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Is There Any Skill to OMG HD Zombies?
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on November 04, 2013   |   Episode 48 (Show Archive)  

"I don't know what it is about OMG Zombies (or the similar Infectonator) that I like. Maybe that they're 'veg' games. No skill required. That's no being smug, either. There is NO SKILL to OMG Zombies. Doing well is 100% based on luck, random placement, and chaos. But it's fun!" -IndieGamerChick
Could it be that one of this year's most enjoyable games requires absolutely no skill?

This seems to be what Catherine Vice (aka Indie Gamer Chick) thinks of OMG HD Zombies, Laughing Jackal's newest game for the PS Vita. Despite giving the game a glowing review, the curmudgeonly critic seems to be under the impression that no skill is required. Could it be that your score has more to do with enemy placement and exploding barrels than a well-aimed shot?

Intrigued by her assertion, I set out to determine once and for all if OMG HD Zombies really is about nothing more than dumb luck. Join me as I use math and science to either confirm or debunk Catherine's compelling quandary.

The Rules: In order to be fair to OMG HD Zombies, I chose five levels with entirely different layouts and zombie types. I performed twenty attempts per level; ten blind shots (where I looked away from the screen) and ten aimed (how I would normally play). I counted up each kill and kept a list, averaging the shots together to come to a consensus. All tests were performed under the best conditions possible, which includes a fully leveled-up character.

Level 17: Swimming Pool

This early stage is fairly typical of what you can expect from OMG HD Zombies. There are three large groups of zombies in this stage, but each is separated from one another. The first group is safely trapped in a swimming pool. Just above the pool is a fenced area, which holds a few walkers away from the general population. These three sections hold a total of 122 zombies; a mix of bilous and zappers.

Outcome: I was immediately surprised by how many zombies I was able to kill in a single shot. My bullet ate through 36 zombies the first time, 38 the second and 63 on try three. When I killed 47 walkers on my fourth random shot, I was worried that Catherine was right, OMG HD Zombies really was little more than luck.

It was on my fifth random shot when I realized that not every touch hit a zombie. I poked my PS Vita, but nothing happened. I worried that my finger may have delayed on the screen too long on my first attempt, so I tried touching the same exact spot. Still nothing. This resulted in zero zombie kills, a problem that would show up several more times before I was done.

Despite that big goose egg on the fifth attempt, most of my random shots hit their mark and cleared large chunks of the stage. Ignoring the zero, I had a range of 36 to 64 zombies killed. Not bad for a single bullet. This averages out to 43 zombies killed, which is a third of the total baddies in the level.

As you might have guessed, none of my aimed shots missed. I was able to line up all ten shots and take down exactly who I wanted, leading to a range of 43 to 113. The chart shows that some of the shots were on par with the random attempts, but overall I got more out of my turns when I knew who I aiming at. The average was 68.2 zombies killed per shot, 25 more than the random shots.

Level 42: Redfield A&E Hospital

The second stage we visited was the local hospital, which just happens to be named after a Resident Evil character. Unlike stage 17, the zombies in this location are free to roam the entirety of the screen. It's an especially deadly mix of 63 police, solider and bilious zombies. Nobody is going to make it out of this alive.

Outcome: With the soldier zombies around, I figured I would have no problem taking out most of the horde with my random shots. The first shot seemed to bear this out, as I killed all but 15 flesh-eaters. Unfortunately, the second shot didn't connect. Before my ten shots were up, I had a roller coaster experience that ranged from only 1 death all the way up to 54.

My aimed shots were much more reliable, as I was always able to start a chain reaction. While I had hit the right types of zombies in my blind attempts, many of them were facing the wrong direction to maximize the chain reaction. With the exception of one terrible go, my shots stayed well above the blind test. Unfortunately, with that terrible attempt the range is from 2 up to 62.

Much like level 17, I was able to clear out one-third of the zombies with blind shots. And as you might have guessed, that's not the only statistic that is similar to level 17. In this stage I was able to kill an average of 21.8 zombies per blind shot, significantly lower than my average 39.3 kills when properly aiming. That's a difference of 17.5 walkers, on par with what we saw in the last stage.



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