Sep 262011

OMG-Z Review

OMG-Z is a zombie puzzle game. The player is given a level full of the walking dead and tasked with clearing the level using only a handful of bullets. Luckily, zombie friendly fire is the order of the day and killing one zombie will often result in the deaths of many more. When killed, regular zombies create small explosions, fat zombies create large explosions, cops shoot a penetrating bullet in one direction, soldiers fire a spray of ricocheting bullets in several directions, and corrosive zombies leave behind puddles of acid that harm anyone that walks into it. Some levels also feature explosive barrels that set nearby zombies on fire, slowly draining their stamina away. The goal is to create the most magnificent chain reaction of zombie death possible using a limited number of bullets.

The game features 81 levels and although some of the levels are repeats just with different zombie layouts, there’s still plenty of content for a PSP mini. Between levels, the player can exchange points for upgrades like additional bullets and more destructive zombies. Trying to unlock each level, get higher scores, gain every upgrade, and see the best ending makes for one addictive game.

OMG-Z is not without its problems. The game uses a minimal color palette to give the visuals great style, but unfortunately this also makes it very difficult to distinguish the zombie types on the PSP’s small screen. Luckily, there’s a button that gives a different color to each zombie type making them easier to distinguish, but I wish they had just designed the graphics for better usability in the first place.

However, the biggest issue that I can see some people having problems with is how the zombies move in a mostly random fashion after the first few seconds of each level. This means that there aren’t really any true “answers” to the game’s puzzles. You fire at the zombie that you think will start the biggest chain reaction, all the while hoping that the other zombies won’t decide that now is the moment to walk out of harm’s way. Players who aren’t too worried about skill and just want to how many zombies they can make explode shouldn’t be too bothered by this, but the random factor is likely to cause frustration to perfectionists. On the other hand, the levels are short and restarting is a quick and painless process so they shouldn’t be that frustrated.

Lack of depth aside, there’s a lot to be said for the spectacle of shooting one zombie, having it explode and cause the death of 3 nearby zombies, which in turn start shooting bullets all over the place which cause the deaths of several more zombies, and before you know it, you’ve wiped out every zombie on screen with a single attack. I’m a fan of fun chain reaction games (like Every Extend and Hexothermic) and OMG-Z is a fun chain reaction game.

OMG-Z is available as a PSP Mini for the PSP and PS3 for $3.49 (£2.49 in EU).

 Posted by at 4:11 pm

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