‘Pet Zombies’ Review: When Loading Times Ruin the Fun

Everyone loves zombies lately. Comic books, video games and television seem obsessed with the things lately. As a result, the market is literally infested with anything zombie-oriented.

The idea of a pet sim with a zombie is too cool a premise to not take a closer look at though.

And upon that lengthy gaze, Majesco’s “Pet Zombie” proves itself more than adequate, in spite of several glaring problems. Running an engine similar to Nintendo’s smash hit, “Nintendogs,” the game has everything a good pet sim should. With a host of unlockables, different types of zombies and five mini-games, there are literally hours of gameplay opportunities here.

There’s a big problem that comes with that though. Many of those minutes will be spent waiting. For the next screen. Unlike other pet sims, the menus haven’t been streamlined well and getting from the care screen, to the shop, can take your momentum away. While playing with your zombie is fun, the fact that you can only play with one at a time and have to wait too long to go from the main game screen to other modes, drags the time and makes it feel like a chore. That’s the last thing you want in a pet sim.

There is fun to be had though. The fact that you get to torture the things, as well as care for them immediately kill a few minutes of your life. Setting your zombie on fire and shocking it is an experience every gamer should have. It opens up so many options in the genre that Majesco should spend more time developing the brand and the engine. At the same time, many of the game’s problems take the enjoyment out of that brain-dead fun.

The process in which you get money to pay for new devices to nurture and torture your zombie, through a handful of mini-games, most of which are tedious mazes or flash-type games you’ve seen on the Internet for years (Except for the Zombie Launch game; that was a blast) needs work. In order to get many of the cool unlockables, you have to play these repetitive games for far too long. Had Majesco added a few more games and possibly even a tournament of sorts, which would shuffle the games in a random way and award points to you for scoring better than a computer-controlled zombie, then maybe the game wouldn’t feel so lather, rinse, repeat at times.

Add in the fact that there’s no voice recognition and it’s easy to see this title wears thin after a few hours, rotting away like the zombie you take care of. The colorful graphics and fun animations help some, but not enough to keep you hooked. Sad, too, because there will be a few moments, especially in the beginning, when you will be.

Had the loading time been better and more gameplay options inserted, this could have been a sleeper hit. At any rate, it’s still a nifty little title, just not as nifty as it could have been.

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Patrick Hickey Jr.

Editor-in-Chief, Founder at Review Fix
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the upcoming book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the upcoming book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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