Yea, that really is the name of the game.  I thought maybe some spaces were missing and that’s just how the game had to be listed on the marketplace due to length issues, but no.  8BitsRetroZSurvivals is the title.  Not that it matters.  The game could have been called Captain Bunghole’s Anal Cavity Shave Simulator and I wouldn’t give a shit as long as the game was good.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case here.

8BRZS looks like it might be a neo-retro take on Wolfenstein or Doom, but it’s not.  It’s actually a wave shooter where enemies come at you from all directions and you have to unload clip after clip into them.  Again, that could be fine if it was fun, but 8BRZS is a chore of the most boring order.  A dish-washing simulator might have been more exciting.  Nothing about this game is fun.  Enemies soak up your shots like Chris Christie soaks up cholesterol.  And here’s the weird part: the same enemies get spongier the further you are in the game.  In the first level, enemies take three shots to kill.  This was probably done to sucker people who play the trial into thinking the game wasn’t a total and complete piece of shit.  During the second wave, the same enemies take seven shots to kill.  Same enemies, same gun, but more than double the sponge.

It looks sweet.  Do you know what else I hear is sweet?  Antifreeze, but I wouldn't recommend you drink it.

It looks sweet. Do you know what else I hear is sweet? Antifreeze, but I wouldn’t recommend you drink it.

Weapons are sold in a couple of stores in each setting.  In the second stage, I upgraded to the next highest gun, the rifle.  It downed the first enemy I shot in two bullets, ending the second wave.  For the third wave, enemies now took three bullets to kill with the rifle.  I’m not sure how many it took with the starting pistol, because I only have nine bullets left and that wasn’t enough to kill one single enemy.  The same enemy that I had killed with three shots in the first wave.  The next wave, they took four.  And these are head shots, mind you.  If you don’t hit the head, it takes about triple that amount.

The real fun starts on the fifth wave.  Here, the enemies are invisible, except for a pair of red eyeballs.  These bastards take thirteen headshots with the rifle to bring down.  Mind you, you have a limited supply of ammo and have to buy more with money earned from shooting enemies.  Older weapons become obsolete quickly.  That starter pistol that took seven shots to take an enemy down now takes twenty-four headshots by time you reach wave 7.  This is bad game design.  It would be like if Space Invaders replaced your turret with a super soaker filled with air while suddenly the aliens start throwing napalm down on you.  And the aliens were invisible.  Except their eyes, which are bright red.  Only there’s a bunch of bright-red, eyeball-shaped things littering the scenery.  Wave 10 brings dudes wearing cloaks that shoot fireballs at you.  Wave 15 brings alien zombies who cause radioactive fogs when they die and require you to wear a gas mask.  Wave 20 sends the invisible guys back.  What, no zombie soldiers brandishing zombie guns that shoot zombies at you?

But the really, really weird part is, despite how slow the upgrades are and how absurdly spongy the enemies get, 8BrainCellBoringZComa is actually pretty fucking easy.  Once you get the best weapon in the game, enemies are still spongy (on Wave 28 they took something like 9 bullets to the head to kill, give or take), but money was so plentiful (you get it just by landing a shot with any gun) that I was able to keep my health refilled, my gun fully loaded, my grenades stocked, and still have enough dough left over to stock up on Super Bombs which clear all enemies present and those still walking up their corridors.  At this point, I only game-overed for two reasons.

#1 – I was afraid the game would crash and I would lose my high score.  The game never did crash, or even hint that it would, but this is an XBLIG and you can never be too cautious.

#2 – I was so fucking bored by this point that I figured it was conceivable that observers would declare me clinically dead and start to arrange for my organs to be donated.  I already woke up once in a bathtub full of ice with my left kidney missing and I’ll be damned if I allow that to happen again.


A game that stinks so bad you’ll have to wear a gas mask.

The real shame is 8BitsRetroZSurvivals looks good enough to get any fan of 3D 90s shooters excited.  The graphics do an excellent job of aping that art style.  It sounds good too, I guess.  I mean, every time you clear a wave you hear what sounds like Dr. Claw saying “this is your worst nightmare!”  What, being stuck in a shitty wave shooter?  Yea, actually it is.  It controls really well too.  And it offers perks like a decently populated global leaderboard.  This would all be great, but the gameplay itself is shallow and boring to the point of exhaustion.  I finished 34th on that board out of about 240 people and I feel like I should donate for Red Cross relief to those 33 poor souls who put more time in this than I did.

xboxboxart8BitsRetroZSurvivals was developed by Games Brothers

Point of Sale: Xbox Live Indie Games

$1 wondered how these fuckers became zombies in the first place?  I mean, if a person took 40+ rounds worth of a pistol to the face to kill, presumably any zombie who attempted to bite them would break its teeth.  Since when does becoming a zombie turn your skin into Kevlar in the making of this review?

Gameplay footage via Aaron the Splazer

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

7 Responses to 8BitsRetroZSurvivals

  1. Handro says:

    This games has a pretty good engine, too bad they used it for this. If they instead made a doom like game I think it would do really really well. They didn’t even bother to allow you to build window blockades which is a huge part of cod zombies. If the dev reads this please use this engine to make a doom like game, I will instant buy!

  2. Argamae says:

    Okay. I had it with Zs, Zombies, Walking Dead, Shambling Corpses, Returning Deceased and whatever you want to call those no longer living bodies who manage to move about and still feel that pang of hunger for cerebral head stuffing. I am so totally fed up with them that I feel a palpable relief and become downright uplifted by watching and playing cute little cartoon figures in colorful and whimsical settings. But I won’t suffer another game with a capital “Z” in it.
    Honestly. “Tis is ze vay toh go”, as a typical fellow German would say in English.

  3. I am starting to think someone has taught 10 year olds how to make games.

    • CJ says:

      The game was apparently made with the Sunburn engine from Synapse, which allows much easier creation of 2D and 3D games. I was gonna roll out my own 3D engine, but I might try Sunburn, as it seems to save a lot of work, but still output AAA visuals.

  4. An XBLIG Guy says:

    We may need to remind the 80 microsoft points that made a small comment at the end, that zombies are part of the voodoo culture. The urban story that says people become zombies when they are bitten by another zombie as if the whole thing were a contagious decease, is copyrighted by the Umbrella corporation. I mean, let’s face it: They are zombies, not vampires.

  5. Gryzor says:

    As much as the devs clearly wanted the game to look like Doom or Wolfenstein (and they succeeded for the most part), I think they should’ve paid closer attention to the simpler elements that made those games great. For instance, I could honestly forgive a lot of the repetition and bullet-spongey enemies if the weapons at least had any oomph to them and if anything actually visibly reacted to being shot.

    ..and speaking of reaction, they’re ZOMBIES, you’re allowed to abuse them any creative way that your twisted mind devises, especially when they die (again), so why have them just… fall down anticlimactically? Seriously, don’t bother putting zombies in your game unless you’re willing to utilize some of their glorious, gory potential.

    All that said, they really did nail the visual style and atmosphere. You’ve just gotta love the creepy green and blue skinned baddies (who honestly remind me of Weird Ed and co. from Maniac Mansion.) Here’s hoping that these guys make something better down the line. 🙂

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