Independent developer MADE GmbH‘s ID@Xbox zombie slice-em-up, Slice Zombies For Kinect, is now available to download for Kinect 2 for Xbox One priced at £7.99 / €9.99 / $9.99 with a 20% discount for Xbox Live Gold members until May 22nd.
Here’s a press release from MADE along with my first impressions of Slice Zombies For Kinect below it:
Slice Zombies for Kinect for Xbox One now available
Stuttgart, Germany – May 8th 2015
Slice Zombies for Kinect for Xbox One, the humorous zombie slicing game developed by independent game developer MADE, is now available exclusively on Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft via the ID@Xbox self-publishing program for USD 9.99. Xbox Live Gold members get a 20% discount – offer valid until 22 May.
Well, so the zombie apocalypse is long over and there are still thousands of zombies left. So what do we do with them now? It’s easy! Step in front of your Kinect motion sensor and use your hands to cut, grab and shoot zombies into little pieces.
Unlock funny zombie types like exploding zombies or time travelling zombies or Evil Zevel, a zombie equipped with a rocket pack flying across your TV.
Slice coins to unlock new items, backgrounds and walking hands that come with powerful special abilities.
– Cut and shoot zombie ragdolls into little pieces
– Grab zombies with one hand and slice them with the other
– Game progression with 21 levels and a built-in shop give you tons of replay value
– Unlock all cool items like new ribbons, backgrounds and zombies
– Awesome zombies like the time travelling zombie, Evil Zevel or the zombie bunny
Slice Zombies for Kinect is now available on May 8th 2015 for USD 9.99 exclusively on Xbox One. Xbox Live Gold members get a 20% discount – offer valid until 22 May.
– Slice Zombies website: http://www.slicezombies.com
MADE is a small team of two developers from Stuttgart/Germany, that’s Erhan and Manny. They have spent the past 16 months working on Slice Zombies for Kinect for Xbox One. The small team hand crafted every single part of the upcoming Xbox One game: from the game’s 3D engine to every image, model and sound effect – everything has been developed in-house.
Slice Zombies For Kinect First Impressions
The first thing I’m sure most people want to know is whether Slice Zombies For Kinect is just a Fruit Ninja Kinect rip-off. Well, no, not quite. I’ve currently only played a little of it, but I’ll compare what I’ve played so far.
First I’ll talk about the negative differences. Unfortunately Slice Zombies For Kinect only has one mode, you just have to complete 21 levels by surviving for a certain amount of time each level. That sounds short, but I’m pretty sure you’re not going to complete the game in an hour or 2, which I’ll explain later.
Slice Zombies For Kinect is also only single player, so that’s another negative difference as both Fruit Ninja For Kinect games have 2 player modes and Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 has 4 player, although it’s only 2 players at a time and each duo take turns with the other duo.
The next negative difference is the assault rifle power-up that you can buy. I was expecting this to be a positive difference and was looking forward to it, but it just seemed unreliable whenever I tried to use it. You’re supposed to make a gun gesture with your hand to fire, but it didn’t always work first time for me plus the gameplay just seemed to be too hectic to use it properly, especially if it doesn’t work 100% of the time. You get your ammo, which is only 30 shots, from slicing a falling crate and I think they should have made the game slow down a bit when you hit the crate plus also only allow the gun to be used until you’ve fired all the ammo rather than letting you both shoot and slice. Or maybe make one hand only shoot while the other can only slice. Plus I think there should be an aiming reticule when you use the gun.
Another negative is that Kinect 2 seems to randomly stop tracking you during menu screens. To get the hand cursor back again try raising your hand above your head or waving it about a bit. This must be some kind of bug and luckily it never seems to happen during gameplay and the gameplay controls are perfectly accurate and responsive, except for the machine gun as I mentioned above.
The final two negative differences are just nitpicks really, especially the last one. You have to hold your hand over menu icons and wait for a circle to draw around your hand cursor just like you have to in many Kinect 1 games. Also, you have to grab to scroll menus and text, but when you grab the hand icon doesn’t turn into a fist. So at first you might not realise that you’re supposed to grab to scroll, then after that it’s just a minor graphical annoyance.
