Over the past few years Nintendo’s online shop has developed a bit of a reputation. WiiWare was once looked at as a platform for indie developers and small studios to showcase their work. In reality, however, it’s something more akin to a dumping ground for sloppy, poorly made games that no-one really wants.
Despite that negative distinction, the service has accumulated a number of outstanding titles that clearly stand apart from cashgrabs and shovelware. Unfortunately for Wii owners searching for the next diamond in the rough, Zombii Attack just isn’t one of them.
Still interested? Well then, read on after the break for the full breakdown of the latest gem to join the Wii’s library.
If there’s one thing that makes Zombii Attack an interesting game it’s that it puts a new spin on an incredibly tired concept. Rather than beating back hordes of the walking dead with a baseball bat or blasting off heads with shotgun shells, players must use a giant slingshot to fire miscellaneous objects at the oncoming zombie hordes.
This makes for a somewhat amusing mechanic, watching how red playground balls, anvils, and what have you slow the oncoming deluge. Unfortunately, being bizarre only go so far to compensate for what is otherwise one of the worst games I’ve played in recent memory.
Players gwill find themselves in the employ of a scientist that is experimenting on the undead. Throughout Zombii Attack‘s 18 levels he’ll ask you to collect an assortment of different colored zombies. The slingshot doubles as a tractor beam, which will let you catch and hurl test subjects into a helicopter hovering in the skies above. It’s a diversion that helps to relieve the tedium of chucking rocks at brain munchers, but, like the rest of the game, the concept falls apart in practice.
Occasionally collecting specimens offers enjoyable moments where the final zombie appears as the tide of walking corpses breaks through the barricades, allowing the player to escape with just fractions of a second to spare. Unfortunately the exhilarating feeling that this provides the exception to the rule. More often players will find themselves busy fending off sporadic waves of enemies while waiting for the right color combination to appear.
At times this can take a very, very long while. I once waited for what seemed like an eternity for a single green zombie that never came. In the meantime hundreds, perhaps thousands, of zombies of every other color soaked up each and every piece of ammunition I’d purchased over the course of the game. It was a long, slow, frustrating defeat that was only made worse by having to start over from the beginning.
The troubled gameplay is paired with controls that sporadically cease to function. Imagine waiting for several minutes for a particular zombie only to have the reticule disregard your input and send that precious specimen flying in the opposite direction from the helicopter. It’s moments like these that make me glad the Wii remote has a wrist strap to prevent me from throwing the remote through the television screen.
The visuals don’t fare any better. On a system filled to the brim with games that have less than stellar graphics, Gamers Digital managed to scrape the bottom of that barrel. It’s actually something of an achievement that this game looks the way it does. Zombii Attack makes even the ugliest N64 title look like a work of art.
It’s not all bad though. Aside from being a tad repetitive, the soundtrack is actually pretty decent and quite fitting for the subject matter. My favorite aspect of the game were the Rad Racer-esque bonus levels. Players drive from one location to another and get points for running over zombies. Unfortunately they were pretty infrequent and it’s somewhat telling about the product as a whole if bonus stages that resemble an NES game is the best part.
I’d be somewhat shocked that Nintendo gave this the green light if it weren’t for the poor quality of the vast majority of titles that populate their digital distribution platforms. And while I’ve played my fair share of sub-par WiiWare games, this one takes the cake.
Faulty controls, terrible graphics, and uninspired gameplay are what players can expect from this one. Even for five dollars Zombii Attack is an insulting waste of time and money.
This review is based on a digital copy of the Wii game Zombii Attack.