The Earth has been inundated with mutant food in this quirky title from indie developer, Still Running. You are tasked with battling off the hordes in The Walking Vegetables, gaining upgrades along the way and taking on new areas and bosses. A wacky twin stick shooter that can be played alone or in co-op. There’s plenty to enjoy in this simple, but well-executed game.
The Walking Vegetables places you in a police force tasked with going out and killing vegetables. Some of these vegetables are easy to take down, others have ranged attacks or can burrow to your position. There’s plenty of enemy variation within the hordes that run at you. Enemies will appear near constantly in the open areas and as well as this you can clear out buildings and objective areas to progress through the campaign. Killing enemies provides you with coins and items to use in the shop that is available at points through the campaign. The shop provides you with upgrades during each individual run, but these upgrades do not carry over to the next run. However, you can also unlock skills during play by completing certain challenges. These skills are persistent across the whole game each skill can be acquired over multiple runs. They do not have to be achieved in one go.
The controls can become a little frustrating as the camera can feel a little wild while you move around, but the camera movement can be adjusted to suit individual tastes so this initial irritation can be removed. The movement itself feels smooth and the combat is satisfying. The guns all feel like they have the correct weight behind them and none of the standard enemies feel too overpowered or difficult to defeat. There is a good balance between having some difficulty but also feeling awesome as you carve your way through the hordes.
As well as gaining upgrades through gameplay you can grab different weapons and items during levels. When you clear out buildings you are rewarded with a loot chest that usually contains something interesting, whether it be an alien rifle or a cup of coffee (effects unclear) to throw at your enemies like some kind of high caffeine grenade.
Visually, The Walking Vegetables maintains it’s high octane, horde murdering theme, opting for saturated pixel art that certainly feels inspired by retro arcade games. The onslaught of neon may not be to everyone’s tastes, but it absolutely fits in with the atmosphere of the game, combining its bright colours with lovely animation and amusing character designs. The building designs seem potentially a little simplistic, but occasional rough edges on the graphical front don’t detract from the overall experience that the game provides. The UI design and menu layouts are also clear and easy to navigate.
An excellent soundtrack goes hand in hand with the fun gameplay and blistering visuals. Repetitive electronic beats and synth sounds mash into this wonderful mess to complete the picture. The fast-paced music lends fuel to the sense of urgency and danger while also maintaining the sheer level of quirk that the other elements of the game provide. As well as a great soundtrack the sound design is also very good. The enemy, weapon and effects noises are great, adding another layer to this already well put together title.
With plenty of re-playability and the added potential of blasting through this game with friends, The Walking Vegetables offers a lot of enjoyment for its price tag. Still Running have created an excellent little title that although very simple in its layout and premise, is just pure good fun.