Super Exploding Zoo Preview at EGX Rezzed 2014
Explosive animals. If I didn’t have your attention with that, then allow me to introduce you to Super Exploding Zoo – the latest title from Honeyslug that gives you animals that explode. It was a late announcement for EGX Rezzed 2014, but one of my personal favourites at the expo, for the simple reason that you’re saving the planet from Aliens with exploding animals. For the purpose of this preview, I played it on Playstation 4.
It’s definitely a weird and interesting title from the first observations. You control a selection of highly explosive animals and have to protect nests of yummy eggs from large, beetle-like aliens who just can’t keep their mitts off of them. Each animal group has a distinct ability (some of which weren’t present in this particular demo apart from their explosive capabilities) and there were only a small selection of creatures available to play with, but Honeyslug promised there will be many more to come. The full game should have over 30 animals divided among 11 animal categories, and some of the animals will have to be unlocked by protecting the eggs. You generally play as the war-hardened and slightly psychotic pengiuns, who are your general cannon-fodder. Run these little guys into walls or enemies and they’ll explode, either dealing damage or freeing more explosive animals! The strongest of the animals I collected seemed to be the Rhino or the Elephant, who had the ability to smash a giant alien in one attack.
The demo was split into 4 different levels, as well as a little beginning exploration section where you can see each of the different creatures available in the demo (including a very strange alpaca/unicorn like creature!) My favourite level was the third level, which turned into a free-running ‘splat all the Aliens’ with a barrage of explosive aliens. In each of the levels you need to use the penguins to unleash the stronger, more ‘helpful’ animals (sorry little guys!!) Some animals require the use of convenient TNT to free, which in turn requires a particular animal. To make sure you don’t use a special animal as Alien fodder, you can deploy creatures for particular tasks in a more tactical mode. By clicking the right stick, you can choose to deploy individual creatures at a time, which gives you a lot more tactical control over the level, although sometimes it’s just best to grab as many animals as you can and rush the Aliens before they know what’s going on!
Everything in the game seems a little too cheerful to say that there are Aliens attempting to eat eggs in the only exploding zoo on the planet! It’s also entertaining to see the resigned looks on their faces, especially the Elephant, who looks so sad you want to give him a hug (from a distance, since he is explosive!) From playing the four levels, Super Exploding Zoo already looks like an impressive little game. The art style is entertaining and bright, different from other ‘almost tower-defense style games’, and with 80 levels set to ship with the full game, it should definitely provide a lot of entertainment. Plus, once you’ve finished the initial 80 levels you can play a mode that will randomly generate scenarios, allowing you a daily dose of exploding animals in a variety of scenarios.
Super Exploding Zoo will be making it’s way to Playstation 4 and Playstation Vita at some point this year, and is even set to come with a cross-console multiplayer mode allowing you to wield exploding animals with a friend. I have to say that I personally enjoyed the game, despite never actually having played on a Playstation 4 before. The controls are pretty simple once you get a grasp of them, so there’s no worrying about complex control schemes, and it provides endless entertainment sending these adorable fluffy animals on their explosive paths to save eggs from the Aliens. It may sound a little crazy, but don’t knock it until you’ve had a chance to try it! You can keep up to date with Super Exploding Zoo on their official website.