Zombiewood: Survival Shooter

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Zombiewood: Survival Shooter (Nintendo Switch) – Review

Picture it. A stuntman ready to make it big in Hollywood arrives to full-on mayhem as zombies flood the streets, replacing the Hollywood stars with hordes of undead. This is Zombiewood: Survival Shooter. Initially released in 2012 on mobile, Gameloft’s quirky twin-stick shooter is back in action—revamped, remastered, and reloaded for Nintendo Switch.

As the stuntman, it’s your role to undergo a series of tasks to wipe out zombie masses. A director notes it’s a perfect chance to shoot films, all while shooting zombies. Our stuntman must shoot through chaotic “scenes” by completing various action-packed goals for 18 films, including my favourite “Saving Private Zombie”, with over 60 stages.

Each stage only takes a few minutes and has various objectives, including survivalist challenges, escort missions, and a run-and-gun gauntlet. Zombiewood has an additional Survival Mode, which can be played locally, solo or co-op, to test your zombie blastin’.

The zombie apocalypse spans a good variety of areas, including Hollywood Boulevarde, a few lovely beaches, and the streets of Hollywood, littered with props and interesting set pieces, which are easy to admire with an isometric view.

We also have a star-studded cast of zombie types, from your standard undead to zombies with laser eyes, some gluttonous exploding gentleman and even zombie gorillas. The gameplay blended with such a ridiculous premise works wonders; running and gunning down undead feels like an ideal career choice now.

When I started, it seemed chaotic and mindless, but after a few stages, it became challenging enough to require much focus. The game focuses on beating personal bests and completing objectives to earn reels, like finding hidden trophies and killing a certain amount of zombies to gain new costumes, befitting a stuntman. Coins gathered in-game can be used to purchase over 30 upgradable weapons, boost stats, and take a go at the slot machines to unlock items such as turrets and a weaponised electric guitar.

The difficulty spike hit early, and it wasn’t until I realised I should be investing more time in collecting reels and coins to upgrade stats and get better guns that this was the way to glory. It then became a breeze to cull through the masses.

Zombiewood: Survival Shooter was initially released as an app game in 2012. The controls were overhauled, and the Nintendo Switch is the perfect gaming device. Controls are super easy to learn. As a twin-stick shooter, using left and right sticks to move and aim, ZL/ZR to shoot, and simple button clicks to switch weapons and activate items, the game feels made for Switch and is oh-so-satisfying to play.

I played primarily handheld and had a nostalgic, mobile/arcade-type feel game during my commutes to work, but it plays just as well docked with very few performance issues. A massive improvement from the classic is updated UI and UX and refining of the combat system, so while there’s a good feel of nostalgia, it doesn’t feel dated to play.

Where Zombiewood: Survival Shooter somewhat didn’t shine for me was how it looked on the big screen when the Switch was docked. While there was a decent graphical overhaul from the original, giving the original graphics a cartoony low-poly makeover, the semi-old-school feel didn’t always feel fresh enough. The quirky music and sound design are charming and the perfect accompaniment to often dramatic zombie enactments.

Overall, Zombiewood: Survival Shooter is a fun, nostalgic blast from the past, recapturing mobile app arcade-style antics. With a variety of gameplay, the entertainment factor is high and great for a casual, addictive tour of Hollywood.

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The Good

  • Variety of gameplay
  • Challenging and rewarding gameplay loop
  • Updated UI
  • Perfectly quirky music and sound

The Bad

  • Low graphical quality when playing docked
  • Graphically can still feel dated
8
___
10

Written by: Yasmin Noble

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