Teenage Zombies: Invasion of the Alien Brain Thingys

Common Sense Media says

A darkly comic adventure where zombies are good.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Players take on the role of zombies, but they fight righteously to save the planet from alien invaders.

Violence

It's not graphic, but players do step into the shoes of undead teens, eat "brain meats" to restore health, and reassemble corpses from body parts (the edges of the stumps are white and red, representing bone and flesh) collected while playing. There are also a few visually provocative moments in the game's comic book cut scenes, including a series of panels early on that show an alien ray piercing and creating a hole in the chest of an innocent civilian.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game stars a trio of high school-aged reanimated corpses engaged in a fight against an invading army of floating brains. The undead kids wage war using their hands, tentacles, intestines, and a small arsenal of imaginative power-ups, including soapy vomit, a vacuum arm, and a skateboard with monster-sized wheels. It's not as graphic as you might think. There's no real gore (the intestine attack is simply a black and white line that zips out from a zombie's midsection to smack enemies), and the little amount of blood that is shown is cartoon in nature. The most disturbing part of the game is simply that the protagonists are dead teens who eat "brain meats" to replenish their health, though it's worth mentioning that they only munch on the cerebrums of evil aliens intent on destroying the world. The game's suitable for mature tweens.

Parents say

Not yet rated
Review this title!

Kids say

What's it about?

Zombies are normally the bad guys, but that's not the case in the darkly comic adventure game TEENAGE ZOMBIES: INVASION OF THE ALIEN BRAIN THINGYS, which stars a trio of undead teenagers fighting off an invading army of evil brains. Each of our lifeless heroes has his or her own special powers. Lori \"Lefty\" Lopez, for example, can jump higher than her companions and replace her arm with a variety of devices, including an umbrella, a rivet gun, and a vacuum. Much of the action involves activities typical of the platform adventure genre, including running, jumping, and climbing. But there are also several unlockable minigames, including one in which players dig tunnels to let rats and brains crawl up from underground and another in which skateboarding zombie Zack \"Half Pipe\" Boyd does tricks in mid-air to whack flying brains.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

It sounds grisly, but Teenage Zombies is actually a surprisingly charming play, thanks in large part to a genuinely witty humor delivered through the game's convincing comic book motif. From menus to character design to pulpy story sequences, everything about the game is meant to make players feel as though they are playing an interactive comic book -- and one that never takes itself too seriously. Our main enemy, for instance, is a hilariously narcissistic, bumbling papa brain. Simply put, it's much funnier than it is scary or gross.

Looking beyond the endearing narrative and art, Teenage Zombies is a satisfying, if not particularly original, platform adventure game. The action is composed mostly of activities such as leaping to higher ledges, shimmying across wires, and rolling down hills. Players are often required to switch between the three zombie teens so that they can use each character's distinct powers. You may get stuck for a few moments now and then as you try to figure out which zombie ability is needed in order to overcome a particular obstacle, but navigation is, by and large, simple and evident. Suffice to say that most players will remember Teenage Zombies for its style and story, and not for its adequate but uninspired action.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the concept of dark humor. How is it that subjects normally thought to be frightening, appalling, or depressing can be made funny? In your view, is this game a successful example of dark humor? You can also talk about the concept of zombies and the different kinds of "living dead" creatures that have been produced by our popular culture. Does it make biological sense that something dead could somehow still function and move around? Do you think stories about the so-called "undead" are best categorized as horror, science-fiction, or both?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Ignition Entertainment
Release date:April 17, 2008
Genre:Adventure
ESRB rating:E10+ for Animated Blood, Crude Humor, Mild Cartoon Violence (Nintendo DS)

This review of Teenage Zombies: Invasion of the Alien Brain Thingys was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 13 years old Written bypascal April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

get stubbs the zombie instead

a cheap stubbs the zombie rip off
Kid, 11 years old August 11, 2009
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

i love this game!

i love it so much! it wasnt too bad and didnt have too many bad sequences of bad violence no real blood and it was just overall funny! i mean the big brain is only trying to take over the world so he can make it into a snowglobe! and all the while in the comic cutscenes the teenage zombies are eating the brain army! its just so funny and its charming and a nice little game. i am really glad that they didnt make you eat human brains! that would be really scary and would be very gory! when i first saw this game it was really very disturbing for me and i was disturbed for days. now i learned to love it!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass