15 Days of Halloween: Zombies Ate My Neighbors

There were many pieces of terrifying lore with which I could begin, but the honor belongs to  Zombies Ate My Neighbors.

Released in 1993 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and SEGA Genesis, Zombies Ate My Neighbors is one of those oft-respected, yet relatively unknown videogames. It is rarely brought up in retro-conversation and its namesake was never pushed any farther than its original inception – which very well may have been for the better, as rehashes and sequels tend to dilute legacies. Despite the lack of commercial success, it has become a venerable cult classic.

You play as either Zeke or Julie – two kids armed to the teeth with squirt guns, tomatoes, bazookas, magic potions, utensils, popsicles, and a myriad of other household items – running and gunning their way through the suburbs of any-old-town USA. In their way are zombies, martians, chainsaw-wielding maniacs, creatures from the black lagoon, vampires, werewolves, and killer dolls.

Zombies Ate My Neighbors approaches its 1950′s nostalgia and 1980′s horror films with a tongue-in-cheek approach that is both entertaining and engrossing; so much so that I wish it would be adapted into a graphic novel or film.

Just don’t Californicate it – thanks, Michael Bay.

Aside from the gameplay, the soundtrack is a first-rate combination of up-tempo, run for your life arrangements and eerie, extraterrestrial tones, whirls, and buzzes; the melodies will be hummed on many a foggy, winding road. It is the sort of collection that can be played over a game of Ghosts in the Graveyard and not miss a step.

Altogether, Zombies Ate My Neighbors is an amalgamation of horror, nostalgia, comedy, and kickass tunes that deserves to be dusted off and played during the 15 Days of Halloween.

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