We met with Big Fish Games to check out their upcoming suite of titles, and one that stood out is called Zombie Zombie Zombie. If you thought all innovation in Match-3 games was dead, you might want to reassess when this one comes out this summer.
First off, although it’s billed as a Match-3 game, it bears little resemblance to Bejeweled or Zuma’s Revenge. Instead, the game is set up kind of like Plants vs. Zombies. You play as a line of armed fighters at the bottom of the screen as hordes of zombies approach from the top. The zombies come in a number of different types, all mixed into the crowd. Your job is to tap any three zombies of the same type. This creates a triangle that your heroes fire their weapons into. When the zombies are hit, they explode in a most satisfying manner.
Ideally, your triangle will encompass as many zombies as possible for maximum undead destruction, but it’s not always easy. Sometimes all zombies of a single type are clustered together, making it difficult to take out a large triangular chunk of the crowd. Other times, as the horde encroaches toward your heroes, your anxiety levels rise, making it harder to make smart, tactical moves.
When the zombies reach your characters, they do what zombies do: start picking them off. If you lose all of your characters, it’s game over. But since your characters are the ones doing the shooting, when their numbers dwindle, so does your destructive power.
When we played, we quickly fell into a groove of scanning the zombie crowd, identifying three like-colored zombies, and grinning with glee as they exploded. It’s a fast-paced game that rewards quick, strategic thinking.
When things start to look bleak for your heroes, you can use a special weapon. The one on the level we played was a grill placed on the side of the screen. To use it, you have to rub the embers quickly, which makes grill heat up and eventually explode, taking out a huge chunk of the crowd. Other special weapons include rabid dogs and crazy taxi drivers.
The game also has boss battles that play like a game of Breakout. The boss we played was a giant zombie who rolled rocks at our heroes. Our job was to drag a shield left and right across the bottom of the screen to deflect the rocks back at him. It was a fun change of pace.
We’re looking forward to getting our hands on the final version of Zombie Zombie Zombie when it releases this summer for $0.99.