Zombie Football Carnage, published by Milkstone Studios, is a fun and entertaining 2D arcade-style action-shooter with football elements and monsters thrown in. The end-result is always death, but the journey getting there is fun every time.
The game’s hero is clad in a football helmet and pads and is reminiscent of Doug Flutie and Barry Sanders (read ‘short’). He carries around a football he likes to ‘pass’ around a lot and charges through opponents that want to ‘tackle’ him. Beyond those elements, football ceases to be part of the experience and the monsters and carnage take over. The little football gunslinger attacks a constant barrage of enemy monsters with only his trusty pigskin, a charged flame attack, a break-tackle/ stiff-arm and a various array of power-ups.
The football works as a long-ranged chain attack that the player tosses at the oncoming enemies. Timing is key for the chain attack and can be the difference on whether you survive a wave or not. The charge attack gives a proximity blast while the stiff-arm allows for evasion. The power-ups are broken up into two classes, primary and secondary. Primary items help fight enemies with attacks such as bombs and traps while secondary items provide health recovery, shields and distractions.
You will have to pit your survival skills to the test with the never-ending waves of enemies, some that eerily resemble those from Castle Crashers, and some waves are much harder than others. The waves are randomly drawn from a pre-determined set, so some plays through will seem harder than others. Each wave is broken down into quarters with each quarter having its own unique wave and then a sudden death, which serves as an overtime. The little football star is also able to collect coins that can be used to upgrade his gear and technique as well as power-ups that can ward off enemies or provide other benefits.
Your opponents, the monsters, are varied and ferocious, albeit some more so than others. Some, such as the suicidal robots, require long-ranged attacks to make an easy effort of them. Others, such as the dragons, need careful attention not only on staying away but also avoiding their fireballs. Each enemy provides a different experience and each wave provides a good amount of change up, including different scaled versions of the monsters, that makes the same 17 unique enemies never seem boring.
Overall the style is simple, crisp and strikingly similar to Castle Crashers, with some enemies appearing to make cameos. The sound design is also great with grunts, cheers, splats and jeers. Additionally, the game has some in-game achievements that can be earned.
While the game is good in many aspects, it can become quite repetitive at times. Once you have maxed out all the player’s attributes, you will have seen the same few backgrounds countless times as well the same enemy wave combinations. After this point, the only reason to continue playing the title is for the love of the game or to outscore your friends on the leader board.
Final Rating: 8/10
CBR Break Down:
Console Played On: Xbox 360
Time to completion: Impossible; more waves keep coming.
Achievements: 23 (in-game only)
Price Bought at: 80 Microsoft Points ($1)
Current Price: 80 Microsoft Points ($1)
Recommend Purchase Price: 80 Microsoft Points
Why you should buy it: This a quality arcade action-shooter with football and monsters at a bargain-bin price. You can’t really spend $1 much better.
Why you shouldn’t buy it: If you have no interest in zombies, American football, monsters, aliens or arcade action-shooter games, then this game is likely not for you. Additionally, some waves are brutally difficult and can cause some frustration.