Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tommy's Take on Zombie Pirates

Zombie Pirates is the first computer game release by Dust Devil Studios, which is made up of more than one name you might recognize from Pinnacle Entertainment.

Zombie Pirates is a "tower defense" game where you have a variety of pirate ships in your crew, you do battle with zombie pirate ships, and you have to shut them down as they try to make it across the screen.

The game stars "Smilin'" Jack O'Hurlihan and friends as they do battle with Gruesome George and his zombie pirates all over the map. There are 8 areas, each with their own "theme", divided up into 5 stages each, with a bonus stage unlockable after beating the five. For my part, I'm currently partway through the fifth area.

You begin with just your ship and basic skirmishers...but you can unlock other vessels (including two named vessels) and upgrades for your ships. I'm currently at three named vessels (one of which is a steampunk submarine) and a decent collection of support ships, my personal favorite being the Balefires (they shooted blessed cannonballs at ghost ships, as well as heal themselves and those around them, chain throwers (which launch large chains to slow down approaching vessels) and cherry blossoms (oriental ships that fire three rockets in succession at their targets).

The game is full of corny humor and bad puns, and that's part of the charm. The story is very lightweight, but this is a casual strategy game, not a deep RPG...and while the game is simple to play, I have sure discovered that if I just go in blindly I don't get as far as I do when I think my approach through.

As another reviewer noted, it is very easy to play 15 minutes and feel like you accomplished something...it is also very easy to start playing and find out an hour passed while you were sitting there.

The enemies start off with basic zombie ships, but also include zombie bird and sharks, ghost ships, and shipheads - giants with parts of ships chained to their heads.

The Collector's Edition has two minigames in it, Jack's Nightmares and Rum Running game, as well as dozens of achievements you can accomplish.

Finally, for a limited time, you can download Zombie Pirates by itself, or in a bundle with the Pirates of the Spanish Main RPG PDF for free, instead of the normal $25 for PotSM.

Is it fun?  I enjoy it...especially for a light, point and click strategy game. I don't have a high end computer and the game has only hiccuped once or twice, but has never stalled out or refused to work. Plus, if the game is successful, then we could see some Pinnacle licenses translated into computer games...like Deadlands, for instance. Regardless, I am looking forward to what comes next, at least until my laptop can't keep up anymore.

If you like zombie and pirates, pick it up to go ahead and kill big chunks of your free time...it's done a number on mine. Good, challenging, addictive fun.