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.