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The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Zombi, which originally came out on the Wii U as ZombiU, is a downloadable first-person action game where the player has to survive a zombie apocalypse in London. To do so, players use guns and blunt instruments to kill zombies, while the zombies use their teeth to eat people. All this blood and gore is shown in graphic detail. This, combined with a lack of supplies, moody visuals and sound effects, and a first-person perspective make for a very scary and tense game. Even freakier: When you die, you come back as another person and can go find your previous self, who's now a zombie. There also are instances when a man who's helping you uses British curse words such as "bloody."
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What's it about?
In ZOMBI, the undead have risen and are feasting on the flesh of the living -- which, if you're not careful, could include your juicy limbs. The game is set in London, where you have to run errands for a mysterious man who communicates with you over a public address system. Not only has he given you access to his safe house, he's also provided you with the means to survive -- assuming, of course, you'll do his bidding. Along the way, you'll explore Buckingham Palace, British supermarkets, and other places, all while clobbering zombies, shooting zombies, and, if you're smart, running away from zombies.
Is it any good?
Much as in the early Resident Evil games, this first-person zombie-survival game is more about tension and scares than action and adventure. With limited supplies, even less skill with your weapons, and danger at every turn, Zombi is a thoughtful game for fans of horror films, instead of a shooter or sword swinger where the enemies just happen to be the undead. Aiding your survival is a helpful scanner and your penchant for scavenging, which is the only reason you have ammo for your gun, medical supplies, and the rest of the helpful stuff in your backpack. When the game isn't being frightening and nerve-wracking, though, it can get a bit creative, albeit in some slightly frustrating ways.
When you die, and you will, you don’t come back to life as yourself but instead start over as a different character. And you can only get your old stuff back if you find your own old dead body, destroy it, and take your backpack. You also only get to save your game when you go back to the safe house and climb into bed. Even worse is that it's always nighttime when you venture out, and your flashlight doesn't work all that well, nor do its batteries last all that long. Unfortunately, this new version doesn't improve upon the original's graphics, which is too bad because the Wii U version was kind of muddy and soft focus-y, which kept it from being even more harrowing. But if you're looking for a unique and surprisingly good zombie game, Zombi will shamble up a fun adventure for mature gamers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what to do during a disaster. Where's your emergency bag? Where have you agreed to meet up if you get separated from your family?
Talk about conservation. If need be, where would you go to find food during a disaster? What about water? And other supplies?
Talk about London. What do you know about this English city? What language do they speak there? What kinds of sports do they like to watch?
- Platforms: PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
- Price: $19.99
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Available online? Available online
- Developer: UbiSoft
- Release date: August 18, 2015
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: M for Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Strong Language
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.