Dude vs. Zombies Game

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Dude VS Zombies Has You Shooting Undead While Fixing a Car

16 bit style pixel graphics, undead zombies marching in from the all sides, upgrades to buy and enjoy -yep, just the perfect way to spend an afternoon of gaming! If you have been hoping to find a great way to spend an hour of two doing nothing but blasting away pixel-style zombies to kingdom come, look no further: Dude Vs Zombies is here.

We are all about the gameplay experience, so forget about those over the top storylines that takes several pages of text, all those super fancy graphics that easily bog down low-end netbooks, and of course, do away with all those complicated controls that really get in the way of sheer, mindless enjoyment. And what you get is Dude Vs. Zombies. Now, do not get us wrong, this is not a bare-minimum Spartan-ish game. DvZ is a fully complete browser based upgrade shooter with a solid controls and a great mechanic; but we just love how it does it all without so many frills.

Today is Not a Good Day

We can all imagine the bother and problem that a flat tire can bring, after all, car troubles means that you get seriously delayed before you can get to where ever it is that you were supposed to go. But when your car breaks down in the middle of a forest that is populated by the undead, then things really do take a turn for the worse.

The game is not too detailed as to how you managed to crash your vehicle in such a neat manner -all the parts are just lying there for you to pick up and put back together again, and more importantly, where all the zombies, upgrade guns, and other stuff actually come from. But that is not the focus here, and no matter how you look at it, the answers hardly matter at all. All you need to know is that you need to shoot the zombies, fix your car, and get the hell out of dodge as fast as you can.

Plot wise, this is hardly anything we would rave about, and more than anything else, it mirrors that of Balloon in the Wasteland a little too much. The saddest thing is that Balloon actually plays a little better than this, so you might want to finish DvZ first before trying out the other game. That said, this game is not bad on its own. It may have similarities to another game in terms of story and gameplay, but it is still worth your time to play around with.

The Old Ways are the Best Ways

2D shooters are all about control and timing, and the same goes for Dude Vs Zombies. No matter what gun you are holding, the best rule is to conserve your bullets for sure shots. The good thing is that the game will not penalize you for misses. The scoring is unaffected by your accuracy and bullets are infinite for all weapons. Still, the last thing you would want is to be reloading while in the middle of swarm.

Controlling your character is simple: W, A, and S controls your left, right, and jumping movements while pressing D will have your character fix the car (you need to be right next to the car to do this). You also use D to pick up parts of the car when you are prompted to. Pressing R will have you manually reloading your gun (you may reload while repairing, but you cannot move or shoot). Pressing the number keys will switch your weapons in battle. Finally, your mouse controls where you aim. This is a simple matter of aiming in the general direction of the targets and pressing the mouse button to shoot. There really is no point trying to go for headshots all the time. As long as your bullets land, it is fine. The only reason you should go for headshots is when you face off against the bigger zombies and bringing them down becomes an important priority.

Aside from aiming, the mouse allows you to access the upgrade and shop menus. As you earn both money and experience points from kills, you will be using these for purchasing upgrading from two different menus. Experience points provides you with higher character levels (max level cap is 25), and each level grants you two skill points to purchase skills with. Each skill costs 1, 2 and 3 skill points depending on the tier. Once you buy all skills, the level cap will be maxed out. In the shop tab, you can access health packs, new weapons, and mines. Obviously, the first things to save up for are better guns, but you should also invest in a few mines as the game awards players who are able to kill 20 zombies with mines.

Speaking of which Dude Vs Zombies also includes a small achievements list that encourages players to complete every single unlockable in the game. This means that your goal will be more than just fixing your car back up to 100%. It also means investing in the time and energy to kill hordes of zombies and earning every single weapon and skill available -you also get incentives for raking up kills with specific guns.

The game's nice balance between chasing for achievements, keeping track of zombie waves, and simply being able to enjoy the fact that you are blasting away zombies left and right is a pretty good enough reason to play the game. Add in the nice controls, decent upgrade system and you have enough to keep you busy for an hour or so. Since there are no save games, this is something that has to be finished in one sitting, which provides the game with a pretty short play-span.

At Least It Has Colors

The retro appeal of Dude Vs Zombies lies in the fact that it is created with pixel style graphics. You will not find those blurry mosaic-like things though; the art is polished, smooth, and well delivered. When the creators decided to make this game, they certainly did not take the visual aesthetics for granted. The results of this decision is pretty obvious: no matter how you feel about DvZ's gameplay, the art is definitely something to admire.

Everything in the game is blocky, which is a signature look of the game. Even the car wheels are squares. The zombies are also pretty much the same as well -giant blocky creatures with green skin and dead eyes. The rest of the game follows the same visual style and theme, providing you with a cohesive look that actually feels right.

The game's visuals are great not just for the art alone. The animations are also pretty well done. This is most evident when you are blasting bullets at the zombie's bodies. With very high powered guns, you will literally see the blocky flesh being torn off the zombies bodies -it is literally possible to shred a zombie's torso, leg, or even head in this game depending on the item you have equipped. The great thing is that thanks to the pixel style artwork, any violent scenes are heavily subdued (so those of who who are parents do not need to worry about having your kids play this game). The music is hardly noticeable, though the sound effects do help the game's atmosphere a little bit.

The Verdict

The thing about Dude Vs Zombies that we always remember is that this is a fun game to play. Regardless of what you compare it to or how you approach the actual game itself, it is hard to deny the fact that running back and forth, shooting down zombies and catching a bit of slack to repair a damaged car is a pretty decent scenario to play around with -add in the fact that the controls respond well and the overall challenge level rises up at a good pace means that players will never have to feel bored. The only thing missing from this game is a decent sequel that polishes the overall playing experience -particularly, one that warrants having a save file worth continuing. With its well made graphics, detailed animations, easy controls, and fun gameplay, Dude Vs Zombies is still a game that is worth playing despite its obvious age. We give this game a broken down car's 87/100.