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  Bod of Stax released a game entitled  "Zombie Apocalypse" in early Januray.
  Zombie Apocalypse was  originally an Amiga game released  in 1992 by Vision 
Software  and Acid Software.  The latter was also the author  of the famous
Blitz Basic language  on the Amiga, which is still developped today, albeit
  in its Windows version.  Apparently the Amiga game was  even coded in Blitz
  Basic and  freely  distributed as  an example of  what  the language  could
  achieve.  As a sidenote,  this game  and its  sequel  (aptly called "Zombie 
Apocalypse 2")  were banned in Germany at the time of their initial release
  due to their violence.

  When  booting the  floppy  on your  Atari, you are  first presented  with a
  loading  screen  with a  simple  but  nice-looking  Stax logo  and a  funky
  chiptune.  Then the music changes  to a  spooky module,  another  Stax logo
  appears, shortly followed by the title picture.  A click on the  left mouse
  button,  and  you  are in  the  game.  The goal  is to  shoot  at brainless
  teenagers on their way to a Pop Idol/Fame Academy casting...  hmmm, or they
  might also be regular zombies,  the story isn't really clear on that point.

  The game is a first person shooter,  but unlike such games currenly sold on
  PC or consoles,  here the player  doesn't move,  ennemies simply  appear in
  front  of  him.  The controls  are  as  easy  as it  can be: the  cursor is
  mouse-controlled  and  very  responsive,   the  left  button  fire  regular
  bullets,  and the right one  more deadly grenades that  clean  every baddie
  present on screen.  Of course the  zombies aren't  queueing quietly  to get
  killed,  but instead couter-attack,  either with their bare hands,  sticks,
  or for the wealthy lot, grenades.

  The graphics are clear but seem a bit on the dull side,  and when comparing
  screenshots  of  both  the ST  and the  Amiga version,  it's  obvious  some
  details  and  colours  have  been lost  in the conversion.  Of course  it's
  unavoidable  when the original Amiga graphics were good ones,  as they were
  for this game. On the other hand,  the animation was quite primitive in the
  original  game -around 3 frames for every ennemy-  and it remains  the same
  in  its ST  flavour.  A nice  touch is  that you can  actually see  zombies
  getting gradually more and more wounded (and more and more covered in blood)
  as you shoot at them.

  The different chiptunes sound good, but I really  miss some sound effects.
  There  isn't any  sound  feedback  either for  firing a bullet,  killing a
  zombie, throwing grenades, or getting  hit.  Actually there's not a single
  sound to be heard  in the game  and  I think that stops  you feeling fully
  immersed.  Maybe  it was  the same  on the  original game,  or  there were
  technical issues to implement sound effects on the ST version.

  The gameplay strikes me as very repetitive and to be honest, I didn't play
  to the game too long as I became bored quickly  (I also wanted to spare my
  mouse, as Atari-compatible ones  are getting hard to get those days).  You
  just keep on firing at the same five zombies,  and especially the blue one
  that  goes  from left to right  appears  every five  seconds.  Every three
  levels or so, the background and the chiptune change, but the zombies seem
  to remain  the same  (at least  in the five first levels  they do).  But I
  guess  it was the same  with the original game, so maybe the conversion is
  too  faithful  on that point!  Operation Wolf  or  Cabal,  albeit having a
  similar concept, managed to keep you playing by having either a scrolling,
  civilians you had to avoid to shoot at or a two-player mode.

  I also regret  the game is just  available  as a disk image  in a modified
  format  and there's no way to copy it  on hard disk.  I wouldn't have mind
  storing Zombie Apocalypse in the "Games" folder of my hard disk, but can't
  feel bothered with keeping it on floppy.

In a nutshell  I would say Zombie Apocalypse  is  a good conversion  of an 
uninspired game.  Nevertheless if you are into that kind of games, it will 
certainly  be a laugh.  And even  calm  and peaceful  persons may  come to 
appreciate it on bad days...


  PS : Thanks must go to Shiuming Lai of for the screenshot, for
  some reason I couldn't get the game working on emulators.

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