This game made me blind in my left eye. No joke.
I discovered OMG Zombies! on the PSP, which only has a screen size of 4.3 inches. I am 47 years old, which means my eyes don't work as well as they used to. I should have known better. This game is so addictive that I literally spent somewhere in the neighborhood of eight to ten hours playing it. Continuous. I finished the game, deleted my save, finished the game, deleted my save, and kept right on playing. As a result, I had a massive headache, and the inner lining of my left eye separated, as the ophthalmologist put it, "like peeling off a sticker." My eye filled with thousands of tiny, black dots (which were actually quite beautiful and which, I later was told, was blood inside the eye). It required laser surgery to repair, and I was told to avoid using the eye and not to lift anything. Two weeks later, it separated again (because I was being foolish and started using the PSP again). I told you all of that in order to tell you this: I regret nothing.
OMG Zombies (which I've just found on Steam in a bundle that did not interest me, but which I had to purchase just
in order to share my opinion of the game) is one of those games that offers amazingly simple mechanics, but creative, open-ended strategy (okay, strategy-lite). You are in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, you only have three bullets (to start), and you need to completely
clear the area of dozens --sometimes, hundreds-- of zombies. Sounds impossible, and it would be were it not for the fact that there are many different types of zombies, and each type behaves differently. Some explode, some shoot rounds off upon dying, some dissolve into pools of acidic goo that, in turn, dissolve any zombie that steps into said pool. Clearing each area awards a bronze, silver, gold, or platinum medal and, with it, different monetary bonuses that allow you to upgrade the zombies, yourself, or the environment (such as exploding barrels). As the levels progress, zombies gain hit points (requiring more damage to kill), and different combinations of zombie type, as well as environmental hazards, appear. You can replay each area to try to gain a higher award.
Let me tell you this: There are few things more satisfying than selecting one specific zombie, firing off a round, and watching it set off a chain reaction that decimates every (un)living thing on the screen. So powerful was the need to do this, that I kept resetting after completion to see if I could handicap myself. How far could I get in the game without purchasing a single powerup (pretty far, as it turns out, although killing every zombie in the area is all but impossible)? Could I successfully complete the game upgrading only soldier zombies? What if I played the game while only upgrading my weapon?
Digital crack, I say. Blind in one eye. BLIND
in one eye!! And still, I played.
The Steam version adds three more zombie types (the Mortar, Runner, and Zapper), and the graphic novel story presentation, which offers some beautiful artwork, has been expanded. All of that said, the Steam version unfortunately suffers in its execution (no pun intended). The design of the PSP version is one of the most elegant and sleek I've seen; it's intuitive, and virtually everything you need to see is on one screen. On Steam, it's clunky, waaaay oversized, and confusing. Not only that, but the display resolutions are extremely odd (640x362, 1024x580, and 1920x1088, to name a few), resulting in a level select screen that you can't completely see
, no matter the resolution, no matter if the game is fullscreen or windowed. On the PSP, it was easy to tell what upgrades did; here, it's difficult and unintuitive, and that's coming from someone who's played it before (have I mentioned I've played this before?). (EDIT: I've discovered that you can click and drag the level select screen. Maybe a mouseover tooltip would be appropriate for the next patch?)
Still, confusing layout aside, this is a must purchase if this kind of quick-to-pick-up-but-hard-to-put-down game play is your thing (and I suspect you already know if it is). The price is right and, as I said at the start of this review, it's currently bundled for much less. Either way, I'm playing.
Until I lose both
(Just a quick note to give the dev peace of mind: My eye is almost completely healed now. :) No lawsuit is pending, and you have my eternal gratitude for creating such a great game.