Publisher/Developer: Monkey Wrench Games
Zombies roam the Earth, but a group of kids are there to stop them. During the day, the kids get supplies. At night, the kids kick zombie ass. I know that this premise isn't very plausible, but there were some things bugging me about the game's logic.
The way that the zombies are handled in this game is silly. Despite the fact that there are spikes on the front end of the kid's fort, the zombies are still able to damage to the fort. No slowdown. No lack of health. Nothing. Another problem with the zombies involves the powerful zombies. One of them is a big, fat zombie that walks slow, but can spit acid. Despite the zombie's size, the zombie just spits acid. Then, there's the toughest zombie of them all - Carl(I'm not making this up). Even though Carl has muscles and can jump around the battlefield, he just attacks the fort by striking and shooting acid at it. I just don't understand how he couldn't just jump over the fort and eat the kids.
There are three characters to control in this game. Dexter(aka Cherry bomb kid), Scarlett(aka Slingshot girl) and Marcus(aka Machine gun kid). Each of them have upgradable attacks, but have a set range that they can attack zombies. Marcus can only hit zombies when they are near your characters, while Scarlett can hit a zombie that is barely in view. After dealing with a wave of zombies, an menu pops up to allow everything from upgrading weapons to fixing the kids' fort. It's a nice idea, but one that doesn't work out that well at times.
For example, say that I upgraded Marcus so that he could use a shotgun. I decide to go into the next level and Marcus is not in it. His absence is a trend in the game to remove a character(or two) from a couple of nights of slaying the undead. Another instance of the upgrading system being an annoyance is when it comes to upgrading the spotlight. Considering that it is the most expensive upgrade within the game, it would've been nice to know that the next mission may or may not feature the use of a spotlight. Instead, the game just throws the player into action without warning before hand about any stipulations that might be used, in the next round.
As far as combat is concerned, the controls are decent. Dealing with the kids is another issue. Since Scarlett is the only one that can hit any zombie(distance be damned), she was typically my pick. Dexter's cherry bomb attacks were good, but a little clumsy to control. Marcus' machine gun is powerful, but the damn thing overheats. Now, this wouldn't be a problem except for the fact that it looks like toy. Since when do toy guns overheat? Even with all of these issues, the characters are stupid and it takes a couple of AI upgrades to get them to be competent.
The one thing that keeps this game from being decent is the difficulty. I managed to beat it on Easy, but it was a pain in the ass to go through normal difficulty. The creators of this game mention that Nightmare difficulty will, "have you begging for mercy". I've not tried that to play the game on that difficulty setting, but there's no way in hell that I would ever get the desire to do so.
The game is rendered in 3D. Though there's nothing wrong with the graphics(on a technical standpoint), the visuals do nothing for me. Outside of the gameplay, the visuals are a little bit worse. All of the additional visuals are just not appealing to the eye.
Nothing mind blowing, in this department. The sound work is just mediocre.
Kids vs. Zombies is not a good game. The upgrade system keeps it from being an enjoyable experience. Definitely not worth downloading.
5* out of 10*
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