Nov 22, 2013
In Zombitsu, we get a running game, a ninja sword and zombies.
Our ninja (Hiro) is outfitted with a sword to begin, and runs slicing up undead villagers and avoiding hazards that creep up along the way to stop progress. The view is an abbreviated top-down and behind angle, and this is affected by some game actions for brief moments. The zombies are all over, roaming on the sides of the running area and even directly in front. The base zombies are remarkably spry; there was a time or two I thought one was out of range only to have it knock me down behind some serious closing speed.
The controls are sparse, which is good. Tilting controls the direction of the perpetual runner, and there is an attack button as well as an jump button. Now, the jump button can be used to avoid aforementioned monsters, but jumping over monsters continually has its drawback, especially with a zombie or two potentially waiting at the bottom. The built-in teacher shows how to double jump, and I found out in later levels that timing jumps can be very, very important.
The playing area is varied enough to keep players on their toes, with narrow bridges, huge bodies of water, walls and stuff like spikes making up a backdrop of helpers and dangers. Running into an immovable object or a zombie does damage, and this is denoted by a red glow around the fighter. Sustained safe activity can replenish the life bar though. There are also gold coins that line the running area and can be collected. As the game progresses, zombies get tougher, and the runway gets more treacherous.
The game employs the use of several arcade staples: upgradeable attributes, mini-challenges, diverse scenery and combo bonuses.
The game artwork is fun and functional, but I think the animations are a bit stilted. I think there could be more collectible gems and I feel the bigger the screen space, the more enjoyable it will be.
This won’t — it shouldn’t — distract from the understated charm of this title.