While it would be easy to dismiss “I, Zombie” based on its smartphone-ish look and name reminiscent of a certain zombie franchise, there’s more to the brains of this game than “meats” the eye. But does it belong on the eShop library? Let’s find out.
In this somewhat unique spin in the cutesy zombie formula, you are not the good guys but the zombies. You, as the main zombie, must find a way to infect all of the people on screen without dying. For this, you must bite civilians and soldiers alike, avoiding getting shot, and ordering your brainless followers around. This is done through the use of the A, Y and B buttons, which give commands for your zombie horde to stop, follow you or attack without you. This is where the cracks in the UI and UX start to come alive, as the X button restarts the level. It is too easy, specially at first, to restart a level by mistake when trying to order the zombies around, which can result in that level’s progress being lost. Why not include a confirm button, so that it doesn’t happen? I don’t know.
The UI and UX problems continue, however: it’s very difficult to figure out how to do even the simplest of tasks, like rating user-created levels (more on this later) and even the built-in (and otherwise quite good) level editor. The game looks like a smartphone game but it has no touchscreen support on Switch, which is all the more confusing.
The graphics are OK but very basic and limited, and very, very reminiscent of Plants vs. Zombies. This is not such a bad thing, though, because “I, Zombie” has one ace hidden up its bloody sleeve: it is priced as a smartphone game as well. And when you consider it like that…
Well, you have a very straight-forward but challenging experience (some might say too challenging, specially for beginners), with solid gameplay that’s well implemented. The levels that come with the game quickly escalate into a tactical nightmare and it’s rather fun to try different approaches to pursue, not only finishing a level, but achieving all 3 stars at the end of the level (another hallmark of mobile games like Angry Birds).
The content that comes with the game itself could have easily justified the cost of admission, but “I, Zombie” actually has a built-in level editor. It allows you to both create your own levels, and download levels uploaded by others to the net. It’s fantastic to see such a feature on such a budget title, and it makes the replayability value shoot through the roof.
All in all, “I, Zombie” is not without flaws: it’s a little too much like a smartphone game to be totally at home on the Switch, and the UI has its kinks. But the abundance of good (and difficult) levels, the built-in level editor and the community created levels make this game really good bang for the buck.