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CGRundertow BLOCK ZOMBIES for Xbox 360 Tutorial Game Review

Today's word of the day is “Voxel.â€�As described on the interwebs, a voxel is a “volumetric picture element,â€� or inlayman's terms, the 3D equivalent of a pixel. Mind you, there's a large difference betweena voxelconstructed 3D image and a polygonal 3D image. And bother are made of pixels. Atleast, in their 2D representations. Have I lost you yeté Good. Because ZOMBIES. Block Zombies takes a series of crude, basicvoxel constructs out for brains, naturally and sends them in waves againts a similarlycrudely constructed hero. Your guns are small collections of voxels. Your bulletsé Voxels.The zombies you annihilateé They explode,

as their individual voxels blow apart. Ifyou've played 3D Dot Game Heroes, the voxelcentric PS3 RPG, you're familiar with this aesthetic.It's lowrent, but when wellinterpreted, can make for excellent, abstract gameplay.Perfect for an XBLA Indie game, when you get right down to it. So, much like Rock of the Dead (callback toobscure game, reviewed on this very channel), a series of mysterious space objects haverained down upon the rural area you call home, and it's up to you, voxelcreated man witha pistol, to regulate. Shortly after the incident, you obtain a small crystalline device, usedfor draining and destroying the larger

crystals that serve as epicenters for undeadactivity. With your trusty (and upgradable) sidearm, it's up to you to put down theuprising using whatever you can find. which is fortunate, because what you find are shotguns,Submachine guns, flamethrowers, rocket launchers, mines, grenades. man. Mrs. O'Reilly'sfarm was just LOADED. And Radar ended up being a company clerk. How does that worké Anyway. For such a simplelooking game, there'sactually a good bit of action involved. You've got a stick to aim, a stick to move, the bumperscycle through your items and weapons, and the triggers fire. You can also collect weaponupgradeitems to improve your arms, either by increasing

damage output, rate of fire, or the size ofthe clip. ‘Cuz nothing sucks like having five of those fast orange guys up in yourgrill while you backpedal and have to reload. Take too much damage, and you respawn at thenearest checkpoint usually a shattered crystal though there's no life count or weaponspenalty. Block Zombies takes a very playedout idea a fight against a zombified hoarde and a very basic design aesthetic. and thendefies expectations by crafting a very sound and enjoyable game experience. It's cheap,and it's terrifyingly addictive; there's always one more zombie to shoot, one morecrystal to smash, one more upgrade to make

to your flamethrower. The early game doesvery, very well at dispensing upgrades so as to keep your attention, while not dilutingthe challenge of the game. For a simple little indie game, there's a lot of good designpractices at work here. If only some of the bigger developers could take note. Hint: DON'TFIRE THE RPG AT POINT BLANK RANGE. Not a good idea. Total protonic reversal and all.

CGRundertow I ZOMBIE for Xbox 360 Tutorial Game Review

Most people don't put much thought intohow difficult a good zombie hoarde is to maintain. Sure, it's fairly easy to repopulate yourranks, but those nonzombified jerks out there have guns and fire, which your shambling masseshave relinquished in favor of BRAINS. As such, you're up against some fairly stacked odds.Fortunately, you can prepare for this eventuality with I, Zombie, a cute little indie tacticalrealtime strategy BRAINS So you're this zombie. This one right here.He's the only zombie you actually control, but he acts as a ringleader of sorts for theblasphemous legion you're about to command. As such, he gets to move a little bit faster,and direct the actions of the zombies he's

responsible for creating. Unfortunately, zombiesaren't the best at complex commands, so your repertoire of directions is limited to“Attack the nearest nonzombie,� “Follow me,� and “Stay.� And using these commands,you have to infect the entire population of each villagelike stage. Unfortunately foryou, these municipalities aren't defenseless; while your average John Q. Townsfolk's reactionmight be limited to “Panic and run,� certain more stalwart members of the city watch posemore of a threat. Read: THEY'VE GOT GUNS. And they know how to use them. Fortunately, zombies are fairly resiliant,and it'll take several hits to actually

bring you down. Unfortunately, the more damageyou take, the more slowly you move, as bits and pieces of you presumably drag along, divorcedfrom the muscle tissue they'd normally utilize by the interjection of one or more roundsof ammunition. And this is where those other zombies you've infected can come into play,either presenting themselves as shields or distractions while you slip around back, or(and this is the fun part) just swarming the bastards. It's up to you, as the moderatelyintelligent one, to determine the best course of action, and lead your troops to victory.The fewer zombies fall in your conquest, the more stars you'll get at the end of thestage, which mean something to someone. What

can I say, they're not brains. However,if your playercontrolled zombie falls in battle, the game's over. Which makes nosense. Apparently, all zombies are equal, but some zombies are more equal than others.(That's the second review this week I've had to make an Animal Farm reference.) Anyway. I, Zombie (which should really inviteAsimov references, rather than Orwell, given its name) makes for a fast and easy tacticalchallenge, for those of you who prefer your zombie infestations in small, bitesized,highly strategic doses. So strategic, in fact, that certain advanced stages include invitationsto view the developers' channel,

which includes walkthroughs. How kind of them.I'll make sure to consume their flesh first, so they don't have to question all they'velived for as the decaying masses continue their offensive across the face of the earth.I figure it's the least I can do for their entertaining me with this delightful (andinsightful) indie game.

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