Now the positive differences. The zombies have more character than fruit. I don’t just mean that they’re wearing costumes based on various famous characters from TV shows, movies and other videogames, some of them actually move around a bit more than just being thrown up in front of you like the fruit in Fruit Ninja Kinect. Whereas some are just thrown around others have different movements, for example flying across the screen on rocket packs dressed like Evel Knievel, teleporting in dressed like Doc Brown from Back To The Future and disembodied hands crawling around the screen like Thing from The Addams Family. Plus you can slice up the zombies in various ways and if you slice their heads first you get a “HEADSHOT!” bonus.
Another difference is that you don’t just have zombies to slice, you also have lots of coins to slice which gives you money to buy various power-ups and backgrounds in the shop between levels. These power-ups and backgrounds, as well as various info screens, are unlocked by earning XP from slicing zombies, especially if you get combos by slicing more than one per slice, to level up the player plus when you complete game levels.
Also, if you stand back about 5 or 6 feet or more from Kinect then you’ll have to move left and right a lot in order to reach objects on the left or right sides of the screen. But if you haven’t got a lot of space either side of you, enough space to stand that far away from Kinect or you would just rather play without having to move around left and right then you can actually stand quite close to Kinect, about 3 or 4 feet away, and your arms should be able to reach the sides of the screen just by stretching them out normally.
The final main difference is that there often seems to be a lot more on screen than Fruit Ninja Kinect 1 or 2, mainly because of all the coins but there also seem to be more bombs. These extra bombs seem to make Slice Zombies For Kinect a lot more challenging than Fruit Ninja Kinect 1 or 2 as you have to be very careful when you’re slicing as if you just flail wildly you’re pretty much guaranteed to hit a bomb. If you hit 3 bombs, or miss 3 zombies and they fall off the bottom of the screen, then it’s game over and you have to restart the level.
The game gets a lot more difficult after the first level then progressively harder each level after that. This is why I said I’m pretty sure you won’t complete the game in an hour or 2 despite only having 21 levels. In fact I’m not sure if I would recommend this to casual players or very small children (ignore the 12 / Teen rating though, it’s an absolute joke as the “realistic violence” is just very cartoony ragdoll zombies being sliced apart with the blood splatter being just like the red juice splatter in Fruit Ninja Kinect) unless those children are already expert gamers, as Slice Zombies For Kinect is so challenging and definitely requires a fair bit of skill. It’s like a casual game for core gamers!
I haven’t managed to grab any zombies yet, like it says in the info about the game, but that might be a hand power-up you have to buy since there are other hand power-ups like one that increases points and a bomb hand that creates explosions.
One more difference is that Slice Zombies For Kinect is cheaper than Fruit Ninja Kinect 2, but that’s more neutral than positive since Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 has more modes to make up for the extra cost.
Overall, based on what I’ve played so far, I would say that Slice Zombies For Kinect is not quite as good as Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 due to Fruit Ninja Kinect 2’s extra modes with special features like dodging shurikens and spotlights as well as throwing kunai to pin fruits on targets, but it’s still a good game and a lot of fun. It’s heading for a solid 7 out of 10 and definitely worth buying, especially since there are so few Kinect 2 games around at the moment, plus it’s quite cheap! Also MADE’s Manny has revealed in a Reddit AMA that if Slice Zombies For Kinect sells well enough there may be DLC for it and even a sequel!
Yeah, we actually have tons of ideas. More game modes, coop, better leaderboards, better menu navigation. More zombies with more unique mechanics (like a zombie in a knights armor, or monkey zombies)
But to be honest, our entire future hinges on the game right now and I cannot make any promises regarding DLCs/Updates or sequels 🙁 The only thing I can say from the bottom of my heart is that we’d love to continue making games.
Have my first impressions been helpful? And if you’ve bought Slice Zombies For Kinect already, do you agree? Let us know in the comments below or discuss it in our Kinect 2 Games Forum or you could even review it yourself in our Kinect 2 Games Reviews Forum.