Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel Without a Pulse is a re-release of the 2005 cult classic. Although it looks a little worse for the wear, the core gameplay still holds up. It makes for a rather silly, lighthearted, and fun adventure in a satirical world.
You play as Stubbs the zombie, a rather friendly fellow minus all the brain eating. You go around the futuristic town of Punchbowl, slapping, farting, throwing both your internal organs and arms at anyone who would stand in your way while on your quest for love. Even zombies can suffer from a broken heart…if they have one remaining.
The thing that stands out to me and the reason for why the game still holds up in this present day is the purity of the game design. There are no artificial progress halters where you must grind away for hours to pass a certain part of the game. There are no progress treadmills that give you that slow dopamine drip whenever a meter or bar or number ticks up for all the meaningless busy work you are doing. It’s just the core mechanic of turning people into zombies and the entire game is designed around that. And it’s a pretty fun mechanic at that.
You have many ways to turn people into zombies. You can just attack them, eat their brains when they are in a weakened state, have the turned zombies bring them down, and so on. The game adds in new mechanics such as throwing your guts as a grenade and farting to stun humans in a large area. You can even detach your hand and send it out to go control one human. In addition to the core mechanics being fun, the writing is hilarious in a very goofy and silly way.
Overall, Stubbs the Zombie is a fun game. It does look a bit crusty and feels antiquated but once you start playing you can see the simple and fun game mechanics shine through. It hearkens back to simpler times when the focus was on making games as fun as possible.