OMG Zombies is a party I am very much late to, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Originally a PSP game, OMG Zombies has been through a couple of iterations on Playstation handhelds and then on Steam. Just recently it came to the Switch, adding another handy little title for the console.
OMG Zombies is a puzzle game about killing massive hordes of zombies. It has a look and feel to it reminiscent of flash games on Newgrounds back in the day. You know which day I’m talking about. The game is very grey, a murky black and white only to be cut right through with the red of blood. Plot isn’t much of a factor here; there’s a zombie outbreak, you are Police shooty man who’s out to re-kill the undead and get the heck out of Dodge. The game is book-ended by little comic strips to set up and close out the story. It’s a nice little touch and makes good use of the game’s art style.
Time To Make A Mess
The gameplay couldn’t be simpler in OMG Zombies. In each level you have dozens of zombies to kill, and only a couple of bullets to do it with. Luckily you don’t have to do any Wanted-style bullet bending, because these zombies are prone to explode upon death. You start off with groups of standard zombies, who cause a chain reaction of explosions when they die. The challenge is to take out as many zombies as you can with your limited bullets. The more you get, the more money you make. As you progress through the levels you encounter more zombie types; big boys make big booms, cops shoot their guns when they die, zombie ladies take off running before they explode, electro zombies zap each other and there are gross zombies that disintegrate into a puddle of acid when they die. As such, the thing to do is try to maximise the effectiveness of each zombie type and try to make the biggest combo possible.
Never Judge A Book By It’s Cover
It’s at this point I should refer back to my earlier point, about being late to the party. You see, after playing the game for a while I started to think it was only okay. I wasn’t overly impressed with it but for five quid I can’t fault it. However, a cursory glance at the general response to this game showed me that there are a lot of people who really love this little zombie shooter. I saw it as a neat little distraction, but review scores across the board told a different story. So, I went back in with an investigatory mindset. I figured I must have missed something, and I quickly discovered that I did.
You’ll notice earlier on I mentioned money. By achieving certain scores on each level, you receive money. With that, you can buy upgrades to both your gun and the zombies themselves. In my initial play time I ran through the levels, and before long I was struggling. As the game became more challenging, I couldn’t quite get the big scores and I wasn’t making any money.
Going back to the game, I see the loop clearly. When you have the money for upgrades, it’s time to go back and mop up those couple of levels that didn’t work out so well the first time. Getting higher scores on previous levels nets plenty more money for further upgrades and so the cycle continues. Have to say though, it’s a pretty addictive cycle. It’s extremely satisfying going back to levels that didn’t go so well the first time only to rinse it with your new upgrades.
OMG Zombies is the definition of a little game. You don’t have to put much time into it to get the gist, but there’s plenty of impetus to keep coming back for more fun. It would feel right at home on your phone, albeit with a whole host of micro-transactions sucking the life right out of the game.
Honestly that might be the most impressive thing about this game, it’s a great example of what an addictive mobile game would be like if it wasn’t designed to annoy you into spending your money. If you want to sit down and grind out the upgrades in this game you can, and without artificial barriers. At it’s price of a fiver I cannot recommend OMG Zombies enough. An ideal game for the Switch user on the go, if you have five minutes to spare or a whole afternoon.