Zombies Ate My Neighbors (which I will refer to as ZAMN going forward) is a run and gun shoot-em up style game that was originally published in the year 1993 by Konami for the Super Nintendo (SNES) and the Sega Genesis (or Mega Drive). The game was developed by LucasArts. It is a 1 or 2 player (co-op style) game where you are charged with saving your ‘neighbors’ (or just random people) from the impending horde of zombies and other horror-movie style creatures. The game has tons of enemies that include everything from pod people (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) to a chainsaw weilding Jason (Friday the 13th) to Mummies and even the Frankenstein monster. These enemies span 48 stages and are defeated with the numerous (I didn’t count… sorry) weapons that can be found laying around or hidden in containers in all the stages.
Graphically, the game is beautifully crafted, like all LucasArts games. Being that it is from 1993, the style would now be considered “Pixel Art” if it were released today, and I feel like just about any pixel artist would be proud to craft these sprites and other game assets. The game has at least a dozen or so level types from your ranging from a typical suburban neighborhood, a grocery store, an ancient castle, or an Egyptian pyramid and dozens of different enemies to fight in them. The animation is solid and there isn’t ever a point where you question what something is. The characters are pretty typical 90’s style with both a spikey haired boy wearing 3D glasses or a fairly straight-laced girl.
ZAMN controls nearly perfectly. Other than some confusion with how the buttons work (I didn’t have a manual when I played) the controls are fluid and smooth. On the Sega Genesis version, using a 3 button controller, you have to hold down one button and press the action button to cycle through your weapons, instead of just that initial button as the toggle. But, besides that little bump, the characters control well and you can easily maneuver as you need to avoid and shoot the enemies.
Sounds and music in ZAMN is also top-notch. The music sets the mood with numerous different horror-themed tunes. I feel like the music in the game is just as important in setting the mood as the graphics, another trait of earlier LucasArts games. The sound effects are great too. The buzz of those chainsaw monsters is terrifying!
Overall, I highly recommend this game to just about anyone who enjoys a fun action game. It is difficult, but not too hard to be enjoyed by most skill levels and it has a nifty password system to help you pick up nearly where you left off (you get a code every 5 levels or so).
My Let’s Play of Zombies Ate My Neighbors
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