Over 9000 Zombies! – A Preview to Die For

To kill, or not to kill? That is something which is not even a question in Over 9000 Zombies!, an action survival game wherein which players are faced with unending hordes of zombies that have come to seal your doom.

As a gamer with little experience in zombie apocalypse type games, I was pleasantly surprised (in a bloodthirsty, gory way) by how much fun annihilating zombies could actually be.  I mean, I was under the impression that zombies could be defeated using the humble violin à la Lindsey Stirling. (Obviously not.) Over 9000 Zombies!‘ publisher, Mastertronic, promised that the game would use ‘special mathematical technologies to squeeze the maximum amount of undead chaos out of your PC,’ and they have most certainly delivered. The moment you start, you’re thrown into the deep end. A five second countdown is all the warning you get before zombies start erupting out of the ground, and begin converging on you like it’s going out of style.

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This is Day 1 of the apocalypse, your HP is 100, and there are ‘a few zombies.’ At first, you might think that you’ll be able to get through this by just running away from them, but eventually, the angsty rock music which sometimes becomes dubstep will get to you, and you will be transformed into a cold, calculated killer. It’s all in the name of survival though, and to do that you need to use that o.357 Magnum and any grenades you can pick up along the way to keep going. You move around using the up/down/right/left keys, and can fire using either spacebar or the left-mouse button (which I recommend as grenades are set to right-click). Crashing into any zombies for too long drains your HP, so for Day 1 I developed a strategy where I hid in a specific corner and just kept shooting, collecting any scrap metal pieces the zombies would drop when I had the chance. It kept my damage low, and before I knew it Day 2 had arrived.

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The feeling of relief and accomplishment at destroying my first wave of zombies was wonderful. And although another wave was soon approaching, and relief and accomplishment were slowly being replaced by terror and fear, I could hear Lara Croft’s words echoing in the background-no, not “I hate tombs”, but  “Just keep moving.” This proved to be completely true because on Day 2, my corner strategy was rendered useless as the zombies now had firepower and they were shooting back. On my first playthrough, I’ll admit I was massacred by the zombies, but afterwards I knew that I had to get out of there and not leave myself exposed in the open. (That’s probably a good general life tip, too.) Along the way I discovered you could change weapons by using the scroll button on the mouse, and let’s just say that the MZK-.45 is a monster of a gun. It’s firing rate is much faster than many other options, and is great for quickly disposing of any zombies that are rapidly approaching you.

There’s a bit of multitasking involved in that you have to built turrets around yourself using build mode whilst protecting yourself from advancing zombie hordes, but that’s where the fun lies in this game. The mechanics are simple but effective: Construct defensive walls and impenetrable fortresses using the scrap metal pieces you’ve accumulated, and survive-which is definitely not an easy task, let alone defeating the entire army of over nine thousand zombies.

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Over 9000 Zombies! is an Early Access game on Steam, currently available for $7.99 for the PC. A two-player co-op mode will also be available on the internet for players who want to have a zombie-fest with their friends and/or family.

And for those who are curious-my final record proved to be just shy of 9000, totaling 331 kills. What’s that I hear you say? That’s not even close? Bah, humbug.

A keen retrogamer who grew up playing classics like Prince of Persia, Aladdin, and Diddy Kong Racing, Katrina believes that digital games are not just fun, but a great way to learn. These days she enjoys studying Japanese language acquisition, and designing her own games.