Hardcore Platformer is a small genre. Honestly, the only big hardcore platformer I’ve heard of is the one and only Super Meat Boy. These games are pretty cool, and fun to watch others play. I personally don't like this genre, But I think I can surely say that I had fun with this demo for the title Zombie Teacher.
Welcome to Video Game Hell
Zombie Teacher is an indie game being developed by Edgy Games and was also reviewed earlier this year. Let’s get straight into this, shall we? Getting started off, you’re brought into a little tutorial phase of the game. Walking up to an arcade cabinet and interacting with it you find out that you’re in the realm known as “VIDEO GAME HELL” home to all the fallen heroes and princesses. In order to gain your freedom you must complete sixty-six trials (why not six-hundred sixty-six? Don’t ask me.)
And that’s almost all I can see from the story, nice and simple. While playing the game it did feel smooth. I didn’t have much trouble with framerate or anything really. The gameplay is kind of in-between for me. My first instinct was to go for using a controller. Since the game was built in Unity, I felt that using a controller would be more useful in a way. One thing that I will say that bothered me is that I couldn’t use the D-Pad controls. Not saying that this was a bad thing. I just felt it’d be easier to gain a sense of controls using the D-Pad. Plus I also prefer using D-Pad while playing 2D platformers (which is just my personal preference.)
Some parts I tried using the keyboard, and I felt a HUGE difference between using a keyboard and the gamepad. Just my own opinion, I felt that the keyboard gameplay felt rougher than how smooth the game felt with a controller. But all-in-all the levels were designed great and really utilized most of what you needed to do for the gameplay which is fantastic. Each level consisted of a mix of easy and hard, and I liked this mixture it really pushed the player to try and use the gameplay mechanics to the best of their ability.
The music is actually fitting, I liked it, but I’d suggest turning it down just a little bit. Electronic dance music is one of my personal favorite music genre’s but I felt it was a bit too loud, and I don’t think anyone wants to burst their eardrums upon starting up the game. Other than that, it really helped me concentrate in a way, and gave me a sense of ‘epicness’ when I was making it across large gaps, or dodging obstacles that blocked my path. And I’m sure anyone who enjoys EDM would be interested in it as well.
With there being sixty-six trials. I, unfortunately, couldn’t come to complete all of these trials. Main reason being was I got to one stage that mostly utilized the wall jump gameplay mechanic, and as it's a cool concept, sometimes the wall jump wouldn’t respond correctly and I’d end up falling to my death as it canceled out my jump to the next wall. But I understand that since this is a demo gameplay will be rough, and it will be improved as the developer continues to the develop Zombie Teacher.
With all that being said, I suggest checking it out. Especially if you’re into Hardcore Platformer games. You’ll really get a good kick out of this game, and hopefully, will enjoy it! I heard that it had a failed Kickstarter a while ago, so try and show all the support you can for it! You can check out Zombie Teacher here.
In addition, we’ve also been able to reach out to the developers for an interview and here’s how it went;
[Dave]: "What inspired this project?/How did it start?"[Edgy Games]: "One of the main inspirations for this project was definitely Super Meat Boy. It's a game that aesthetically looked so simple yet required immense amount of skill. I wanted to play another platformer after finishing meat boy for the 8th time but couldn't find one to my liking so decided to finally work on this idea I had had for many years.
A game that you'd feel proud to finish and could brag about it because not many others would be able to finish it. At the same time, I had just started my teaching career and honestly felt/still feel like a zombie. The game is autobiographical!"[Dave]: "What difficulties were faced during the development of this project?" [Edgy Games]: "As it is my first foray into game design and game programming as a whole there were many difficulties and issues when I first began the project. One of the big ones early on was controls. I knew Zombie Teacher needed super precision and it was hard finding the right feel.
Another issue was time management. Teaching fulltime is not an easy thing in itself, making a game from scratch at the same time has meant very little sleep."[Dave]: "Are there any features that you had in mind for the project that got scrapped?" [Edgy Games]: "One feature I really wanted was a hook shot. The kind in bionic commando. Unfortunately, I haven't had time to fully understand or implement this. An early model had this feature but it took away from the precision of the game."
[Dave]: "What are your future plans for this project?" [Edgy Games]: "Going forward I intend to complete Zombie Teacher to a total level count of just over 100 levels. I am also thinking about a possible 4 player mode. Getting the game a console release would also be a dream come true. Unfortunately, a lot of this stuff requires a lot more time.
Depending on feedback and reaction to the current build of the game, I may switch to full-time and the game could be completed within a years time!"[Dave]: "Any advice for aspiring Indie Devs.?" [Edgy Games]: "It's an honor for me to even be considered an Indie dev so giving advice to others is very new to me. I will say this though, it is possible. If you have a vision for a game, don't worry about the skills or understanding. That can come later, as long as you have that passion for gaming you'll learn the rest.
Game development can be a whole lot of fun so stick to your vision and you'll see it through. Also, breakdown development as constant small rewards is better than months of constant frustration!"
Thank you for getting back to us, it was an honor to have the opportunity of reaching out to you for this great interview!