Over 9000 Zombies! Review


Over 9000 Zombies! claims to be top-down arcade action blown out of all reasonable proportions, but whilst it might throw a ton of amusement into the arena initially, it’s not a zombie infestation you’ll be wanting to hang around for in the long run…

Game: Over 9000 Zombies!
Developer: Loren Lemcke
Publisher: Mastertronic
Reviewed on: PC (Steam Review code provided)

The game deserves all the plaudits it gets for essentially being Loren Lemcke’s ‘one man show’ piece and there are a few to note despite the issues. In that respect it’s fitting that the generic protagonist you play also has to face the world alone; perhaps it’s Lemcke’s metaphoric outlook at the challenges of game development where rabid dogs and peripheral opinions pop up from locations you hadn’t quite accounted for when you set out for the morning paper.

Regardless, in Over 9000 Zombies! you are very much alone. In a few varieties of its retro stylized maps you’ll be tasked with fending off a plethora of undead including humans, dogs and crabs. Yes you read that correctly, crabs – the illustrious undead beast of sea. Whilst doing so you’ll be able to pick up scrap metal to build walls and turrets that’ll need constant maintenance as you plow through enemies to stay alive.

The game’s most interesting facets come from the strategies the building metagame provides. Surrounding your turrets with walls as protection or creating your own little hovel to keep the approaching horde at bay are just a couple of ways to deal with them. At the same time the mechanic also becomes a little bit of a detriment to the game because once you’ve figured out a few techniques and found a few useful spots on the map, the pacing becomes extraordinarily monotonous.

In all honesty it’s pretty slow from the get-go. You won’t need to even consider building anything for several waves as the less than inspiring one-size-fits-all AI the game adopts plods in your direction. The gun play works well enough and you’ll have an assortment of weapons to unlock and grenades to dispatch as you progress, but one gun doesn’t feel overly different from the next in terms of bullet trajectory and fire rate – the damage numbers actually give a better picture than the guns themselves.


The game becomes far more interesting when you throw more human players into the mix. Adding a few more players opens up more ways to tackle the game. Perhaps one or two will shoot whilst the others focus on building and maintaining defences, for example. However, the game still inevitably suffers from not growing enough in time to encourage you to stay wave after wave. Even with upgradable attributes, that feel a little tacked on in truth, the longevity factor is quite poor and after an hour or so I felt like I’d had my fill.


Of course there’s always a degree of enjoyment to be found in the methodical task of zombie mashing and I really enjoyed getting to grips with figuring out ways to stunt the zombie masses with cleverly placed walls and well-maintained turrets. Unfortunately, the initial blast of its pixelated retro design and good accessibility wears off far too quickly, leaving you with a game that might be fun in short bursts with friends but just doesn’t captivate enough to make you want to repeatedly go again.


Began gaming on a hand-me-down Commodore Vic-20 back in the mid 80's and hasn't managed to shake the addiction yet. Genres of choice include anything that contains bullets and/or bouncy balls. Has been known to dabble in Destiny content.


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