There’s some variation to that, however, as some levels require you to zombify everyone to complete the area and some just require you to have a zombie reach a goal at the end. Regardless of the requirement for completion, you still must make your way through the various obstacles by infecting those who stand in your path.

The obstacles in the game borrow the heaviest from Lemmings. Let’s face it; zombies are just as dumb as those lemmings. Each is very simple minded and need help understanding where to go and when not to go. In both games, cliffs are the biggest enemy to the creatures; walk off and they fall to their death. In Lemmings, you might remember the sprite of a green guy and his arms outstretched to either side, palms out and foot tapping. He was there to tell the other green guys that this area is closed off. One of the first abilities unlocked in Zombie Night Terror is this same thing where, once activated, turns your zombie into a giant road blocker of sorts and funnels your zombie hoard in your desired location.

The similarities in creature crowd control don’t end there, but as mentioned, it’s not a bad thing. The game feels familiar in the best way as the abilities you unlock are very simple to understand; with or without previous Lemming experience. The new options themselves take form gradually through the game and are introduced in the form of clickable, green-glowing television sets. When you click those TVs, you get a news reporter reporting a recent development regarding Zombie mutations.

The unlocks come at a steady pace but also give you plenty of time to understand their functions before they toss in a new mechanic. This helps build the game’s difficulty at a steady pace. The difficulty itself isn’t all that high, but they do throw in level-specific challenges that give you an added bit of toughness that I found myself restarting if I knew I wouldn’t be able to complete it. The challenges are anything from making sure you take zero “zombie” casualties to finding a hidden drug stash in the level.

Directing the zombies is by far the biggest gameplay mechanic in the game.

All the stairs have directional arrows next to them where you can change the flow of the horde. You can either have them breeze right past the steps or climb/descend them. Doors are the same, as each door has a button attached to it where, when activated, allows a zombie to bang on it hard enough once they're near to break the wall down. As the director of zombies, you need this ability to control when and where they are heading. Sometimes you need to amass a big enough army of undead in front of a door before you hit the button to break it down; especially if there is a living human on the other side waiting for you with a bat, pistol or shotgun - all of which are devastating, especially if your goal is to not losing any zombie friends from your horde.

It might be obvious but, level goal or challenges aside, loss of your zombies is an attack from the living is certainly something you should come to expect, and when it happens, you will not be all that upset about it. I promise. There’s no emotional attachment to any of the zombies as there’s no story surrounding them. What little story the game has is very tongue-in-cheek and serviceable, but also not something you should expect to be all that engaging!

I thoroughly enjoy the art direction and sound in the game. It does the best job in presenting the world to the player without the need to cram a story into it. It has a fairly typical low-bit graphic aesthetic, but it gives a distinct 80’s feel without trying too obnoxiously hard. The menu alone is oozing with the flair that brings a great 80’s horror movie vibe with included theater and movie posters. The music lends tremendously to the nostalgic factor by including songs that have a Dawn/Day of the Dead tone with one specific song have a strong “Thriller” vibe to it.

Callbacks of a bygone horror era aside, the game’s visual style feels great right down to the attention to detail shown in the zombie/human movements. It feels legitimately cathartic when you have six zombies rushing a man with a pistol and, despite shooting his way through the first five, having that final zombie rip his throat out. It feels great.

8

The Verdict

Zombie Night Terror isn’t anything new, but it is a lot of fun; especially if you’re craving some classic Lemmings gameplay with an added extra layer of gore, horror, and fun. If you’re up for a challenge and some overall good fun, do yourself a favor and check this one out! Lemmings meets gore and zombies in the best way possible.

James McKeever
Written by
July 26, 2016
Published in Strategy

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When not playing video games, James is usually found playing video games. When he simply does not have time for video games, he goes to a thing called "Job" where he makes money to feed himself and his wife and to buy more video games. Since he was too scared to use the controller himself at the young age of 3, James started his gaming career as a "navigator" of sorts instructing his father when to jump in Super Mario Brothers. Since then, the fear of controllers has subsided and James can now jump freely, circumventing the middleman.

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