The Zombie Rights Campaign Blog

Xbox Indie Game: “I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES!!!1NIT!!!!1″

Picked up this little, ahem, gem from the Xbox marketplace today. Apparently it’s quite a bit older, but for some reason I guess it’s been doing well in the downloads, as if I recall correctly I found it by randomly browsing the Most Downloaded tab in the Indie games section.

What to say about the game? First, I’m not typing out all that l33t-speak every time I refer to the game. Not a chance. So, henceforth, it shall be abbreviated IMGWZIT.

IMGWZIT is superficially similar to the Yet Another Zombie Defense game I reviewed a while back, in that it’s a dual stick shooter, with one analog stick controlling motion and the other controlling shooting. However here there’s no defense angle; you simply run around shooting and blasting Zombies, at first, then various strange objects, ranging from blobs to block-centipede things, then back to Zombies, then a mixture of all of the above, then new, stranger Zombies, and so forth. Graphically it’s got a bit more going on than your typical ultra-cheap Indie game; lots of fancy, distracting, even seizure-tastic light effects and strobes. Musically… well, first, it has actual music, which is more than most of these dirt cheap Zom-basher games can boast. In particular there’s a stream of consciousness, Adam Sandler-esque song about the game itself that plays intermittently, talking about what a lousy evening you’re having what with all the Zombies coming out of the ground and such.

IMGWZIT was apparently a big hit in the Xbox Indie community for 2009, ranking among its most played and downloaded titles, and netting its one-man studio at least 140k dollars in the process.

IGN inexplicably ranked it as the best Indie game of 2009, in fact. What’s up with that, IGN? Do I detect a heaping helping of Anti-Zombie bias over at your once-proud company?

As a long-time gamer, I can recognize the dual stick shooter appeal. Playing this game reminded me of Contra on the SNES, or the legendary Smash TV. In particular some of the power-ups harken back to Contra, with lasers and flamethrowers playing not unlike the top down portions of the SNES classic. The game has a forgiving difficulty curve, and quickly awards new lives after death, putting the player right back into the madness.

Plus, it’s not ALL about killing Zombies. The worst enemies for me came in the Asteroids/spacey glitter level, which involves glowing, shimmering shapes bursting into small bits of sharpnel when you hit them. The blobs are also a bit disconcerting, and the blocky centipedes remind me of the games they had on early phones where you were a blobby centipede yourself and ate more blocks to get progressively longer (and took up more of the screen, raising the difficulty). Except here, they were trying to kill me. Not eat me; they just zoom around and hit you.

I guess the developer just threw in Zombies to boost casual gaming interest. I’m not sure if that makes it better, or worse; it does assume a world where Zombie-bashing is so widespread, so socially tolerated that throwing a few virtual Zombies under the bus as a quirky advertising campaign that there’s no downside to doing so. Indeed, there doesn’t seem to have been, for Mr. James Silva anyway.

For shame, Mr. Silva. How about you donate some of that ill-gotten lucre to a worthy cause? It doesn’t have to be the ZRC; in fact, we’d rather not launder your blood money. Feel free to give some to Lynn Sage though; maybe write ‘to make it up to the Zombies’ on your check’s memo line.

Give till it hurts, just like you hurt the feelings of Zombies all over America with your game.

About The Author

The role of 'Administrator' will be played tonight by John Sears, currently serving as President of The Zombie Rights Campaign.


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