Side-scrolling zombie adventuresWe've all played video games where you need to save the world from the invasion of aliens, right? Well, despite the premise of Teenage Zombies “Invasion of the alien brain thingys” sounding somewhat familiar, the stars of this show aren't your stereotypical army of mutants and you're certainly not the clichéd Earth-saver.
The story behind this side-scrolling platform game is that the human race have been wiped off the face of the Earth and it is now under the control of ‘Big Brain’ and his hordes of alien brain thingys - brains in jars. You play and switch between the roles of three hungry Teenage Zombies, who have been awoken from their graveyard slumber and are now intent on gorging themselves on the invading brains and ultimately chomping their way to the main course, the ‘Big Brain’ itself.
The action begins when you wake up in the graveyard, where you’re introduced to the first Teenage Zombie, ‘Lori "Lefty" Lopez; a skinny rake of a girl who has the ability to stretch her arms to places that would be otherwise unreachable. Like each of the three Zombies that you’ll play as, Lefty can take advantage of character-specific power-ups that are dotted around the environment, so she uses the stump of her right arm to pick up weapons such as a hoover and a rivet gun which you can then use to kill off the attacking brains in a variety of entertaining ways.
Her main skill is the ability to grab onto ledges and hoist herself up with her extendable limb and the first part of the game is platforming at its simplest as you pull yourself up and across numerous ledges, whilst using her powerful right-arm swat to destroy any enemies along the way.
As you progress, you’re introduced to the other two characters and this is when traversing the environment, killing enemies and much of the puzzle solving, becomes a team-based task, requiring you to switch between each Zombie in order to utilise their unique skill.
In the first level you'll meet up with the entire team, including the legless Zack ‘Half-Pipe’ Boyd, who moves around on a skateboard allowing him to crawl into small spaces and slide up and down ramps. Throughout the game, Boyd can pick up items such as rocket boosts and huge wheels that he can attach to his skateboard and use to traverse the environment and access areas that at first appear unreachable.
Finally, you have Finnigan ‘Fins’ Magee, a marine-type creature who has tentacles fused onto his back allowing him to scuttle up walls and execute a devastating three-pronged attack. Fins power-up is food, which he digests and then pukes out in the form of acid and fire, which is not only fun to use, but is also useful for taking out groups of enemies.
Although the concept of team-based platforming isn't new, many of the ideas in Teenage Zombies are inventive, the action is fast-paced and the characters and their skills are entertaining to exploit. There's much more to it than just purely killing aliens and ledge-jumping.