Game: "Zombies Ate My Neighbors"
System: Sega Genesis
Genre: Action
Published by: Konami

Reviewer: Zomboid
Posted: 10/6/2010

Review: You'll have to trust me when I say that there is no game that holds as much nostalgic value and replay-ability for me as Zombies Ate my Neighbors. If you're rating it solely on its gameplay, it's great, but it might not stand the test of time so well. What really stood out about the game back in the early 90's, and still does today, is the wholly unique and clever atmosphere.

The basic goal of each level (of which there are over 50) is to rescue every neighbour. Each level has a different bird's-eye-view layout, and while there's only a handful of unique settings, they're each different enough that you don't groan when you find that you're on another level that looks similar to one that came earlier. Your neighbours must really get around, because you end up going everywhere from your average looking neighbourhood to pyramids full of mummies and hedge-mazes full of chainsaw-wielding Jason Voorhees lookalikes... which brings me to one of the best parts of the game: the enemies. Obviously, there are zombies - and lots of 'em - but you also have to contend with a host of other baddies reminiscent of old-school horror movies; there's the aforementioned chainsaw guys, creatures from the Black Lagoon, killer dolls, blobs, and giant ants, to name a few.

How does one defeat the forces of evil in order to rescue cheerleaders, angry teachers, and other assorted neighbours, you ask? Like the monsters, there is a variety of weapons and special items - some of which are best suited for taking down specifics monsters. For instance, water guns will take down your basic zombies and do alright against the killer dolls, but they're useless against blobs and chainsaw maniacs. The rest of the weapons are all as quirky and varied, from the six-pack grenade to the Martian ray guy. You'll find yourself scrambling to find the best possible weapon for each scenario, but sometimes, when you're surrounded, the only thing you can do is break out the weed whacker and go to town until things cool down a bit. The special items range from shoes that let you zip around at double-speed to potions that turn you into a big blue monster capable of smashing through walls and enemies - all without taking any damage. Basically, these are the things you'll want to use sparingly, because you never know when you'll have to Hulk out to take out a Frankenstein's monster.

The music is the perfect finishing touch to an already stellar game. It'll quickly bring to mind old horror movies, and there's actually a pretty decent variety of songs. Every aforementioned element of the game comes together to create such a fun, different kind of game that it's over 15 years since I first played it, and I still NEED to play it every Halloween season. I promise, aside from some classic horror movies, nothing will get you into the Halloween spirit quite like this game.

Overall rating: WholeWholeWholeWholeWhole
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)

Reader Comments

Oct 6th, 2010, 07:33 AM
Definitely a must play for any self respecting gamer. As a kid before the internet, a lot of the time you rented a game on faith and were occasionally rewarded with a game like this. Good gameplay, great music, great sense of humor.
Oct 6th, 2010, 01:17 PM
I remember seeing an article regarding this game back then, but on the SNES. I never had the chance to play it though, but I wonder if that port is a good as the Sega Genesis one.
Oct 6th, 2010, 02:48 PM
Always wish I had gotten this one.
Forum Virgin
Oct 6th, 2010, 02:51 PM
This ranks as one of my all time favorite games.. And yeah, I totally agree, this game holds up VERY well even today. I still manage to play it every once in a while when I'm looking to waste some time.
4 Eyes, No Brain.
Oct 6th, 2010, 03:58 PM
I still play Zombies to this day, nothing like taking down a giant baby with fizzy pop and a water gun. I also hate that even when you killed the evil dolls, sometimes they would turn into little headless, flaming dolls straight from the bowels of Hell.
Oct 6th, 2010, 04:29 PM
I like the SNES version better. This is a great game. Also check out the sequel, Ghoul Patrol.
Cranberry Everything
Oct 6th, 2010, 05:25 PM
I just ordered Ghoul Patrol last week. Excellent review, Zomboid!
Though I've already played it this year, I believe I'll have to give it another play through now.
Forum Virgin
Oct 6th, 2010, 08:19 PM
Since no one else has, I'd like to point out that both ZAMN and Ghoul Patrol are on the Wii Virtual Console.
With More Yes Than Ever
Oct 6th, 2010, 09:48 PM
Great review Zomboid! I love this game and still pop it in from time to time.
Oct 7th, 2010, 02:41 AM
It's a great game, but the SNES version is far superior.
Presidential Procurer
Oct 7th, 2010, 03:15 PM
I work at a video game store and I actually got my job because of this game; when, in my interview, I was asked what my biggest video game achievement was, I told my then-to-be boss that I once beat Zombies Ate My Neighbors from start to finish all by myself without using passwords. He hired me on the spot.
The Wolf
Oct 8th, 2010, 12:27 AM
Originally Posted by Nick View Post
It's a great game, but the SNES version is far superior.
"Far superior"? Meh. Parts of it are better, but I definitely wouldn't say it's hugely different. I prefer the little side thing on the Genesis version. Saying that just kinda makes you look like one of those pretentious fops that talk about how they liked something BEFORE everyone else did.
Forum Virgin
Oct 8th, 2010, 11:43 AM
I never played the Genesis version, so I don't know if there's much difference, but the SNES version is one of my favorite games ever. No other game feels as much like a loving tribute to B-movies as this one. Shame the sequal wasn't anywhere near as good.
Oct 8th, 2010, 02:12 PM
Looks like Toejam and Earl.
The Wolf
Oct 9th, 2010, 06:18 AM
Bill? You...haven't played this? Go play it. Come back. Be happy.
Oct 9th, 2010, 12:04 PM
It always looked like fun but I never played it. None of my friends had a copy either to trade with.
Oct 9th, 2010, 08:05 PM
Best video game music ever?
Oct 15th, 2010, 09:19 PM
A Classic, but too long for my skills. i start fading around the first pyramid level. Stanley Decker was quite frightening when i was a kid.
Sex Panther
Oct 24th, 2010, 10:17 PM
My mom bought this game for my brother and me, because we wanted Mortal Kombat and she didn't approve of all the bloodshed. [Thus, it was a rental/pizza place game only.] I am forever grateful to have been introduced to this awesome title. It's still in my SNES collection today.