Zenzizenzic – Preview
Follow Genre: Action, Indie, Early Access, Shoot 'em up
Developer: bitHuffel
Publisher: Adult Swim Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Zenzizenzic – Preview

Good: great music, addictive, filled with action, online leaderboards
Bad: too early to tell
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8.0
(1 votes)
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It’s time to take out the twin-stick controllers! Zenzizenzic has hit Early Access and it’s time to play. Zenzizenzic pays homage towards old school shoot ’em ups and presents it with a modern twist. Battle your way though classic mode or test your skills in the open world Macro mode.

zenzizenzic

Once in a while you come across a game that you have no clue of what to expect from looking at screenshots. Zenzizenzic is one of those games, it might look pretty simple at first, but you’re very wrong.

Zenzizenzic starts off with a little tutorial. It teaches you the basic controls and mechanics of the game, which are pretty simple. Movement is simple and can be done with the WASD keys, shooting and aiming with the mouse. Other controls include speeding up, slowing down and using special abilities. The game can also be played with a controller, which is to be recommended since it’s much more natural and the controls are easier to use. The overall look and feel of the game is amazing. The graphics are great and not disturbing (even though bullets will be filling your screen) and the music is awesome!

I'm hiding in the top right corner.

I’m hiding in the top right corner.

 

Now that the basics are out of the way, let’s talk gameplay. You play as a little square and shoot enemies which come from everywhere on the screen. The goal is to simply make it to the boss and kill it, but it’s harder than you might think. At first, your shots will be pretty basic and won’t do a lot of damage but as you kill enemies they might drop some upgrades. In the Classic Mode, enemies will always drop energy and occasionally they will drop shot and shield upgrades.

Your energy can be used to activate special abilities, which can be purchased and set before you start the game. The 2 basic abilities are a laser beam and homing missiles. The beam is larger the more energy you have, so using it on full energy will give you major devastation but while using it you can’t adjust your aim, only your position. As far as the missiles go, they’re pretty simple. You just hold down the button and they will home onto nearby enemies and explode.

Shot upgrades are pretty basic and make your shots go up 1 tier. In total there are 3 tiers of basic attacks, the first tier are simple shots, in the second tier you get little rockets that home onto enemies and in the third tier you occasionally launch balls which pass through enemies and deal damage. Now let’s talk about the shield, which isn’t your ordinary shield. The shield visually forms around your ship, making your hitbox larger. It isn’t just an insurance but it can also be a liability when navigating through a bullet hell. In order to prevent that, you can launch your shield which makes a shockwave and destroys enemies and their bullets.

In Macro Mode, which will be explained in a bit, enemies also drop random upgrades which can increase your damage, pickup range, amount of lives and many more.

Currently, there are 5 levels in Classic Mode which can be unlocked with your accumulated score from playing. Each level introduces unique enemies and attacks, making it harder and harder to survive. Each level also has a bonus mode which unlocks after a certain amount of score has been hit. The bonus modes usually test your agility and maneuverability in your ship, which can be a real challenge. After the bonus mode the boss will come, deal with him and you get a lot of points and the level will be completed.

Classic Mode also features Boss Training, Bonus Training and the Gauntlet, which can be unlocked for 20.000.000 points. Boss and Bonus training are pretty straightforward, but the Gauntlet tests your true skill. In the Gauntlet, you play all 5 levels in one go.

If you think that was it, you’re wrong! There’s also the Macro Mode, which basically changes the whole genre of the game. Macro Mode is an open-world roguelike mode where you can roam around, gather upgrades, find secrets and kill enemies. This mode also has zone bosses which will appear after you kill a certain amount of enemies. It also features stores where you can upgrade your weapons, your ship, refill on shields and lives and it also features some special upgrades.

Also, if normal mode isn’t challenging enough, each level has a Hard and Very Hard setting. Enjoy!

Conclusion

Zenzizenzic is a true gem and a welcomed addition to the shmup genre. It features hard, fast paced levels, loads of bullets, awesome music and great design. Although it’s still in Early Access, it already feels like a finished and polished game, apart from Macro Mode which is still in development. Hopefully Zenzizenzic will continue to progress in order to please lots of fans of the genre.

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Rating: 8.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Zenzizenzic - Preview, 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

3 Comments

  1. RuudKoorevaar
    April 27, 2015, 5:18 pm

    Thank you for the article and kind words Subsonic! I enjoyed the read 🙂

    The Macro mode is still in heavy development yes. Although constantly content will be added to it until release, and maybe after, we’ll see! Sometime this week I’ll be adding level 3 to Macro, as at this point only level 1 and 2 are in there (out of a total of eventual 5).

    So if you like what you see, be sure to check it out over at Steam! You can find it at: http://store.steampowered.com/app/327500

    Oh, and Subsonic, could you please consider adding this preview to Zenzizenzic’s Steam store page? Only of course if you think it fits the format. It would help a lot and it’d be hugely appreciated!

    Thanks again and kind regards,
    Ruud Koorevaar – developer of Zenzizenzic

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    • Subsonic
      Subsonic
      April 27, 2015, 5:28 pm

      Sure thing! I posted it on the Steam page

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  2. 3rd-strike.com | Zenzizenzic – Review
    August 16, 2015, 1:42 am

    […] few months ago we had the chance to test the early access of Zenzizenzic, a twin stick shooter that put old-school shoot ’em ups in a new jacket. […]

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