Zombies are one of my favorite creatures in pop culture. I’ve been obsessed with The Walking Dead since I started reading the comics, and George A. Romero infected my mind with zombies because of his masterpiece, Night of the Living Dead. When you think of zombies, there’s usually a sense of dread around them. I, Zombie from Awesome Games Studios takes a different approach. It takes the zombie genre and makes it colorful. Despite the tonal shift, the objective is still the same: devour brains and expand the horde.
Throughout the game’s 40 levels, you must eat civilians and soldiers to advance. Similar to mobile games, you’re ranked on a scale of 1-3 stars. You’ll get one star for completing a level. The other stars require different criteria to unlock. In some stages, you’ll need to finish with a certain number of zombies still “living,” while in others, completing levels faster will result in more stars. It’s a ranking system that will have players coming back to earn every single star.
While the game starts off simple enough, later levels had me frustrated because earning three stars can get difficult. Every single level is a puzzle that must be solved. Your zombie starts on one side of the map, and you must decide how to approach the situation. Should you go towards soldiers that will shoot on site, or do you attempt to run past their fire to infect random civilians hiding in the corner? The are plenty of choices that can be made. Certain strategies will be the difference between success and failure. While you can finish the level any way you want, it seems like there is one correct path to get three stars on each level.
Controlling your zombie is simple. You move with the left stick. Once you start recruiting more zombies in the horde, you can have them follow you, stay still, or attack nearby enemies. Knowing how to utilize your army is crucial to survival. I made the fatal mistake of having them walk with me when I should have commanded my minions to stay still. There isn’t much to the gameplay. It’s easy to pick up and can be quite addictive at times.
Players who are quick can finish the entire game in less than an hour. If you’re fast and can decipher puzzles easily, I, Zombie is a cakewalk. If you complete the levels that the studio developed and crave more, fear not, because there is a level editor bundled in. With this feature, you can create your own levels and upload them to the Internet. Alternatively, you can also download levels that other players have created, resulting in a lot of replayability.
The visuals are hit or miss. The graphics are bright and have an animated aesthetic. The zombie character models are great to look at, but there is a lot of repetition. It’s unfortunate to see the same types of enemies and civilians in almost every single level. There is a lack of variety, and although I, Zombie is a budget title, I wish that the team had offered some diversity in the looks of each character/enemy. From a technical standpoint, the game runs well, with no instances of slowing down. There weren’t any bugs or issues during my time with the game as well.
I, Zombie is a perfect fit for the Switch. It’s something that feels more fun to experience on the go instead of playing at home. The game is easy to pick up but can be difficult if you’re trying to get all three stars. While not great, it’s an enjoyable way to kill some time. It’s a nice palette cleanser from all of the AAA games on the market at the moment. If you’re into short experiences and casual games that you can have fun with a few minutes at a time, I, Zombie is worth checking out. For $4.99, you can’t go wrong with this interesting and “lively” take on the undead.
A review code was provided by the publisher.