Sawbuck Gamer


Zombie Zoology

The zombie apocalypse meets Wild Kingdom in Zoombies: Animales De La Muerte.

By Ryan Smith • May 21, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

Zoombies: Animales De La Muerte is proof that you can get away with nearly anything if you dress it up like a kid-friendly Saturday morning cartoon. In Zoombies, most of the animals at the local zoo have been zombified and are escaping the confines of the park. This prompts a well-mustachioed zookeeper to hand a pair of throwing axes over to two young Mexican children, so they might clean up the mess. In any other form, asking 8-year-olds to gleefully dismember undead lions, monkeys, and turtles might sound like a nightmare dreamed up by Pee-Wee Herman, but the shiny, happy visuals and upbeat mariachi music temper the horror.

As in the game’s clear inspiration, Plants Vs. Zombies, your job is to protect your home base from the threat of the slow, prowling dead. But instead of building “towers” to passively gun down enemies, Zoombies opts for a more direct approach. As one of the children, you trace a line along the touchscreen and watch as your weapon flies from your character’s hands and destroys everything in its path before boomeranging back. You start with only an axe to your name, but a gift shop offers Roman candles, bear traps, bombs, and even a monkey sent from Heaven (in what might be the world’s most bizarre Pixies reference) to dispatch hordes of increasingly beefy zombie animals. Zoombies successfully blends thoughtful puzzle solving with frantic finger-flicking action. It’s wholesale animal slaughter—with a smile!

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3 Responses to “Zombie Zoology”

  1. Naked Man Holding A Fudgesicle says:

    Ach, Zoombies! There, pretty as a picture.

  2. His_Space_Holiness says:

    Zoombinis? WHERE?

    Oh. Damn it.

  3. Boonehams says:

    I remember back when this game was first developed to be a WiiWare exclusive title. It was going to be a co-op, isometric shooter where you used the Wiimote pointer to aim.  Funny how development cycles go sometimes.