Zombies have lurched their way past pirates, robots, and ninjas as the meme du jour in our culture today. Something about their undead wanderings both attract and repulse us. Some think that they represent our fight to rise above our most primal instincts. The hungry patrons in Zombie Pizza show us that we can’t shake at least one basic instinct: a love of pizza.
In Zombie Pizza, you take on the role of a pizza chef trying to keep a hungry horde of zombies at bay. Instead of your typical toppings, you will be serving up pies covered in guts, bugs and bones. The picky zombies only like certain combinations of toppings, and like some toppings better than others. To do well, you need to act quickly and optimize each pizza so that it has the most delicious combination of toppings that will give you the largest number of points.
Toppings are dropped on one side of a conveyor belt and are available for your use until they pass out the other side of the kitchen. You mix these ingredients by dragging four toppings onto empty pizza crusts and flinging them out of the kitchen once they are filled up. Each pizza is worth the sum of its toppings, multiplied by the type of pizza you make. In addition to the three basic pizza types (consisting of either four different toppings, a two-topping split, or four of the same topping) you will receive occasional special orders that can be filled for extra points.
This mechanic sets up a very frantic pattern matching game that is quite addictive. You need to take in the flow of ingredients, keeping in mind the value of the different ingredients as well as the pizza types, in order to succeed. If you like games that require a lot of attention and reaction speed almost to the point of being stressful, this is your game. We felt that the difficulty was a bit on the easy side as we were able to earn the highest rating, a gold medal, on the majority of levels on our first play through.
Somebody call Woody Harrelson.
The game’s graphics are appropriately disgusting and designed well, making it easy to spot ingredients out of the corner of your eye, which is very important. The sound likewise complements the chaos of the undead pizzeria with a cacophony of groaning and squishing ingredients. Brains and intestines bounce around and hearts beat when placed on your pizza. It’s all good zombie fun. The only issue we had with the controls was that the conveyor belt runs very close to the edge of the screen in a few places, and that makes it tough to grab ingredients that are partially off the screen.
Our main issue with the game is its length. Once we got our mind around the game, we were hooked. Unfortunately, we had gone through all the content in an hour or two. Trying to get gold medal on each of the game’s 30 levels tacks on a bit more play time, but not enough to feel like we had gotten our fill. If the game had some kind of leaderboards, challenges or even a more difficult rating above gold we would have gotten a lot more out of the game.
Zombie Pizza is a short but ghoulishly addicting game. It takes the familiar zombie genre and wraps it around a great core puzzle mechanic. We would like to see the developers add some more content in the future to keep us occupied for a little longer and keep the difficulty level up. Despite that, we had a lot of fun with Zombie Pizza. At its $.99 launch price it is a good fit for anyone looking for some frantic zombie fun.