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‘It’s close to midnight and something evil’s lurking from the dark, under the moonlight you see a sight that almost stops your heart’ – we’re talking about the visionary classic Zombies from NetEnt, what else?
In this installation of NetEnt Nostalgia we’re putting our focus on brains, flesh, and the undead in NetEnt’s 2012 game Zombies.
When this game was made, its creators had a very clear concept in mind, and it was executed to a T.
This game was an instant unforgettable classic, but it came with a warning: those who are squeamish should play with caution.
Let’s take a look at this blood and guts classic in more detail.
Zombies is a 5-reel, 3-row, and 20 fixed bet line video slot released in 2012 by NetEnt. The game’s theme, if you haven’t guessed by now, is the zombie apocalypse.
You play as one of the last remaining human survivors, fighting off hordes of walking undead corpses whose sole intent is to rip you apart and gorge on your flesh.
This theme is executed perfectly throughout the game, with the whole of the symbols, slot reel, and in game, features focusing on a different aspect of the zombie horde.
The backdrop to the slot reel is the inside of an abandoned mall, and the symbols on the reels come in two groups: low and high.
The low-value symbols are the A, K, Q, J, and 10 symbols in spattered plasma. Whilst the high-value symbols are a bloody circular saw, a gas mask, a bloody brain, a torn-out eye, and an axe and nailed baseball bat…nice.
The wild symbol is a fleshy wound, whilst the stacked wild is a zombie with his arms outstretched, and the scatter symbol is a vile of antidote.
The betting in the game was just like any other NetEnt title at the time, the real innovation was in the features and the theme. There are ten different bet levels (between 1 and 10) and seven different coin values (0.01, 0.02, 0.05, 0.10, 0.2, 0.5, and 1), which allow you to vary your wager amount between a minimum of 0.20 and 200.
Zombies features were so well executed the slot felt like a full console triple-A game, the immersion in this dystopic environment and the clarity of concept made playing this game a no-brainer for most NetEnt fans (pun intended). The features in the game were the random wilds, the free spins, and the stacked wilds, but the best thing about them were how they were integrated into the concept.
When the random wild feature is activated, two blood-thirsty zombies heads jump into sight for a special jump-scare feature. At that very moment, you will shoot six rounds into their faces, creating 6 wild flesh wounds. These will be substituted for any symbol allowing winning lines to be made. When the stacked wild appears, a zombie symbol lands on the full length of the third reel, these act as normal wilds but also introduce a nudge.
When the free spins are activated three scatter symbols appear on reels 2, 3, and 4. When this happens the wave of zombies will hurl themselves through the mall whilst you shoot at the horde, with each killing shot adding to your win. There is a bet line multiplier that increases with every spin, this adds to your overall zombie (killing) score.
There were no direct sequels to Zombies, precisely because NetEnt didn’t need to make one. The game was so popular, that it couldn’t really be surpassed within this genre. There were games that carried over some of the same mechanics, like the shooting in Narcos and Dead or Alive 2.
The question is: how does Zombies square up to what we have now?
In all honesty, Zombies still holds its own. It is still up there with the best of them. When NetEnt released Zombies back in 2012 they must have known that this was going to be a hit, but they can’t have known how just how much of a hit it was going to be. It’s true that the zombie craze was at its peak back around 2012, but this game was so well made that it was set to be an enduring classic.
Check out our review of zombies for more detail on this modern classic.
You can’t kill what’s already dead….which is why NetEnt’s Zombies is still very much (un)alive and kicking!
Check below for the best places to kill this gory classic.
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