Home > Twin-Stick Shooter, Xbox Indie > Zombie Estate [REVIEW]

Zombie Estate [REVIEW]

Zombie Estate: released May 15th, 2010
Developer:  JeremyVerchick48
Platforms: Xbox Live Indie Game Marketplace

Zombies and twin stick shooters. Both are synonymous with the XBL Indie games scene, because quite frankly, they’re everywhere. And why not? Twin stick shooters are easy enough to design, and zombies tend to make almost anything appear at least three times cooler than it actually is. What maths did I use to figure that out, you ask? Well I’d love to tell you, but I’m afraid my maths are probably too mathy for the common man (or woman) to really understand, so maybe you just don’t worry about the maths. It’s legit, I swear.

Here we have Zombie Estate. A twin stick shooter where you walk around somebody’s property, blasting away at all manner of undead, monstrous beings, all the while earning cash and upgrading to bigger and badder weapons so as to better demolish the never-ending waves of baddies that come at you. On the surface, it’s pretty standard fare. Nothing terribly unique that stands out about this game, other than the fact that it’s inexplicably addicting. When I first fired this title up, me and my girlfriend got completely sucked in to it, just blasting away at the hoards of undead, upgrading and restocking in between waves, until eventually we succumbed. It’s simple, but it works.

When the game starts, you have the option to pick a character, and while there are tons of characters to choose from, it’s all surface stuff. The game is very old-school in that it’s all pixel-based, and all of the characters are pretty much exactly the same, shape-wise. You essentially just choose different paint jobs, which is just as well. The design is simple, and as I already stated, it works.

 

So once you’ve picked your skin and any additional players have joined (Zombie Estate supports up to four players in co-op), you spawn in the estate. There’s a house on the right, a giant front yard, a garden in the north west, and then a whole bunch of runnin around room everywhere else. There’s lots of room to roam, but trust me, it fills up fast. The later waves will have you facing off against monsters by the thousands. And just to be clear, this is not an exaggeration. You really will fight potentially thousands of enemies. Strategy will come in to play as the number and types of enemies gradually begin to overwhelm you.

You pack an inventory to hold the weapons you buy as the game goes on, and can assign them to hot-keys via the D-Pad. During the various waves, the monsters you destroy will drop various types of ammo, med-kits, and money. And despite being called Zombie Estate, you also face off against skeletons that charge at you, doctor zombies that heal themselves, trolls that burst in to tiny little monsters when they’re killed, and many, many other types of unsavory creatures. It’s a great variety and really helps to liven things up. If we were stuck just facing off with the same ‘ol boring zombies throughout the entire game, things would get old in a hurry.

Zombie Estate is by no means an original take on the genre. Pretty much everything it does has been done already by plenty of other games, though I will secede that not many other titles such as this went with the pseudo 8bit look. Maybe I’m just a softy for 8bit style graphics, but I think it’s charming, and it’s a nice change of pace from the traditionally dark and gorey environments of your average zombie shooter. It’s a simple game, with simple graphics, and a simple premise. Kill monsters; acquire artillery. There’s a sizable array of weapons to choose from, and they’re not all your standard fare either. Some of them are stationary weapons meant to ward off enemy creatures, and some of them are laser guns. The variety in weapon choice is really quite impressive, and after you’ve died a couple times, you’ll be itching to play again just so you can try out another weapon that you’ve yet to get your hands on.Zombie Estate does a good job of keeping you entertained by giving you a wide variety of weapons to choose from and a growing pool of unique enemy types as the game goes on.

Though it’s simple in design, Zombie Estate does the best it can to keep things fresh, and mostly it succeeds. It’s certainly not reinventing the wheel, but it’s a good bit of fun. It can be picked up and played in short bursts now and then, and it makes a great party game to play with friends for awhile. For only $1 on the XBLIG Marketplace, it’s worth a look if you enjoy this type of game.

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  1. Matt
    January 5, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    This is a great 4 player(local only) game – don’t pass it up, though the creator has confirmed a sequel is on its way. I can’t wait and will buy day 1.

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