10800 ZOMBIES / Poppenkast / PC

So in this little freeware Flash game, you're kinda thrown into various depressing areas and have to fight your way through a horde of zombies. The character art is crummy and smushy for the most part, and a whole lot of the zombies wield shotguns, so it kinda looks more like you're fighting the Squidbillies, but whatevs.

The game is divided into "chapters", which are effectively just levels, since there's no story. Complete a chapter and you're free to start from it on the next playthrough. All you really do is jump and shoot, and can carry and swap between two weapons. Pistols have infinite ammo but are terrible, and everything heavier is usually in finite quantities (and for some reason, you can't take the ammo out of one gun type and add it to another ... each gun is only good for X shots and then it's useless).

What younger gamers might miss here is that the whole game seems to be something of a side-scrolling paean to the original Doom and Doom 2. The cheesy guitar shred MIDI music, the weapon selection, the cheap ambushes where you can blunder right into a guy who unloads a shotgun in your face ... in spite of the "modern low budget indie" look and Flash feel of the game, the rest of it feels more like some shareware thing you'd have downloaded in the mid-90s. All it needs is some cheap animated skull GIF as your menu icon and I'd think I was back in my teenage years.

But, this being a modern indie game with sqooshy characters, there's also just a dabble of Mario rom hack / Meat Boy "masochist platforming", and just enough of it to trip the game up a bit. There's the expected Fiddly Jumping for a shoestring Flash game, compounded by the also expected No Native Gamepad Support. Then you got some questionable level design. There's a marked fetish for blind falls into deadly pits or conga lines of zombies, as well as being forced to jump into the blasts of shotguns with no real alternative. For some reason (probably laziness), touching the sides of any given screen also kills your character instantly, even though there's no visual cue that that's going to be a problem.

There's a bit too much of the shotgun zombie ambushes and "learn by dying" level design for the game to be great, but it's pretty solid for a little free thing.

Links :

Download (official site) - freeware

Videos :

* Gameplay Video