Most zombie games tend to follow a similar premise: some form of apocalypse occurs, be it some kind of infection, or an unforeseen reaction to some form of cure, a la I Am Legend, and the undead start roaming the Earth. You take control of a survivor and do your best to navigate through the game world. This is where Yeti Culture and Brrrainz come in.
Set in the 60s and 70s, Brrrainz takes the classic zombie genre and looks at it from a new perspective. According to Yeti Culture, Brrrainzis the story of the shambling dead, not the rugged survivor. Describing the game, the Montreal, Canada based developer said that players can:
“Lead your undead army on a campaign to bring misery and destruction to small towns and cities alike. Every enemy you defeat has a chance to be turned into an undead ally. The larger your horde, the more havoc you can wreak.”
While the game still has the usual zombie apocalypse premise, instead of the player taking control of a survivor, they’re instead placed in the role of the undead themselves, doing all they can to navigate the world, and of course, get those ever important brains. This key difference, as well as Brrrainz‘s humorous gameplay and style, has began to resonate with players; myself included.
When I talked to Yeti Culture about Brrrainz, they explained the premise of the game – playing as the zombie horde rather than the typical survivor – by saying:
“The original concept came about after watching several zombie movies and noticing how zombies gather in hordes naturally by chasing food. This is a staple of zombie movies that has never really been explored in games, so we decided to build our core mechanic around it. We never set out to make a zombie game because of how overused the theme has become in games lately, but we felt that Brrrainz could really bring something new to the genre.”
We all secretly want to be the bad guy in a movie or game – it’s why a lot of people, including myself, prefer to play as a Sith in any given Star Wars game when we get the chance. And that’s where a lot of the fun in Brrrainz lays; you don’t have to worry about being morally right, you’re just trying to look after your horde and get some brains, no good or bad choices necessary.
The game also comes with several unique features, each of which are more than capable of keeping any player entertained for hours on end, including:
- A Zombie Game From The Zombie’s Perspective: Finally a game that focuses on the real hero of the genre, The Zombie.
- The Joys Of Destruction: See how much chaos you can cause and get rewarded for it
- The Needs Of The Many: Gameplay that focuses on your horde of zombies rather than the individual. Tear through levels as a group or give zombies commands to take down your enemies.
- You Guys Are Just Freaks: Collect zombies with special attacks that give your horde new ways to fight.
- Unique Control System: A simple mix of action and strategy.
- Even The Undead Can Evolve: Collect DNA points along your journey and upgrade your army of undead.
- This Game Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us : 10 unique bosses inspired by famous zombie hunters and pop culture icons.
- Oh The Good Old Days: Featuring a fun art style and setting loosely inspired by the 60s and 70s.
- How Many Zombies Does It Take to Screw In a Lightbulb?: A lighthearted story filled with humor and pop culture references.
While the story is somewhat minimal, it’s not as if the game needs to rely too heavily on one; most players are going to be too engrossed in the gameplay and humor too want the game to be story heavy. As far as gameplay is concerned though, there’s nothing too difficult to grasp: Brrrainz has elements of a point and click RPG, while at the same time including the typical WASD controls of most story driven PC RPGs – a combination perfectly suited to controlling your horde of zombies, and controlling whatever zombie you just so happen to be controlling at that point in the game.
While the humor of the game isn’t something that’ll have you in stitches, there are enough tongue in cheek references in order to get a smile from most players every once in a while. Adding to the humor is the music itself: Brrrainz takes the typical zombie soundtrack and flips it on its head, giving the game a more lighthearted appeal, especially when paired with the games visuals, as well as the comical screams of survivors when staring wide eyed at a group of zombies hungry for brains. This lighthearted tone, according to the developers, is one of the key differences that separates this game from any other zombie game in recent years. And, personally, it’s an enjoyable difference. As Yeti Culture said:
“The lighter tone was another way to differentiate us from other zombie games. We wanted Brrrainz to appeal to a larger audience and not just Hardcore zombie gamers. Everyone has already played ultra-realistic zombie games, plus we all loved the idea of filling the game with horrible zombie puns.”
Some might be thinking: Well, once I start playing the game, what’s there to make me want to delve further into the story? Aside from the unlockables that come throughout the game, as with every game, the constant need for brains is something that drives players throughout the levels, with a ‘brain clock’ counting down in one corner to constantly remind you that you need to kill, something which counts down faster and faster when you get more and more zombies. While this was somewhat necessary, how this ‘clock’ looks – combined with the fact that it counts down faster with each additional zombie – is almost a perfect stroke.
Would I play Brrrainz again? I’ve barely put it away since I started playing, so that would definitely be a yes. The game can be quite addictive, and is a lot of fun, so if you’re looking for a lighthearted zombie game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, Brrrainz is definitely something to look for.