Flailing in Love – ‘Slice Zombies’ Review

It might not be the most original game to hit the Xbox One, but that doesn’t stop Slice Zombies from being a blast to play

I’ll be honest, Going into Slice Zombies, I felt a little skeptical. The genre has been in existence for a couple years now and there have been many clones since Fruit Ninja debuted on the app store and Xbox 360. Slice might be late to the game so to speak, but that doesn’t make it any less of a joy. After a bit of a rough start getting used to some unusual menu controls, I found myself smiling as I flailed violently around my living room. Simply put, the game has a ton of personality to it – something a game about fruit simply can’t have. Slice‘s young indie developer, MADE, put a whole lot of love into the game and it certainly shows only moments into your first round.

Gameplay & Mechanics

By now, many of gamers have played games similar to Slice Zombies. The crux of the game involves swiping after the zombies as they come at you from every which way. Unlike other games, though, zombies aren’t held to the same rules in Slice and instead can come from above, the sides, and can even pop up right in the middle of the screen. While this causes a whole lot more hectic flailing around at your TV, it actually made for a more engaging title. Some of the designs were wacky and showed great personality. The zombie donning blue overalls and a red cap (with no regard for trademarks) always puts a smile on my face.

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 8.31.05 PM

Additionally, the game includes a coin collecting element. Not only does this aid in differentiating the title from many only similar titles, but it also helps to add a fresh face to the game. In between rounds, the coins you collected while playing can be spent on gameplay modifiers like background modifiers or extra lives. There are tons of things to unlock that kept me in that mental cycle of just one more round.

Controls

Like the gameplay, many people will have a gist of how to play the game the second it boots up which is convenient. One of my complaints about Slice is that the game has utterly no controller support. Of course, I love the fact that the Xbox One is getting some games to justify owning the Kinect, but navigating menus with hands feels like a bit of a chore compared to the actual gameplay. Secondly, some of the controls are a bit unorthodox – the in-game store that I mentioned above has perhaps the most unexpected mechanics around. In order to scroll down in the long list of unlocks, you actually have to pull with your hand towards you to scroll. Once I figured it out, it only took a small amount of practice to master. With the noting of unconventional controls, I wish MADE had included an optional tutorial when the game boots up for the first time that explained how to navigate the game. Playing rounds is great fun and is as simple as it gets, but if there had been an in-game walkthrough of how to move around the menus, it would alleviate some early on frustrations.

SZFK_07

This sounds like I’m railing against Slice Zombies a bit, but I really do enjoy the game in general. The actual rounds feel buttery smooth, but I just think a slightly more polished navigation experience would make for an even better experience.

Verdict

When a game solely focuses on motion controls, they have to be perfect. And, for the most part, MADE’s debut Xbox One title does just that. Sure, the menu navigation is wonky and takes some getting used to, but the fair yet challenging core gameplay is right on the money. At this point, I’ve put about three hours into the game, and it has been a smooth experience. The only one real performance issues worth noting was when the game failed to launch the first two times I tried to boot it up. It took until my third click on the tile for the game to successfully launch. I did, however, play a prerelease copy of the game, so perhaps the Xbox Store might have just been having hiccups letting me play early.

With overflowing personality, unique gameplay elements and a modest asking price, MADE has created a fun party game that offers a little bit more than their competitors for a little bit less. Sure, this game certainly isn’t the first to tap into the genre, but it has a ton of soul. Slice Zombies is pure fun and is a game worth of your attention this spring.

Slice Zombies is available now on the Xbox Store for $9.99 (or your local equivalent) with a 20% discount for Gold Members.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s