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8-Bit Zombie #1 Review

3 min read

Old games just got gory.

Creative Staff:
Writer: Fred Perry
Art: David Hutchison
Colors: David Hutchison

What They Say:
Prepare to be 8-bitten! Fred Perry (Gold Digger, Zombie Kid Diaries, Action Time Buddies) and David Hutchison (Biowulf, Mischief and Mayhem, Steamcraft) team up to provide the most pixelated presentation of putrefied panic to grace the printed page! Zombies are roaming the streets, and no one is safe from being converted or devoured! The graphics may be low-res, but the terror’s strictly high-def!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The arcades were a place where many games first got their start, but these characters have lives beyond the screen.  The characters of the arcade have all gathered at Zilla’s machine to celebrate a bad guy (becoming a good guy) getting his own game.  Everyone who’s anyone is there: Nilly Willy, Ms. Spy Guy, and several others.  Off in a corner, noticed by almost no one, however, is a character simply called Zombie.  When Zilla’s party ends and the game characters go back to their own machines, Zombie instead follows the Ms. Spy Guy characters to their machine and hides in a locker. Things take a bad turn when Stanford, the in game helper, opens a locker and finds Zombie, who turns Stanford into one as well.  This is where the zombie virus begins.  Soon enough, all the Ms. Spy Guy characters are undead, and they all head outside of the area to infect more.  This is where the book becomes an arcade zombie apocalypse.

The rest of the arcade characters are ambushed, and despite valiant efforts to fight back from Willy and an unnamed Link look-alike, the Zombies slowly overwhelm the living.  Zombie rushes to Zilla’s cave to get help from the new hero, but by the time he gets Zilla outside, only He, Zilla, and a racing character named Dee-Dee are left.  Outrunning the brain-eating horde, They reach a home console, and a character called Ceo-Ken ( an obvious parody of both Ryu and Ken from Street Fighter).  The foursome eject the cartridge and seem free of the menace at last. until they realize Zombie’s stomach is growling, all but telling them what happened.

In Summary:
The references in this book are great, and it really does play out like a typical zombie apocalypse.  What starts out as one infected becomes a whole game, which then slowly infects the entire arcade.  The look and dialogue of characters really hits home with the characters they’re based on, and it makes the book experience that much better.  The art, done in a black and white format, really draws one’s eye, and when the killing starts, the gore really contrasts with the previous stuff in the best way.  Having zombies infect an arcade isn’t an idea we’ve seen to many times before, and having it be more of an accident even more so.  Zombie bit and infected Stepford because he was lonely, not because he wanted to hurt people, which is proven when he runs for Zilla’s help as the horde begins rampaging through the rest of the arcade games.

It lends a different tint to this apocalypse story, and I feel that it’s all for the better.  The character interactions, the expressions, and the dialogue all work so well for the story that, despite the gore, it really is fun.  Even the cover and back cover are full of references, featuring zombified characters like the dog from Duck Hunt, Samus from Metroid, and the original Donkey Kong.  A book combining zombies with classic 8-bit and arcade games is not something one would expect to see, but wow is is something you should check out if you can!  This was a fun time from start to finish and you won’t regret it.

Grade: B+

Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Antarctic Press
Release Date: January 15, 2014
MSRP: $3.99

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