Working Zombies (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Drew Hurley 28.08.2020

Review for Working Zombies on Nintendo Switch

Jupiter Corporation's Picross series is unquestionably its magnum opus. A fact underlined by the developer's output of titles on Switch compared to consoles of yesteryear. For Switch, the only games it has produced have been Picross titles. Until now. Working Zombies is a familiar clicker/time management game that takes huge inspiration from Gamelab's Diner Dash. Here's a look at it.

Right from the start, there's a feeling of a mobile port as opposed to a fully-fledged console title. The premise is introduced in some simple little FMVs with no dialogue or subtitles, with scenes of cartoonish, chibi zombies, suffering the animosity and disgust of the humans around them. Strange really, since none of the mini-games include the Zombies chowing down on some flesh, and they certainly have ample opportunity to do so. Two of these zombies decide to try and win over the hearts of their town by getting jobs and ingratiating themselves to the humans, and those jobs translate to four mini-games.

The first is becoming an air hostess. This mini-game is pure Diner Dash through and through. Run between passengers as they wake up and check what they want; either a glass of wine, a cup of soda, or a newspaper. Dash between the items and the passengers in the most spacious plane known to man, and attempt to deliver them all fast enough to get a three star ranking on the stage. This is where a huge flaw comes in, the game offers up to four-player multiplayer, but doesn't scale the difficulty. Meaning achieving three stars on the later levels while playing solo is quite challenging, but quickly made ridiculously easy with the addition of other players. It's a very basic design aspect that is really surprising to see absent coming from an experienced developer.

After the air hostess levels, the zombies decide to go look after babies at a nursery. This seems about as wise as letting some hungry wolves look after a flock of lambs. Sure. Let the zombies look after the defenceless little babies. That's a great idea. It's a shame this doesn't lean into that, letting the zombies lull the humans into a false sense of security, then having zombies devouring the humans as they run. Sadly, it does not.

Screenshot for Working Zombies on Nintendo Switch

This level has babies crawling around that need to be given toys, milk, and their diapers changed in a repeat of the mechanics of the previous level. It does have the amusing feature that the babies can accidentally be kicked. Following this is the hair salon. Same thing, same mechanics, run around clicking on items then clicking on the customers. There's a slight difference in that the customers need to be directed where to sit, but same basic gameplay.

Then, all of a sudden, the gameplay completely changes! The fourth stage is becoming a plumber, and changes the game into the classic pipe puzzler, needing to organise a series of pipes to allow water to flow through. There are some extra challenges later on, also with breaking pipes and repair gel. This stage is actually much more enjoyable, and offers up some tricky puzzles on the final stages, but, just like the others, is not tuned to the multiplayer. Meaning taking this on with more than one player trivialises the difficulty.

The first three jobs are pretty much just reskins of the same thing. The same mechanics and the same basic gameplay loop that is better suited to free mobile games. It really needs something more, or at least something original to set it apart. The plumber stages are more interesting but have been done many times (and better) elsewhere. Annoyingly too, for those who enjoy one type of job in particular, like the plumber stages, later stages are gated off until a set amount is completed on all of the other jobs, forcing playing through the other jobs to progress.

Screenshot for Working Zombies on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

Perhaps Jupiter should have stuck with Picross and continued gathering partnerships with other franchises for Picross spin-offs like the recent Picross: Lord of Nazarick. Fans of Diner Dash will enjoy this blatant clone, but based on the asking price this just is not worth the investment. Check out the far superior Overcooked instead.

Developer

Jupiter

Publisher

Jupiter

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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