Zombie Racers Review—Amusing for a While but Lacks Drive

I apologise for the iPhone-version images; these were the best I could get.

I apologise for the iPhone images; these were the best I could get.

Over the past decade or so, zombie games have become increasingly popular, most of which have been horror/adventure games or top-down shoot’em-ups. It is very rare that you come across a zombie game that veers from either one of these genres, but once in a while, a developer comes out with a zombie game with a difference. Zombie Racers, the most recent release from UK developer Big Head Games, is one such game.

Zombie Racers is a top-down racing game where you will face the top zombie racers in search of cash prizes and the chance to become the first ever champion of the Bloody Wheels Tournament. There are two modes in Zombie Racers, the first being Story Mode, where you have to finish first in each race to progress onto the next, while killing as many zombies as possible in each race to earn cash for upgrading your car. The second mode is Freeroaming, which has three different contests which I will talk a little about in a moment.

ZombieRacer3

In Story Mode, you start with a choice of 4 different cars. Unfortunately, I found that even though you have a choice of cars, not a single one drives differently from the next. I was also extremely disappointed in the controls. With Square as your gas and Triangle as your brake, it feels a little awkward, although I found I never really used the brake much at all. What was also disappointing was the fact that you could only use the D-pad to control your car, and without being able to change the controls, this was a letdown. As you progress through the story, you are able to spend cash earned from running down zombies on upgrades for your current vehicle or one of the other vehicles that you can unlock. Killing zombies is actually a very important part of the game, as you will need to kill well over a hundred just to be able to afford the upgrades so you can keep up with the opposition. Fortunately, you are given six laps per race to earn the cash to purchase these upgrades and new rides, but even so, in the later races, I found myself having to replay the same level over and over again. What I also found to be frustrating was the fact that you are only able to upgrade each category once per race even if you can afford to upgrade it more than once. For a brief while, you may have fun making pavement pizza out of zombies, but Story Mode feels shallow and is missing simple things like mini maps, lap times and leaderboards.

ZombieRacers4

Freeroaming gives you three different ways to feed your zombie-squishing lust while competing against three opponents. In “Dusk to Dawn,” you have to kill the most zombies within the time limit; “666 Zombies” is where whoever has the most kills after all 666 zombies are dead wins; and then there’s “Every Last Drop,” in which each zombie you kill fills your blood bag, with the winner being the first person who fills their bag. With a variety of weapons scattered around the levels to help dispose of the infected, it does make the contests a little more fun at first, but the fun is short-lived. Not only did I find two of the three contests extremely difficult, but I was also infuriated at the fact that the AI seemed to handle their vehicles and run zombies down with pinpoint accuracy, leaving you almost no chance at all.

The graphics are mediocre at best, and although the courses look as though they have been painted, which some people may like, I just felt that, in general, the whole look of the game seemed a little unimpressive. However, there are a few nice effects; for instance, when you run down a zombie, occasionally a limb or head will fly up at the screen.  I was impressed with the punk rock soundtrack done by Bankrupt, which I found myself humming along to as I wedged zombies into my grille. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the rest of the sound effects in the game, with the cars sounding so generic and unimpressive that I was actually grateful for the fact that the music drowns out almost all other sound in the game.

Zombie Racers sounds like a good game on paper but overall feels outdated and a poor attempt at what could have been a great racing game. At first, running down zombies may seem fun, but it soon becomes monotonous, especially after six laps a race. And, with a $6.99/£3.49 price tag, you get very little value for your money.

5/10

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • NewsVine
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Technorati
  • Live
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace

Comments

9 Responses to “Zombie Racers Review—Amusing for a While but Lacks Drive”
  1. JeremyR says:

    When I was a kid, there was a game in the Walgreens (I think) at the local mall where you drove a car in a graveyard and ran over people.

    It was black and white, and when you ran someone over, a little + tombstone went up. It had a steering wheel and pedals.

    For the life of me, I can’t remember the name. I thought it was Grave Driver, but that doesn’t turn up anything. And it’s been bugging me since this game was announced (since while they are zombies, you’re still running over people)

  2. Drzombiewilde5000 says:

    This is the worst mini I have ever played. I never have wished so much for my money back. The controls are absolutely horrible, and everything feels generic and uninspired. i feel as though my time was a victim of vehicular homicide

  3. onmode-ky says:

    JeremyR, I’m pretty sure you’re talking about Death Race.

  4. JeremyR says:

    Woohoo, indeed that is it. I remember the artwork for the cabinet, which is what made me think of graveyard (it certainly looks like one). And BTW, that artwork would look awesome on a van.

    Sigh, I miss the 70s…

  5. djax says:

    Worst minis for me too :-( . My score is 1/10 (1 only for soundtrack). Horrible controls, horrible gameplay, horrible graphics :-( .

  6. volcane says:

    What a shame. If this could have been similar to the graphics and polish of Touch Racing Nitro, then this would have been an awesome game.

  7. confuletlyf says:

    were the upgrades unimpressive as well as being locked down? You didn’t post any sceens of the upgrades and I was curious how they worked. I assume this is somewhat like Super RC Pro Am for gameboy.
    What would an appropriate price have been to make this game worthwhile?

  8. Dan says:

    @ confuletlyf – sorry the upgrades are Top speed, Acceleration and Steering. You can upgrade them to level 10 max on most cars. As for a price to make the game worthwhile i would probably have to say probably $1.49/£0.99 something like that. Hope this helps. :)

  9. nick smith says:

    This is definately a case of “should have read the review first”. i have a weakness for anything zombie but this represents the poorest £3.49 i have ever spent- in any walk of life. it bored me rigid almost immediately. it also caused my psp to crash on numerous occasions (within the very short space of time i allowed it). Whatever button i pressed resulted in the message”are you sure you want to quit?” which may have been the PSP’s way of trying to protect me from suffering this abomination any further.
    “Zombie Racers”?? If by this it meant “BrainDead, shuffling and rotting racer” then i’m happy with the title. Why was the review so generous with a “5″? it was way below the standard expected whereas a “5″ hints at average and borderline acceptability.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!