The Zombies Ate My Neighbors wiki last edited by Mento on 07/05/14 10:06AM View full history

Overview

Zombies Ate My Neighbors (simply Zombies in Europe and Australia) is a top-down action shooter developed by Lucasarts. The game takes place during some unspecified event that has caused zombies and a whole host of other B-movie style monsters to run amok in a suburban setting. Alone or in two-player co-op, players have to roam a huge number of levels killing monsters and rescuing their innocent neighbors.

The game was originally published by Konami for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Genesis on September 1993. On October 26, 2009, it was re-released on the Wii Virtual Console.

Gameplay

The player begins by selecting either Zeke or Julie, and in co-op, the player that they don't choose is controlled by player two. Gameplay is top-down, with fairly simple controls. Players can have one weapon and one item selected at any time, and scroll through these as needed. Most levels see the player dropped into an environment with the objective of rescuing a certain number of survivors. Survivors are stationary, and often placed in hard-to-reach areas. The player has a GPS-like radar that can be activated, displaying the number of survivors remaining and their location when sufficiently close. When the player runs into a survivor, that survivor is deemed as 'saved' and disappears. When no survivors remain in a level, a freestanding exit door appears next to the player, who can choose to further explore or exit the level. Survivors are killed if they are attacked by an enemy; a loud cry alerts the player to a death and an angel floats up from the survivor as part of the death animation. If the player fails to rescue a specified number of survivors, they fail the level.

The environment and enemies vary largely from level to level. Some levels see players facing only one kind of enemy, while others force them to deal with waves of different enemies. Locations range from suburban backyards and shopping malls to horror clichés like castles and pyramids. Each level's number and name is displayed before the level begins. These titles are often done in B-movie style and reflect the content of the level: for example, Level 12: Mars Needs Cheerleaders features only Martians as enemies and only Cheerleaders as survivors.

Julie in one of Mall levels

Different enemy classes are vulnerable to different attacks. Whilst low-level enemies like zombies will succumb to almost anything, other enemies are more vulnerable to certain weapons, and may be immune to some attacks. This vulnerability is usually referencing popular myth or fiction on the subject; Werewolves are most vulnerable to thrown silverware, for example. Other vulnerabilities are less grounded in logic; Martians, for example, are most vulnerable to tomatoes.

Weapons are found in the environment, and most are everyday objects. The basic weapon is the squirt gun, which the player always starts with. Other weapons include foodstuffs, such as Icepops, and tools, such as the weedwacker. More far-fetched weapons are also found in certain situations. Killing a Martian will force him to drop his Bubble Gun, whilst the Pandora's Box item can be found in pyramids. Levels contain chests, cupboards, and similar that can be opened to find weapons and items. Most levels contain locked doors, which have to be opened with a Key or otherwise bypassed. A Key works on any door, but can only be used once. Occasionally, levels contain Skeleton Doors, which can only be opened with a much rarer Skeleton Key. Environments also contain destructible walls, which can be identified by the cracks in them. These can be opened with a sufficiently strong attack, such as a Bazooka, or by tricking a sufficiently strong enemy into destroying it.

Items are usually less attack-based than weapons, and have a range of effects. Med Kits restore health, and Keys open doors. Decoy Clowns are inflatable laughing toys that distract all enemies in the area. Speed Boots give the player increased speed for a short period. There are also several potions; one turns the player into a fearsome invulnerable monster for a short period, one turns the player into a ghost who can walk past enemies unharmed and undetected for a short time.

Most levels do not actually require the player to kill enemies. The player can run faster than most enemies, and evasion is as viable a tactic as firepower. Certain situations do force the player into combat, however, such as the level that forces the player to take down an extremely powerful Giant Baby to obtain the Skeleton Key required to rescue the level's lone survivor.

Zeke in one of the Suburbs levels

The player has a life bar and a number of extra lives. The life bar is depleted when attacked by enemies or environmental hazards, but can be restored by using the Med Kits that are found throughout the environment. Extra Lives are earned between levels by score. This makes it in the player's best interests to rescue as many survivors as possible, as rescuing all survivors in a level confers a huge bonus. When a health bar is depleted all the way, the player's character sways dizzily and falls over. An extra life is used automatically, and the player's character reappears with a short period of invulnerability. Dying with no extra lives remaining takes the player to a Game Over screen and then returns them to the main menu. After certain levels, a four-character password is given to the players so they may continue from that level in the case a Game Over occurs.

