Over 9000 Zombies! feels like a return to retro-styled gaming, complete with almost arcade like gameplay in this indie twin-stick shooter. From developer Loren Lemcke and publisher Mastertronic, Over 9000s Zombies! follows players as they survive day after day against an endless undead horde. There is no end to the onslaught and it challenges players to do everything in their power to survive, including building ridiculous automatic turrets and holing up within whatever structures are nearby.
There's no real objective to the game other than survival and this is done by shooting zombie after zombie. Initially you'll have a .357 Magnum to use in this endeavor, but using said weapon levels it up, opening up access to more weapons. Each one in succession grants access to newer and more powerful weaponry used in slaying the hordes. I have yet to get more than 3-4 levels of upgrades in, but the game contains twenty weapons in total, all accessed by killing zombies.
Another fun piece to the game is the crafting ability. Zombies end up dropping scrap metal, though why in the world zombies are carrying any metal is beyond me. This metal is used in creating different turrets, ranging from rail guns to grenade launchers. There are also barricades as well, all of which help you to create zombie kill zones. Don't expect this to help you survive the days without getting some additional help from friends in the process.
This zombie game is built on the very foundation of cooperative gameplay. Without it, don't expect to get terribly far into surviving the undead hordes. Unfortunately as a cooperative experience with Kevin, I did not have the greatest of times. Our connection seemed stable and even with Skype running in the background, Over 9000 Zombies! seemed to suffer from extreme lag as we played. Kevin, being the host, had no issues, but my game struggled to keep up with the connection. I spent most of my time running around the map in silence, hearing and seeing my gun while zombies shambled aimlessly around. It wasn't until everything "caught up" and the screen exploded in gore and fire did the game recognize everything had changed. Often times I ended up dying in this process, but I'll admit it was awesome to watch the screen go crazy.
I think Over 9000 Zombies! is a great premise and definitely has lots of room to grow. While it only comes with one stock map, the ability to create your own maps through Steam Workshop and play with friends is a massive plus in my eyes. Tack on creating defenses and automatic turrets and upgrading weapons and I'm sold, even with some current pitfalls.
Note: The Over 9000 Zombies! Early Access review is based on a digital PC copy of the game, provided for review.