Doublesix have been pretty clever. Take the popular twin-stick shooter concept and mix this with the in-vogue Zombie genre, thus producing what is both a fun and a challenging game, with cutesy graphics and mass undead genocide.
The action takes place in a fixed area map, with power-ups scattered about the place, and it’s very fast paced, enough to make your head spin. Zombies appear in waves who must be slaughtered as soon as possible, and there are masses of them. They will follow the player where ever they goes, with the pure intent of eating him. It feels a bit like the scene in Shaun of the Dead where hoards of zombies follow Shaun from the Winchester pub, only this time with more guns.
Burn Zombie Burn has a lot of weapons, from the humble baseball bat to the Gatling gun – all are as effective at dispatching the undead, but the weapon used will determine the points scored. Bullets work well, but a bat will reap greater rewards. There are further instruments of death that sharp eyed players might pick up on as movie references; enter the cricket-bat and lawn mower – humour in Burn Zombie Burn isn’t short on the agenda.
Then there is the fire. If the title hadn’t clued you in, Burn Zombie Burn has bright orange and yellow flames everywhere. Pretty much anything flammable in the game can be set alight, and like all the best blazes, it will grow and grow. With a perchance for arson, the player always has this weapon to hand, but care must be taken. The flames will also hurt the main protagonist, so burning Zombies when they have you in the corner isn’t a great idea.
Burn Zombie Burn does a good job of making the player think they’re doing really well, but when it comes to high scores and leaderboards, the top gunners are in another league altogether. Getting the bronze achievements isn’t so hard, but without doubt, Burn Zombie Burn is a difficult game. This is cleverly disguised however, urging you to continue playing, making you feel like an undead slaying king.
In order to unlock the other maps in the game, it’s necessary to gain a decent high score. It’s no small order, points of around half a million or more are needed to proceed, so getting those multipliers for multiple zombie kills is a must. There are only six maps to play through in total, and the maps really don’t make any difference to the level of difficulty, but it’ll will take some time to see them all.
Once bored of the single player, there are the challenges to take a look at. Of course it’s all about killing more zombies, but this time there are a few quirks along the way. Without wanting to spoil the ingenuity of the various missions, the first of these sees an exploding flaming skull that can be kicked around. Only by knocking this in to the appropriate place and firing at it, does the player stand any chance of completing the requirements.
If there is reason to fault the game, it would be down to one thing. What Burn Zombie Burn is really missing out on, and this is a great shame, is online multiplayer. It is possible to cremate zombies locally with a pal, but if all your friendships are digital only, you’re out of luck. Nevertheless, there is enough to keep the solo-artist playing into the night.
The risk-reward nature of the gameplay in Burn Zombie Burn is enough to make the player return for more, if not the adrenaline inducing intensity. Whilst the task may, on the face of it, look repetitive, it never feels tired or boring to play. If high-score chasing gives you pleasure, then Burn Zombie Burn comes highly recommended.