Zombie Night Terror, a STEAM title developed by NoClip, is a unique combination of humor, strategy, and the mindless walking dead. To say they are mindless is not an understatement, as these zombies are really something stupid. The player controls the zombie outbreak in an effort to wipe humanity off the face of the planet. Managing a zombie apocalypse to terminate humanity is a challenging escapade, but spreading the pandemic is half the fun.
The black and white pixelated environment generates the perfect mood for hunting down helpless humans. The design elements flow seamlessly as the story advances, presenting comedic dialogue in a gibberish fashion. Skeptical on how “yet another zombie game” would transpire, Zombie Night Terror caught me off guard. Its well-developed and amusing story follows Dr. Einstein and a drug he concocted that is mutating humanity into something else entirely. Without a doubt, each entertaining addition had me at the edge of my seat.
Offering a total of forty stages, Zombie Night Terror is full of challenging puzzles that continuously maddened me to no end. The further it progressed, the more I wanted to pull out my hair. Waving that white flag was not an option, though. No matter how bitter I became, managing the walking dead was surprisingly addicting. Defeat typically results in an angry grumble similar to a zombie groan, but with a little trial and error, success is eventually achieved — hopefully, anyway. Needless to say, that rewarding feeling is the perfect motivation to keep conquering humanity.
Creativity plays a substantial role in thriving as an apocalyptic monarch. Taking strategic measures is necessary, but unfortunately Lady Luck isn’t present to turn the tables when things get messy. Therefore, I get to swoop in wearing my red cape and fancy thinking cap to lead clusters of the walking dead to their triumph. Well okay, it’s not that easy. Learning to split a mass of zombies became second nature, guiding crowds of them individually. Escorting a larger horde at once revealed difficult to control, since zombies are very dumb and eager to fall from great heights to their inevitable demise. It’s kind of bittersweet.
The most exciting feature of Zombie Night Terror is its unlockable mutations, which includes designating multiple zombie overlords. It’s a proud moment watching my pet zombies evolve into more powerful brutes –- as morbid as that may seem. It’s quite the accomplishment. Each zombie type introduces their own unique abilities to take down human defenses. Whether they’re instructed to leap from one platform onto the next or self-destruct to abolish a barricade, each mutation is significant. Entitling an overlord also takes a lot of stress out of the equation, for he has the power to command zombies to sprint in addition to performing other radical attacks. However, transformations cost a respectable amount of DNA, which is accumulated through the process of contaminating the human race.
Ah yes, a swift bite to the neck is all it takes to convert a petrified human. Many scream bloody murder and are too afraid to fight back. Meanwhile, others are fully armed and won’t hesitate to annihilate any undead that cross their path. For example, challenging a druglord with a hefty machine gun will obviously shed a lot of zombie blood, but using those nifty mutations is what will crown the undead victorious. All it takes is a thought-out approach and some good timing.
Though the ominous soundtrack is appropriate for Zombie Night Terror’s setting, it lacks variation. Zombies are sauntering onward to the same beats and the atmosphere grows a tad dreary. Additionally, it is incredibly frustrating being forced to restart an entire level because of one measly slip-up. A prime example of a lousy mistake is misjudging a zombie’s jump and watching him (and my hopes and dreams) fall to their doom. Timing is everything, folks. Furthermore, memorizing the layout of the stage along with the humans’ movements is absolutely mandatory. Failure is merely a learning curve and it is not a pleasant one.
Oh, what’s that? My patience flying into oblivion? It couldn’t be.
Despite its minor flaws, Zombie Night Terror is one hell of an experience. I haven’t encountered a moment yet that hasn’t kept me on my toes. Sure, the gameplay can be slow-moving, but surprise gunmen can jump out from their hiding spots at any moment, forcing a level restart. Infuriating? Absolutely. Yet to prosper as the undead against the forces of humanity is truly rewarding. Not to mention, controlling a horde of pea-brained zombies is pretty awesome.