Once in a great while a new idea is introduced that causes a massive paradigm shift. The concept revolutionizes and may reinvent the genre; it is an idea so unorthodox and grand that all conventional wisdom that came before it is turned on its side. I, Zombie is a game on Steam that is all about the zombie uprising that is supposed to happen at some point in my lifetime. What’s that you say? The popularity of zombies as a focal point in video games has exploded over the past decade and it has now reached the point where zombie games have been done to undeath and the whole idea of zombie games has practically become its own genre? I must have missed the memo. Anyway, I, Zombie has you controlling a zombie, which is still uncommon within the genre and a welcome element of variety. Typically you are trying to kill the zombies in hopes of preventing some apocalyptic brain eating party, not take control of a zombie trying to increase the numbers of the shambling and rotting legion. Zombies are cool, so naturally making more of them is a good thing, which the makers of this game understand. Most importantly, this game is fun.
There honestly is not a whole lot to this game, it is a simple pick up and play puzzler. Levels start out easy enough to complete to allow you to get a feel for the game and they get progressively more difficult quickly. Each level is a single screen map that provides its own unique challenges with enemy movement patterns and layout, but none of them are unfairly challenging to the point of inducing controller throwing rage. As the title implies, you are a zombie, and your mission to turn all humans in the level into zombies. Unarmed humans run from you and ones with guns rudely try to kill you. Apparently you are the head zombie because once you convert your prey they become your minions. You can command them follow you or unleash their brainlust to attack the soldiers, which can draw their fire away from you while you attack them. Occasionally I lucked out and my mindless minions took care of them for me outright. The cartoonish graphics, while simple, are well done and are fitting for this game. The gore in killing your victims is also cartoonish and not realistic at all. Blood is spilled when you are shot, but when you consume your victims a puff of green smoke appears from them before they become zombies. Without the graphic depiction of savage violence and the implications that come with green smoke, for all I know the stench of your rotting flesh is what is turning the people into zombies. Or maybe you fart on them. I would imagine zombie farts are the most foul smelling thing on earth.
I was most impressed with the game’s music. It reminded me of the music from the old Loony Tunes cartoons turned gothic. It somehow succeeds at being upbeat and whimsical while also macabre. If this game’s soundtrack was available for purchase I would buy it without hesitation. In addition to being a good soundtrack for the game it would be the perfect music for my cats battling each other. Alas, it is not on iTunes or Amazon. There isn’t a whole lot to say about this game, you’re a zombie, you turn people into other zombies, and use your zombie minions to help you take down soldiers as you make strategic use of each level’s layout. It is a simple and straight forward game, and it is a fun game. It is a short game, most levels can be completed in about a minute, and if you master the game you can probably play the whole game from start to finish in about an hour. If you are a fan of zombies, puzzle games, or are Andy Deane of Bella Morte, this game is worth checking out.