Zombie Night Terror is a puzzle game somewhat alike to Lemmings where instead of harmless creatures stumbling around to their death you control a horde of zombies going through a rampage in a series of progressively more difficult missions. You start with a few zombie types and a lower number of actions you can do, but as things go forward you get more and more options that serve to solve puzzles - mostly getting zombies to some part of the map or killing a certain number of humans. I liked some of the ideas in ZNT but overall I found that the game was too difficult and didn't use it's own mechanics enough to create a feeling I would associate with leading a zombie apocalypse.

The game has a dark, B-Series Movie style and enjoys a silly/gory atmosphere. I didn't enjoy it that much, I've found it a bit too vulgar for no real purpose, but it's just a question of tone, so I went over it quickly. The game is divided in a few chapters, each telling the story of the ongoing zombie apocalypse. I started the first level, an introductory one that taught me about killing humans using a few zombies that moved on their own, turning away when they hit a wall or another obstacle. Already, I had a problem; The level 'challenge' (an optional objective you could try to meet) was to kill all humans, and while I thought I succeeded (I couldn't see any humans on-screen), I failed it twice. Then I realized that the screen panned to the left and right, I could've figured it out by myself, but the level layout seemed pretty self-contained and I didn't have any reason to scroll around, maybe a minimap would've helped?

While the very first levels were fine, things kinda went downhill quickly for me. I lost track very quickly of why my zombies were destroyed when these mechanics were introduced. Enemies that pose a threat to you aren't that much different from regular folks that you just slaughter automatically. I kinda wish they had been color coded, so I knew which humans were dangerous. The game revolves around DNA, used both to transform your zombies and allow them to use temporary abilities. Transformations were interesting, like the overlord which couldn't move but could throw your zombies or block them (like the blocker lemming) and crawlers that clung to walls. Powers helps to go through levels, like exploding, jumping, running and screaming.

After a while, I just stopped trying to complete challenges because getting levels done was feeling more like a chore than anything. The levels were kinda long and didn't support any kind of checkpoint system. You could make a mistake at some point and have a bridge get destroyed, a door opened or some stair pointing the wrong way and most of your zombie force would be doomed, forcing you to restart the level from the beginning. It's probably something on my end, but I didn't have the patience to 'properly' learn how to play this game and felt that I was just rushing ahead with my small group of the living dead, wasting DNA and ultimately becoming frustrated.

Ultimately, even running around with a huge army of zombie doesn't feel really fun. Much like a small number of zombies can be defeated easily by some specific enemies if attacked the wrong way, you'll get wiped out super easily no matter the size of your horde. I feel like levels featuring a large number of zombies could've been more about rushing over helpless humans, or getting zombies from point A to point B, but my armies didn't last long. A particularly frustrating enemy that lobbed molotov cocktails had me stumped for a while because it wasn't super clear where they were gonna land. I'm not sure if it was a bug, but at some point one of these enemies disappeared from the top of a building and I managed to beat that mission.

I stopped not long after getting the scream power-up; An action that turns certain humans into zombies and stuns others. For a short while there, the game actually clicked in the small, simple levels where you had to get zombies across by using scream in combination with everything else you had. I kinda wish the game was more about that than the level it dropped me in afterwards; I had to get zombies through a subway tunnel with a train running through at unspecified intervals, with a few frustrating jumps and the difficulty of getting the creatures to go in the direction I wanted at the specific timing I wanted, I decided that this is where my terrifying adventure was over.

AuthorJérémie Tessier
Categories3/5, Puzzle