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Ubi Soft Ltd
1990
Arcade: Adventure
£9.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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22
Paul ?
Chris Bourne

It's the late 20th century, and Earth has been over run by zombies. Okay, so they're not actually in Parliament but they're everywhere - in the streets, the parks, the shops; in fact, everywhere except where they should be, the cemeteries.

So it comes as little surprise to find that the few remaining pockets of human life are having something of a tough time, especially when you consider that zombies' favourite food is living brain tissue. So the only safe people are TV AM presenters.

However, a team of four mercenaries have escaped their hospital hideout by way of a handy helicopter and are making their way to an uninhabited tropical island when the fuel gauge drops to zero, forcing them to land on the roof of a nearby shopping centre. And this is where the game proper begins.

An icon-driven graphic adventure, Zombi is loosely based on an extremely gory horror film called Dawn Of The Dead. You control the four characters - Alexander, Sylvie, Yannick and Patrick - whose aim to find enough fuel to get the chopper up and running once more and escape to sunnier, uninfested climes. One or two little problems stand in your way, however; the first is the zombie threat. Those bastions of the dead fraternity have broken through the locked doors of the mall and are wandering aimlessly around trying to find an Asda that sells human brains, when they smell your cerebral fluids and come charging after you. As they can only be killed by destroying their heads, you're going to need either a gun or some other implement, as you'll not last long with fists alone. But the zombies aren't your only enemy. Another band of humans, the Hell's Angels, have spotted your helicopter and are making their way towards the mall, intent on pinching your wings - which will mean a violent death for your party.

Anyone who has seen the film Dawn Of The Dead will remember it more for the blood and guts which made it a classic splatter movie. Zombi, on the other hand, relies much more on suspense than gore, and this works to surprisingly good effect. The monochrome 3D graphics of the main playing area aren't fantastic, but they portray the surroundings well enough and more than serve their purpose. The icon control system is, at first, a little confusing, but after playing a few times it becomes practically second nature - especially the movement system (the relevant arrows are positioned around the outside view screen, and choosing an arrow sends you in the appropriate direction). There aren't an awful lot of locations to be found in Zombi, but you'll be so busy trying to find all the necessary escape items that there isn't time to worry about the lack of places to go.

Studying the wall-maps is recommended, as there are a couple of rooms which are almost impossible to just stumble across.

While being a faithful interpretation of the brilliant Dawn Of The Dead story (I should add that the game isn't actually a licensed product, hence the change of name), Zombi might not appeal to true arcade freaks because of its leanings toward the adventure side of gaming, but a zombie shootout section compensates for the otherwise non-existent arcade action.

Personally, I loved the game, and will be returning to it time and time again until I reach that elusive sun-drenched, island paradise!

Label: Ubi Soft
Author: In-house
Price: £8.95
Memory: 48K/128K
Joystick: Various
Reviewer: Paul ?

A "dead" good interpretation of a classic horror movie - don't look behind you while you're playing!

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