Quicksilva Ltd
1984
Arcade: Maze
£6.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Unspecified custom loader

139,140,141
Chris Bourne

Yes folks, it's the long-awaited follow-up to Sandy White's extraordinary 3D Mt Attack. The style is instantly recognisable, the pre-defined isometric perspective city maze and fast scrolling, the boy or girl hero leaping and walking around, but colour has been added and a few more gizmos to make a different game altogether. Our hero has now been provided with a little red helicopter to fly about in and the city has become infested with death-dealing zombies.

The helicopter allows another new element to creep in - architecture. For once inside it, the hero can drop blocks to build or re-design the city. He can also remove existing blocks by the same means. This becomes important because in Zombie Zombie the heroine can jump from the tallest blocks but only jump up single steps, and the Zombies can only be killed off by luring them into following you up onto the walls, and when you jump down from a high one, the zombie follows, splatting redly on the ground?

You are also provided with one other means of defence - you can blow a puff of air at the zombies which will blow them away for a moment. Below the playing area rows of yellow dots (106 In all) represent the carrying capacity of the helicopter in blocks. Every time a block is dropped a dot disappears.

Once out of the machine and on foot, the dots represent breaths left, so after a long stint of building it pays to stock up on breaths before disembarking. To pick up blocks the helicopter must be sitting on a wall and the fire key is tapped. To drop one, it must be hovering in the air, which is also done with the fire key, but if the fire key is rapid tapped, it will result in blocks failing down into position. Getting out of the helicopter is done by landing and using a direction key. Locating the 3D position of the helicopter is easy with its shadow being seen on the ground.

As in Mt Attack there is the facility of four camera angle views which are achieved by standing still and using the fire key, the views then rotate in turn automatically.

CRITICISM

'Ant Attack II? This is very similar in style to the earlier game, both in layout and type. I feel that Zombie Zombie is better than Mt Attack, though control is still a bug bear. The ability to move blocks is great and I spent ages trying to block in a zombie, although killing them (how can you kill something that is already dead?) is done by leading them to their deaths over high walls. The 3D graphics are very impressive and the sound is excellent although there isn't much during play itself. Zombie Zombie is a good game which is more playable than Mt Attack.'

'Sandy White evidently took note of the complexity of controlling Ant Attack, because the keys for Zombie Zombie are much reduced, everything now being controllable from the joystick without rows and rows of other keys to .worry about. This instantly makes the new game more fun to play as there is more time to enjoy it! Zombie Zombie is full of neat touches (like the copyright, written large in stone blocks) and I especially like the way that you can crash your helicopter into a wall - it vanishes, but you are all right. Later you will see that the helicopter has returned to its pad in the centre of the city - the spot marked by H. Introducing colour has made the game look livelier, but has unfortunately introduced some attribute problems along with it - these do not spoil the game however. Although I enjoyed playing Zombie Zombie, I don't think it is particularly addictive, and rather as with Ant Attack, I was left with an impression of super graphics making a lack of content. Still, building cities is great fun and the game is probably worth it for that alone.'

'Essentially this is 3D Mt Attack, except without ants and with zombies instead. Several differences become apparent straight away if you've ever played Mt Attack; they are that the maze is more colourful and other characters in the game have colour as well instead of being just black and white. Of course, this does create quite bad attribute problems, but doesn't spoil the playability of the game. The maze is considerably smaller than its 'parent' but is much more flexible and you can enthusiastically fly about rebuilding the entire town to your own personal taste. This is fun in itself. Zombies are not very intelligent until you are within a couple of feet, at this stage they jump at you and throttle you. This may be a little unfair as it is otherwise difficult to attract their attention. City movement is very fast when fly-passing around in the helicopter, so much so that it makes Mt Attack look very slow. On the other hand, in Mt Attack the ants were onto your trail very rapidly, but here the zombies seem to be infrequent and at times it can be hard to spot one. Overall, I don't think this is any significant improvement over Mt Attack, and in fact I think Mt Attack is the more playable game. I would have thought that as Sandy White gave the Spectrum such a tremendous lift with the soft solid graphics of Ant Attack that the follow-up game would also have given another lift, not so much in 3D graphics but in a 3D game where the game content was exceptional. This is my opinion, but don't let it put you off buying the game.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Cursor keys and either zero or bottom row to fire
Joystick: Sinclair, Kempston, Protek, AGF
Keyboard play: very responsive and much simpler than in Ant Attack, though it might have been nicer to have an alternative to the cursors
Use of colour: quite nicely used, but not the ideal game because of attribute problems
Sound: 2 channel sound is provided if you have the right hardware, good helicopter noise, otherwise not much during game
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 3
Screens: large scrolling area, smaller than Ant Attack however
Special features: boy or girl option
General Rating: Good to very good though perhaps lacking in content.

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Screenshot Text

The little red whirlybird with an enormous capacity for bricks makes a novel appearance in ZOMBIE ZOMBIE.