Levels

The Exit that appears after rescuing all the neighbors. Or after all the neighbors get killed, whatever comes first.
  1. Zombie Panic (Bonus Level: Day of the Tentacle)
  2. Evening of the Undead
  3. Terror in Aisle Five
  4. Lumberjack Hedgemaze Mayhem
  5. Weird Kids on the Block
  6. Pyramid of Fear
  7. Dr. Tongue's Castle of Terror
  8. Titanic Toddler
  9. Toxic Terrors (Bonus Level: Mushroom Men)
  10. No Assembly Required
  11. Weeds Gone Bad
  12. Mars Needs Cheerleaders (Bonus Level: Cheerleaders Versus the Monsters)
  13. Chopping Mall
  14. Seven Meals for Seven Zombies
  15. Dinner on Monster Island
  16. Ants
  17. Office of the Doomed (Bonus Level: Someplace Very Warm)
  18. Squidmen of the Deep
  19. Nightmare on Terror Street
  20. Invasion of the Snakeoids
  21. The Day the Earth Ran Away
  22. Revenge of Dr. Tongue (Bonus Level: The Son of Dr. Tongue)
  23. The Caves of Mystery
  24. Warehouse of the Evil Dolls
  25. Look Who's Shopping
  26. Where the Red Fern Growls
  27. Dances With Werewolves
  28. Mark of the Vampire
  29. Zombie House Party
  30. The Horror of Floor Thirteen
  31. Look Who's Coming to Dinner
  32. Giant Ant Farm
  33. Fish and Crypts (Bonus Level: Curse of the Pharaohs)
  34. I Was a Chainsaw Maniac
  35. Boardwalk of Terrors
  36. Monster Phobia
  37. Labyrinth of Horrors
  38. Monsters of the Blue Lagoon
  39. Destroy All Vampires
  40. Pyramid of Fear Two
  41. Martians Go Home!
  42. Spikes
  43. Super Fund Cleanup Site
  44. The Curse of Dr. Tongue
  45. Danger in Picnic Park
  46. Day of the Chainsaw
  47. Gridiron Terror
  48. Curse of the Tongue (Credit Level: Monsters Among Us)

Victim Points Value

The Neighbors!
  • Cheerleaders - 1000
  • Baby - 700
  • Dog - 500
  • Explorer - 500
  • Trampoline Girl - 300
  • Tourists - 200
  • Inner-tuber - 100
  • Soldier - 100
  • Evil school teacher - 10
  • Barbecue guy – 5

Villians

  • Zombie
  • Vlad Belmont the Vampire
  • Jelly Blob
  • Mummy
  • Tommy the Evil Doll
  • Werewolf
  • Stanley Decker, the Chainsaw Maniac
  • The Pod Plant
  • Gillman of the Blue Lagoon (a.k.a. Brook Shards)
  • The Mushroom Men
  • Dr. Tongue

Alternative Game Names

  • Monsters!
  • Grave Consequences
  • Zombie Invade Suburbia
  • Don't Build That Mall Here!
  • Suburban Zombie Bake-Off
  • Ghouls Just Want to Have Fun
  • My Zombie, Make BIG Mistake
  • Zombies Need BAR-B-Q Sauce
  • Please Don't Feed the Zombies!
  • The Zombies Wrong Turn At Alpha 6
  • Michael Barone and the Zombie Hunters
  • Return of the Teenage Son of the Bride of a Zombie, Part 2

Items

Weapons

Critical Reception

When the Genesis version was released Electronic Gaming Monthly gave the review scores of 8,8,8,9 and 9 out of ten. Mike Weigand, who gave one of the higher scores, wrote, "The screen layout is like Gauntlet IV (with a black area showing your items). I tend to prefer it that way! Like the Super NES version, this is an excellent game for one or two players, loaded with references to old horror movies!".

The magazine also issued the game its "Editors' Choice Gold award.

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