Sunday, August 30, 2015


Developer: bitHuffel
Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Game: Zenzizenzic

Zenzizenzic aside from having the honor of having the most Z's in a games title and sounding drunk when you say the games name, is an arcade style shmup or shoot 'em up, bullet hell game. This game is light on story, high on action, being the type of game that you would probably sink quarter after quarter into if this were sometime in the mid 90's. What that basically means is that you're in pursuit of a high score more then any clear cut goal. You play over and over again, dying, getting better, unlocking upgrades and ramping up the difficulty. Oh yeah, if you're a fan of squares and plaid then this is the game for you!

Sarcasm aside, Zenzizenzic is a very geometrical strange looking game and this is the first thing that is striking about the game. Yes, it uses basic shapes for most of its design but it's the use of colors and design of enemies that can be very appealing looking, even though they're just shapes. There are times where so many things are on the screen that it becomes almost overwhelming to the senses, although this is kinda the point of bullet hell games. Enemies come in a vast range of colors and shapes while your tiny ship is mostly just a blue block that shoots things.

Speaking of shooting things, you're going to do that a lot in this game. Not just shooting though, there are missiles, lasers, power ups, black holes, time travel, leveling, and more that I probably forgot to mention. The game is quite feature rich for a simplistic game, containing two game modes that are distinct from each other. Classic mode is your standard quarter guzzler, you pick a level, a difficulty, and get the highest score you can without dying. Waves upon waves of enemies spawn in all ultimately leading to a boss. One thing that Classic mode has over the other, is that you can play Co-op with a friend, while in Macro mode you can't. Your points can be spent to unlock new weapons, levels, and other goodies.

Macro mode is a whole different ball game, having more roguelike elements and randomization of enemies, areas, items, bosses and anything else you would expect. You start off in a safe zone area and then are free to move about. I enjoyed this mode by far the most, mostly cause I am not a huge fan of repetitive high score games. This was refreshing, weird, but fun. The same basic elements apply though, you look for enemies, upgrades, as a small meter on the bottom of the screen fills up and eventually releases a boss at you. Once said boss is defeated you move on and get as far as you can. There are stat upgrades and many other things that you can tweak, change, and modify to your play style. All this works rather well.

Zenzizenzic doesn't let down in the options department either. Ranging from rebindable keys, multiple resolutions, screenshake, dead zones, controller support, achievements, and of course leaderboards for all you score lovers out there. There are multiple difficulties and the game does offer quite a high replay value if you enjoy bullet hell style games. Offering things like bonus levels, practice modes and tutorials that teach you the basics.

Musically, Zenzizenzic is pretty diverse, having nine tracks that you are free to flip through and enjoy.
These all have a nice electronica style to them and for the most part never really got annoying. Sound effects were nothing too spectacular but did get the job done for. There were times I just wanted an explosion or feel a little bit more oomph to my blasts. This is a very minor complaint mind you.

As to the games length, that all really depends on the player. You could play this for endless hours trying to achieve the highest scores on the leader board, or like me spend most of your time in macro mode, die, and take a break and come back later. While the roguelike elements do keep things fresh, the gameplay itself doesn't really change all that much aside from weapon choices. Again, this is all personal preference and how much you enjoy these types of games. It's fun but it gets slightly repetitive eventually. There is only so much connection one can have with a square.

One thing I will say about Zenzizenzic is that it's unique. Not necessarily in the game features department but in over all design. This game looks quite striking when you first load it up and suddenly are blasted in the face with colors and shapes. Yes, other games have done similar designs but Zenzizenzic has a unique delivery that I just found peculiar and different.

Zenzizenzic has everything you could want in its genre, from leaderboards, co-op, and buckets of replay value. At $9.99 it's also very affordable and very much worth your money. The game is completely bug free and controls tightly for dodging of all those pesky rectangles. So get ready for some chaos, untwist your tongue and play Zenzizenzic.

  • Co-op
  • High replay
  • Peculiar graphics
  • Nice soundtrack
  • Slightly repetitive
  • Can be overwhelming
  • Name makes you sound drunk
  • Plaid cause I have nothing else

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