Business’ End: Zombies Stars The Undead, Bureaucracy

By Nathan Grayson on October 9th, 2012 at 12:00 pm.

And now, an all-new episode of 'Whose Blood Is It Anyway?'

Zombies‘ slogan is “Smash all the things.” And while its central conceit – a world in which hordes of already zombie-like business folk up and transformed into actual undead hordes – is depicted in entertainingly tongue-poking-through-rotten-hole-in-cheek fashion, it takes the smashing of things quite seriously. The number of things that can be smashed is tallied at the start of each level, and then you’re told exactly how many things you smashed at the end. And goodness, does smashing ever feel nice. The shotgun, for instance, immerses my most base of senses in a gooey pink hot tub of Hotline Miami, and I don’t mind that one teensy little bit.

It’s certainly not the most complex game, but the free demo‘s a joyous self-conducted symphony of top-down destruction. The second level also has a fairly neat light/dark gimmick to it, which gives me hope that other levels both continue to up the difficulty and introduce new environmental mechanics to the mix.

And then, of course, there’s the unabashedly over-the-top plot wrapper, which quite comfortably leaves room for everything from zombies that stumble (and sprint) around dribbling out buzzphrases like “synergy” and “product management” to, oddly enough, Highlander references.

So it’s a strange little game, but one that takes a time-worn central mechanic and does it up in enough style to bring back a glint of sheen. And if the demo leaves you hungry for more, the full version just launched on Desura at $5.99. The soundtrack’s also quite lovely, so there’s that too. Between simplicity and the occasional chuckle, I could certainly see this becoming one of my go-to “Grr, stressed, kill!” games of choice. And really, you can never have too many of those – especially when they go all zeitgeist-y.

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9 Comments »

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  1. Dominic White says:

    Man, I really can’t write about a game without Nathan following up on it these days ;-)

    While the game seems decent enough. what really stands out for me is the music. There’s a ton of it, and it’s really good. There’s a full soundtrack here:
    http://bignic.bandcamp.com/album/zombies-soundtrack – Track 2, Modern, is the one used in the trailer.

    • kikito says:

      It seems that the game and the music were done by a single guy – the big nick. His page seems all music-oriented, while the game looks like an experiment.

  2. TsunamiWombat says:

    As played out as Zombies are this is nicely tongue in cheek and funny, may take a look

  3. Hoaxfish says:

    obligatory it’s on Steam Greenlight: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=100672678

  4. Felixader says:

    Is it a crime that i am often more interested in the music of these games than the games itself?

    • Donjo says:

      Definitely not :) The first one in the demo is amazing! I want to listen to it without the game…

      Edit: Protip- the soundtrack .oggs are in the demodata folder :)

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    tomeoftom says:

    Man, this just gushes style from every pore. Awesome. That French House-ish music is fantastic.

    Edit: Also, everyone, look at Nathan’s alt-text for the header image. 5 stars.

  6. Synesthesia says:

    is that superbrothers’ animation?

    • Premium User Badge

      LTK says:

      I was reminded of that as well, but I think Superbrothers’ heads are even tinier.