199 people found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 7.1 hrs on record (7.1 hrs at review time)
Posted: Apr 22, 2019 @ 10:55am
Updated: Dec 11, 2020 @ 12:28pm
Product received for free

In A Nutshell

🔵 Pros
+ Solid, enjoyable side-scrolling shooter gameplay, including some light RPG elements as well.
+ Charming and clean hand-drawn art style.
+ Great variety of equipment, consumables and weapons to find, each with a distinct feel to them.
+ Good selection of enemies to face, ranging from mutants, to robots, to alien bandits.
+ Plenty of secrets to discover in each level, containing unique weapons and precious supplies.
+ Decent challenge level especially in late-game levels.

🔴 Cons
- Occasional stuttering for no clear reason, making the game less enjoyable when it happens.
- Some bosses can be "cheesed" by shooting at them from certain locations without them being able to retaliate.

Zombotron is a linear side-scrolling shooter-platform with also some RPG elements thrown into the mix, such as randomly generated weapons, currency, XP points, statistics like armor, HP, damage over time etc. This combination of genres works, is solid, delivering a quality experience that results fun and engaging for the player throughout the game. Impersonating a stranded explorer captain, players need to make their way through the perils of an alien planet, and recover what was stolen from their ship.

This game has a lot of good points to it. First and most significant, the well-made combination of shooter and platformer, with the addition of physics-based gore and environment elements, actively used in several small "puzzles" to reach secrets, and as well the light RPG elements mentioned before. Even if the levels are linear, so there is no backtracking like in Metroidvanias, they are filled with secrets which are very worthy taking time to find, as they contain weapons, money to use in the sparsely-located shops, armor pieces and supplies. Players not looking for secrets and just rushing will have shortages of gear, currency and resources pretty often! Art style is very pleasant and clean, even if not extremely detailed. Challenge ramps up considerably with certain bosses and in the later-game levels, maintaining though a general medium level for most of the game.

The bad sides are much fewer. The random stuttering is annoying but luckily happens quite rarely, and disappears on level transition. The fact some bosses can be cheesed should as well be fixed as it makes them too easy to beat.

Overall, Zombotron is a solid game, any fans of retro shooters such as Metal Slug for example, will surely find a lot of enjoyment in playing this game. Definitely a solid release for this genre this year, and totally worth the proposed price for the 7-9 hours content amount it offers.

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In-depth Feature Analysis

🎮 Gameplay
The gameplay of Zombotron is divided into Exploration, Character Management and Combat

Exploration of levels is pretty linear, without any coming back one a stage is cleared. There are several one-way drops to seclude a previous part of a zone, so exploring everything before them to find secrets is important. being careful to not destroy objects such as ropes, crates and other physics-based things is also paramount, as they are many times used to access otherwise unreachable areas containing secrets. Most secrets though lie behind destructible walls or hidden paths inside walls, less depend on physics objects. Vending machines are found seldom in stages, and accept currency found from enemies or by selling older gear.

Character Management is mainly about leveling up one of three statistics (Strenght, influencing damage, Dexterity, influencing dodge chance and critical, vitality, influencing Maximum HP) when a new level is reached, managing the inventory to discard or sell excess loot or older weapons, and as well keeping the gear up-to-date by finding new, better rarity-level gear as the game progresses. Especially later in the game, players will need to be fairly conservative with ammo, else finding themselves completely out of it.

📖 Story
The storyline / lore are not especially deep or elaborate. Mainly, they consist of cut-scenes with text-based dialogues, outlining the unfolding of events as the story goes on. there are some lore pieces to find such as diaries in several levels, giving out a bit more lore about the whole situation of the planet. Do not expect any complicated plot or character evolution, as it's a simple, straightforward story.

👊 Combat System
Combat in Zombotron is made in a classic side-scrolling shooter fashion, using the mouse to aim around, equipping two weapons and a grenade type all at once, plus a variety of healing and buffing consumables stored in the inventory. During combat, it is possible to access the inventory while pausing the game, and use items at leisure. The pacing of combat is generally average, without being too fast or too slow.

Precision hits such as headshots inflict much more damage, while the RPG component adds things such as critical hits, dodge chances and miss chances to player and enemies, depending on the circumstances. Using environmental objects is also possible and encouraged in combat, as damage done by debris is very high.
The combat is overall solid, fun, and straightforward, balanced well and polished in all its aspects.

💰 Content & Pricing
Priced at 15 USD, and offering about 7-9 hours of good quality content, though without any replay-ability to mention, and no other modes, I can safely say the price is worth it for the proposed amount of content.

🔗 Balance & Challenge
The game generally results balanced well enough, though boss fights could be more challenging. The difficulty level is pre-determined and ramps up considerably near the end of the game, with one specific level being a severe difficulty spike. Generally the challenge level is average, though. There are no particular balance problems to mention.

Technical Analysis

🎥 Graphics
Very clean and pleasant hand-drawn style, consistent in quality throughout the whole game. Effects and physics are also of good quality, adding a modern feel to an otherwise classic game concept.

🔊 Sound
Decent sound effects and soundtrack, but nothing so good to need a special mention.

🔩 Performance & Stability
Occasional stuttering can happen at random, but is quite rare, and is solved on level transition. During a specific level, a number of enemies so huge can spawn together to make the game unplayable, because of the < 10FPS frame-rate it will reach in this specific scenario, even on an high-end machine. Apart these issues, the performance is generally good.

💻 Artificial Intelligence
Enemy AI uses a follow and attack pattern as it is common in this genre.

🏠 Quality of Life
Inventory, interfaces and UI generally work well and present no particular issues.

🐛 Bugs & Issues
No problems to report.

Zombotron is a definitely good side-scrolling shooter with an old-school feel to it mixed with modern elements and mechanics. Surely, a game to keep an eye on, and a safe bet for fans of platformers and shooters.

This product was reviewed using a free key provided by the Developers.
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Neon:) Jun 28, 2019 @ 9:29am 
Huh. I will buy this game cuz my old days are back in mind i rly love old good 2D zombie games....
Tamaster May 7, 2019 @ 5:26am 
Thanks @Cursed Spark
cursed spark May 7, 2019 @ 3:34am 
amazing review man. this has definetly convinced me to buy the game.
CSGOATSE.com Apr 27, 2019 @ 11:37am 
Cool game
SalzStange Apr 27, 2019 @ 7:51am 
Good review
Akron Apr 24, 2019 @ 3:24pm 
Awesome Review
Tamaster Apr 24, 2019 @ 12:29am 

Thank you!
Conspiracy Apr 23, 2019 @ 3:42pm 
This was a great review Tamaster! Thanks for taking the time to write this all out, it's great to see such thorough feedback and analysis. :steamhappy::steamhappy::steamhappy:
Revalopod Apr 22, 2019 @ 10:08pm 
great review!
KRAUSER-SAMA Apr 22, 2019 @ 3:27pm 
Excellent review