I didn’t know what I was particularly going into when I started playing Alien Zombie Megadeath. Actually, I mistook it for Atom Zombie Smasher. I think you can see why, the names are as close as they could be in a list of 250 games as they could be without being the same. The two games are completely different though, as I got to see once I started playing.
AZM is a platformer shooter, though not in the classic sense. It share more common ground with a game like Geometry Wars than Mario, as in you shoot a lot of stuff – it’s the main mechanic of the game. You can only fire your weapon to the left and to the right, both of which take different buttons. That way, you can also walk backwards. Otherwise, there’s only the directional keys, which you use to navigate the (generally) small levels, moving up and down in order to dodge enemies and get in range to shoot them.
You’ll need to get good at it if you want to get far – the game’s not easy. Getting hit 3 times means death, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Even so, you don’t need to complete every level to progress – you can skip quite a few levels in advance. Every level has some sort of theme to it, not to mention different objectives. There’s levels where you’re supposed to simply kill all the enemies, levels where you are to collect crystals and survive the obstacles, even levels where you are supposed to save as many space babies as you can by moving them from one point to another.
At this point I should point out that, while the game’s got some cool ideas, I don’t see it as being anything but generic. As I said earlier on, while it’s like Geometry Wars in gameplay style, the graphical style doesn’t compare. Space babies, sure, nice idea, the aliens are also zombies, ok, but it feels like it falls flat somehow. You may not find it particularly memorable.
That’s probably just me though – the game’s fun, there’s a lot of content in there, but I’m too bad to get past level 24 or so. Oh yeah, it also works well with both controllers and keyboards.
The game’s on Steam at 5 Euros. It’s fun.