Puzzle based adventureTeenage Zombies is a new Nintendo DS game from Ignition Entertainment. It uses a whimsical style that focuses on, and parodies the Zombie genre, as well as 1950s style Science Fiction. This is presented in a comic book look featuring comic book panels, dialogue boxes and story telling. Gameplay involves side-scrolling adventures opening up to stylus mini-games, double-screen boss battles, and brain busting puzzle challenges.
We caught up with Darren McGrath, InLight's VP of creative development, to ask him some brain straining questions.
What has the development team Inlight created before either collectively or individually and what do you feel are the qualities of InLight that shines through in your games?
DM: – Let me just preface this by saying that our team here at InLight is a terrifically talented group – we’ve worked on many very high profile titles with companies including Disney, Miramax, Pixar, Electronic Arts, Buena Vista Games, to name a few. I think that we bring a strong sense of brand. We’re very dedicated to achieving the right balance of story, character and gameplay within our designs.
How did the team conjure up the concept for Teenage Zombies and what elements of the game do you feel will give it mass appeal, and are unique?
DM: I’ve always really liked horror movies - even as a kid. Applying a comic book sensibility to the old campy B-movie genre really felt like a good starting point for this title. Most people can immediately relate to the zombie genre for what it is – fun! By letting the Player actually play as three different zombies (instead of killing them) was just the sort of twist that we thought would be very appealing. This is going to be really popular with kids around 8 to 14 years – especially if they have a sense of humor!
How would you best describe, summarise, the game?
DM: The story goes something like this…The Earth is under invasion by a horde of Alien Brain… uh… Thingys! Humans, having succumbed to ray guns, mind-control, and shiny flying saucers, have failed to defend their planet and let it fall into the clutches of the Big Brain and his army hordes!
The only hope for mankind is three Teenage Zombies that have arisen from a nearby graveyard. Disturbed by the alien invasion, he undead Zombie trio ignores their usual human victims in favor of the pulsing pink brains - all the while being lured to the ultimate lunch: THE BIG BRAIN!
The Big Brain soon realizes that he’s overlooked this Zombie super-race that inexplicably resists all of his usual defenses and devour his Brain Armies! Somewhat flustered by this unprecedented turn of events, the Big Brain refocuses his efforts and resources to battle the Earth’s greatest champions: The Teenage Zombies!
It’s a puzzle based adventure that relies a lot on the comics and mini-games to help drive the story forward. Wrap all of these elements into a platform styled presentation and you can begin to get the idea.
The game focuses on three characters. Can you tell our readers more about them and how the players chooses them when playing the game and what specialities they have and how they interrelate to each other?
DM: Sure. This is a really important aspect to the game! Each of the zombies (Fins, Lefty and Half-Pipe) have unique attributes that are also accentuated through the use of power-ups within the game. The Player can move through each of the worlds with any of the three characters but as obstacles or enemies appear (and they certainly will), it’s important to use the best zombie for the task at hand. Very quickly the Player learns this tactic and swapping becomes second nature. The power-ups that are encountered are specific to each of the zombies. Fire puke, a vacuum cleaner, and HUGE skateboard wheels are a just few of the power-ups – I don’t want to give too much away or I’ll take the fun out of it!