Also available on 3DS, Android, and iOS
If Zombie Panic in Wonderland sounds like a completely bizarre game, that's because it is. It's bizarre in the best way possible, though. Zombie Panic in Wonderland is an arcade shooter originally released on Wii and later ported to 3DS and mobile phones that ended up being a LOT more fun than I expected.
The premise of Zombie Panic in Wonderland is that throughout Wonderland, zombies have begun emerging, but no one quite knows why. I quit paying attention to the story after a while, but I can tell you that the game features characters from multiple fairy tales and similar works - Snow White, Dorothy, a ruined yellow brick road, Tin Man, and Red Riding Hood, to name a few. The game's story and cutscenes before each level are wacky and goofy and will definitely bring a smile.
The game is an arcade style shooter but not a traditional one in that it's not a rail shooter. In each level, the backdrop doesn't change at all with enemies just spawning in front of you rather than the camera moving around a world to the enemies as in most arcade shooters. You can move your character but only left and right. You only ways to avoid enemy attacks are to just stay out of the way or press the dodge button (Z) at the right time. It actually plays a lot like Wild Guns except with a submachine gun with a bottomless magazine and comical looking zombies.
Visually the game looks quite good, but the game's best aspect is definitely its music. The soundtrack manages to be ominous yet light at the same time. It's not scary, per se, but it definitely conveys the zombie theme. That's a terrible description, I know, but it's really quite good. The control, as well, is fantastic. It's tight and responsive with no random cursor spasms whatsoever. My only real complaint with the game is the difficulty balancing. There are three stages to the game, each with two or three levels, and while the first stage is pretty easy to let you get used to the controls, and the second stage is a decent but fair challenge, the third stage just seems to throw you at a wall. You go from the easiest of the game's three bosses straight into the most brutal of the game's stages, and while it's not the worst difficulty spike I've ever experienced, it'll give you some figurative whiplash.
Zombie Panic in Wonderland is a charming and fun to play shooter that I definitely recommend no matter how you play it - on Wii, on 3DS, or even on mobile phones if you're a scrub. It's a shame that the difficulty wasn't more smoothly balanced, but that shouldn't deter anyone from giving this a download before the Wii Shop Channel closes its doors. It support two player co-op, so give it a download, grab a buddy and some beers, and kill some goofy zombies.
My Rating - 4 Neps
I'm a teacher.
And I like to play video games. I like to collect video games. I like to talk about video games, and I like to write about video games. During the day, I teach high school history; during the night, I spend my spare time gaming. Then I write about it.