Monday, November 19, 2012

Game of the Day - Zunzunkyou No Yabou

Sorry to disappoint you, but Zunzun is NOT the last MAME arcade game alphabetically - that distinction goes to Zzyzzyxx.  Zunzun is a fun, more modern take on Space Invaders or Galaga in that it is a vertical shooter where you tackle one screen at a time (no scrolling).  It's goofy and fun and challenging, with graphics that prove that Meth was popular in the early 90s.

You shoot at many different types of enemies, but most are human(oid). Dancers and knights and Buddhas and all types of cartoonized weird things.  There are some differences in the game play from Space Invaders...

1.  You can move your avatar in all directions, not just left & right.

2.  The enemies swirl and dive from all around in every direction and often times attack you from underneath.

3.  The enemies come in waves - just when you think you've cleared the screen, more appear.

4.  The game is split into stages and levels. Several stages that are themed together make up each level.

5.  At the end of each level (approx every 4 stages) there is a boss who tries to fuck you up bad.

6.  Even before the boss, many of the enemies take more than one hit to vanquish.  Some humans first turn to skeletons, then hit them again and they die.

7.  You have a second weapon, a bomb.  It is operated by button 2 and causes a weird psychedelic effect on the screen and blows (most) everything up.

8.  There are power-ups (more bombs, shields, double shot,etc).

Okay, so that's a lot of differences from how Space Invaders plays, but the biggest difference is the wild and goofy graphics and the aggressiveness and difficulty of the enemies.

Easy to learn and quick to play, Zunzunkyou No Yabou has earned its right to have you pronounce its full name (if you can).


  1. As somebody who clearly loves stats I wonder what your opinion is on the lack of GOTD entries for the year 1990 when said year is surrounded by 2 years with a large number of GOTD titles (1989 with 23 and 1991 with 21, your 2nd and 3rd highest)

    Would you say there was a dip in quality for 1990, or you simply haven't covered many games you love from that year?

  2. Two good points: Yes, I love data and yes, it seems that there was a glut of good games released in 1990. Since I find games somewhat randomly (mostly poke around arbitrarily, but alphabetically if anything), and I never look by year, it seems reasonable to assume that there were just less good games released that year. Early years (<1982) are under-represented because I don't do popular games like Donkey Kong, Joust, etc - but that doesn't really apply to 1990. In fact, your suggestion calls for a graph!!! Maybe post it in the next day or two.