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Game Info:

Zombie Party
Developed by: Peach Pie Productions
Published by: Black Shell Media
Available on: Windows, Xbox One coming soon!
Release date: June 10, 2016 (PC)
Genre: Shooter
Number of players: Up to four locally/online
ESRB Rating: Teen for Violence, Blood, Mild Language
Price: $9.99
(Humble Store Link)

*Advertising disclosure* Though Black Shell Media was a former advertising partner, this review is not influenced by that relationship.

Thank you Black Shell Media for sending us this game to review!

Zombie Party is a 2D retro rampage game with several different game modes and the ability to play along with friends or with people online. Sadly, I couldn’t find anyone online to play against or alongside, but there is still plenty to do by myself or with nearby friends and family. If you save up your in-game currency, you can also adopt various pets to accompany you on your adventures.

There are four game modes, though a couple of them are similar. The Arcade mode challenges you to kill 10,000 creatures in five minutes or less. The Adventure mode still has hordes of various enemies, but at least there are breaks between waves and no time limit to vanquish them and the oversized bosses. After the boss is taken down, you can time travel to a different area and repeat the process with swarms of new enemies. The maps in these levels are not incredibly huge and you’ll be pretty much walking around in circles while preventing yourself from being touched by the monsters. As long as you’re not expecting much story wise, these modes can be fun.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Chaotic but fun shooter game with several game modes and lots of weapon variety; online leaderboards; promotes pet adoption
Weak Points: Game does not run in full-screen mode, pressing alt+enter brings the game into a playable windowed mode; Nobody to play with online; awkward controls 
Moral Warnings: Violence; pixelated blood; undead creatures and demons to kill

If you’re looking to explore then you’ll probably enjoy the randomly generated levels in the Dungeon mode. In this mode, your goal is to survive while locating the exit to the next dungeon level. Along the way you may encounter some potential pets that can be rescued and join your party. Last but not least is the Deathmatch mode, where you can fight against friends or AI players and try to score the most kills before the time runs out.

No matter which mode you play, there are over one hundred weapons to collect and enjoy. Some of the enemies will drop munitions while others can be purchased at the item shops. There are also many unlockable characters and they each come with different starting weapons. Naturally, there are various machine guns and shotguns. Crossbows and grenade launchers are available too. My favorite toy is the rainbow shooting rocket launcher. Even with the strongest weapons, the arcade mode is still challenging and getting 2,500 of the 10,000 goal took a lot of effort. Needless to say, my scores on the online leaderboard won’t pose much of a threat to anyone.

Zombie Party
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 66%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 5/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 3/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 86%
Violence - 6/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The lack of people playing this game online is a bummer. Another complaint I have is the start-up glitch where this game launches in full-screen mode but is pitch black. In order to play the game at all I have to press alt+enter and manually resize the game’s window. The controls are disappointing as well. Despite playing with a gamepad, I still had to use my keyboard and mouse to adopt animals. When the screen tells me to press B, it looks like an E instead.

From a moral standpoint, there are some issues worth noting. Given the game’s title, it should come as no surprise that there are zombies and other undead monsters to shoot down. There is some pixelated blood, especially in the Deathmatch mode. While the ESRB descriptor mentions language, I don’t recall seeing any but perhaps it’s further in the game than the areas I have unlocked so far.

The asking price is $9.99 and I have seen it on sale for 80% off and at that price point it’s well worth it. Given the current glitches and lack of online players, I’d hold off on paying full price for this title. Zombie Party has been announced for the Xbox One and I’m hoping it does well there.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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