Zombies Ate My Neighbors is a 1993 run and gun game for the SNES developed by LucasArts and published by Konami. Before starting the game I had to think about which version I needed to play, the SNES version was hit by Nintendo of America’s censorship but the EU version was hit far worse, however switching to the Mega Drive version would mean not getting the chance to have a flamethrower and in my opinion gameplay is far more important than graphics.
I guess the title screen was meant to be cool with how it got on the screen with the big circle pattern moving in a circle in the background but its obvious it had aged a bit. I wasn’t much of a fan of the music either, it seemed to have really loud notes in some points although I can at least say it fit the game (the music in game was far better though). Some trivia you might like, the game was actually planned to use the save feature but couldn’t since its essentially a paid addon to the basic cartridges.
The game started off quite simple, it was basically just walking around shooting zombies and saving the ‘neighbors’ before they got killed. You even get quite a nice amount of weapons early on including a bazooka on just the 2nd level. However while it is a run and gun game you found yourself having to get strategic quite soon, zombies started to over run the levels quite quickly and anything that wasn’t a zombie could be a massive pain in the ass.
However if you kept a good stash of weapons you could actually take advantage of their weaknesses, for example Werewolves could be killed by the silverware and I managed to actually kill one of the Chainsaw wielding guys (replaced by Lumberjacks in the EU version by the way) by spamming the few Bazooka rockets I had in their face. You even had a useful radar you could look at by pressing either L or R and they even had the awesome awareness to let you skip the need for keys altogether (since they can get annoying) by giving the bazooka the ability to blown open the doors instead. There’s no time limit either and you only need to save 1 person unless you are going for a highscore.
As for me i liked exploring and merely killing anything that got in my way. I felt like I kept getting distracted by the radar whenever I tried to use it and kept walking into dead ends which is almost instant death when against some enemies. There’s also the fact the game doesn’t use continues. I enjoyed myself quite a bit though and just managed to get to the 7th level and rack and a not that bad 39780 points.
Overall its quite an enjoyable game, it also matches with my sort of lazy but skilled playstyle I have whereas a perfectionist would probably hate it (some Neighbors seem impossible to save in time). I’d highly recommend giving it a try, either on the original console, an emulator on the PC or on Wii Virtual Console.