Feb 9, 2016
Like Juice? Hate Zombies? Zombie Catchers might just be for you.
This one flips the good old zombie apocalypse trope on its head; Planet Earth indeed is on the brink, but in a scarily brilliant not to interplanetary capitalism, two aliens figure out a method of disposing of the evil undead and make some hard cash to boot: they create a drink stand. The main ingredient? Yes, you guessed right… squeezed zombie.
Look, don’t get too caught up on the label. Folks enjoy this interesting libation. The thirst is real, honey.
In any case, translated to the game, the backstory gives one a direct glimpse into the whimsical nature of the game. Starting with the artwork, we do get several views that line up with the different aspects of the game, with the main action scenes rendered in 2D in landscape orientation. It makes use of vivid imagery brokered by live color, with smooth animations and genial characterizations. The soundtrack is part groovy, part schematic, and clearly designed to frame the experience. For the most part, the media aspect works well.
The game does its due by bringing several gaming elements to bear. The goal is to keep the zombie juice coming; to do this, one needs to hunt zombies. The hunting field is a digitally-created zombie swamp, with a dark feel and several bodies of water that have zombies hiding.
Our chief zombie hunter, AJ, jumps out of an airborne undead jailbird armed with a basic harpoon and some brain bait. Using the virtual buttons, the main idea is to tease out the zombies, and then chase the spooked vermin and harpoon them for future juicing.
The zombies are a skittish lot, but they do possess the ability to stun our guy if he gets too close. They are also not without smarts, as they won’t come out if our hunter stays close to bait, plus, when spooked, they can escape if not caught quickly enough. In this way, a bit of strategy and speed are useful, and each hunt can be quite engaging. As one goes on, the zombies get tougher to catch, which adds to the gameplay value.
As noted, caught zombies are juiced for eventual profits, and said profits (in the manifestation of gold coins) can be used to enhance a host of attributes: weapons, juicing tools and more. Some elements are level-dependent, so it behooves one to get as far as possible. A secondary collectible, plutonium, can be used to speed some projects up.
Alas, the game does make use of energy requirements, which does keep progress in check. For instance, it takes some time to “find” zombies to hunt. Real cash can be used to expedite things.
All in all, the energy requirement doesn’t ruin the gameplay, and accruing gold is possible for the patient. The game ticks several check boxes, and is worth a look.