28 Neighs Later: Zombie Zoo

Denby described this Half-Life 2 total conversion as “totally and utterly rubbish, and one of my favourite mods so far this year” which, when paired with its name, pretty much guaranteed I’d go take a look. You’re probably expecting it to be a game about shooting zombified animals. You’d be wrong. It’s a game about punching zombified animals.

Denby’s right. Zombie Zoo is rubbish, and it is delightful. It’s quite clearly aware it’s rubbish, which gives it free license to be even more rubbish. If you play along with this mentality, you’ll be thoroughly entertained. This is a game where you can punch brains around a car park, or punch lurid green zombie rabbits that barely move, or punch a lurid red boss zombie rabbit that moves rather fast, or… well, more punching, mostly. Also jumping, and crate-pushing, and being killed by bear traps with 5-metre-wide activation radiuses.

Zombie Zoo doesn’t even slightly try to be interesting in terms of game mechanics – this is late-90s levels of 3D crate-pushing. It is, however, set in a zombie zoo. That counts for a lot.

Jurassic Park seems to be the thematic influence, with a semi-kindly businessman narrator directing you, as an unnamed intern, around the inevitably disaster-struck menagerie. Only there’s another guy there too, who threatens and cajoles you. That he sounds just like the other dude putting on a husky voice is probably of zero import.

There’s a touch of Portal to the narration – absurdity meets uncertain menace – but mostly it’s panto. Panto with zombie bears and neon whack-a-rabbit. Small-but-silly details/gags abound, and that’s really where the fun lies.

Just the introduction and first level so far, but I’ll definitely be playing the rest as and when it appears. Even though it’s rubbish.

22 Comments

  1. Theory says:

    That rabbit was dynamite.

  2. Tei says:

    Downloading…

  3. DJ Phantoon says:

    Honestly I figured it would be a game about managing a zombie zoo from the title.

    I guess I wasn’t too far off.

    • Veret says:

      Hmm…does Sid Meier know about this? I imagine Zoo Tycoon: Zombie Edition would present a whole new set of interesting management challenges. Or he could try to incorporate the zombie-punching aspect into other franchises too. Excuse me while I go ponder me some implications…

    • Saiko Kila says:

      I’d buy a game where you have to create, manage and feed zombie animals. With option to create, manage and feed zombie little humans (or make it moddable, then someone would implement that). The part with punching could be an option too, for more thrills, but I’d prefer strictly business mode of gameplay.

  4. Brumisator says:

    Well, I played for a while, and really I can’T think of any better and succint description but “”rubbish but fun”.

    It is, from start to finish, absolute shite.
    I guess it’s like marmite. it looks like shit, smells like shit, tastes like shit, but brits like to eat it nevertheless.

  5. Tei says:

    I only have 3 rules. I have forgot the first ones (something about womens and beards, I think), but my 3th one seems avoid games where the endboss is pikachu. So this not my tea cup. Other than that, good intro, man, goood one.

    • fallingmagpie says:

      Tei, are you an AI?

    • Miles of the Machination says:

      So I fail to see the implications to your ideas but Godzilla would probably hold a good tea party. The part about the transsexual astronaut opening the theme park chain and admitting his prejudices against vegetarians on the radio really suspended my vessel.

      Hopefully we can pass the language barrier, otherwise I may just end up provoking his nonsensical rage

    • P7uen says:

      Are you referring to Colin 3th from Love, Actually?

    • Tei says:

      I will reply all the questions here:

      1) No. But I have some titanium bones. Fun facts: this is actually true.
      2) I am looking forward for a Godzilla furry game.
      3) I don’t know this Collins guy or gal.

    • Miles of the Machination says:

      I like this guy already

    • dan. says:

      Is there a Tei Fan Club I can sign up to yet?

    • Man Raised By Puffins says:

      Yup, just sign up here. As you can see, we’ve been hanging on his every word and admiring his shapely titanium endoskeleton for over two years now.

  6. kyynis says:

    If there ain’t zombie whales, I ain’t downloading.

  7. DMJ says:

    Now this is the future. A magical time in which the means to make the game that’s always existed in your imagination into a reality exist, and are cheap or free!

    Unfortunately it also shows that the game we often imagine in our heads to be OMGZ ITZ DA BEST GAME EVAR!!!1! is in fact utterly stupid.

    • Tei says:

      Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  8. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    Velociraptor Job Interview Simulator looks like more my cup of tea. If this was about managing zombies, I’d be more interested(or a zombie FPS/RTS hybrid) but meh, I’ll save my meager Download cap for Velociraptor Job Interview Simulator (VJIS?). Punching zombies- I prefer shooting them with a .50 cal and using gravity guns on em! >=)

  9. GT3000 says:

    This reminds me of when I throw up my favorite food. At frist it’s all terrible and gross but then I finish and taste my mouth, it’s kinda tasty. Mm. Pizza.

  10. Dan K says:

    Lobbest thou the Holy Hand Grenade upon teh count of 3. To 4 thou shalt not count, neither to 2. 5 is way out.