“Zenzizenzizenzic is an obsolete form of mathematical notation representing the eighth power of a number (that is, the zenzizenzizenzic of a number x is the power x8).” Now I know where this game got its name from.
Zenzizenzic is a Bullet hell game by bitHuffel, a 2 man team with one man knowing next to nothing about games design before going ahead at creating this game… Here we go. Breaking into this somewhat niche genre, Zenzizenzic brings the bullet hell genre back into full swing with the screen almost completely comprised of enemy projectiles and ships to dodge and manoeuvre around. But can this game manoeuvre its way into our to-buy list?
There is currently no story in the build released of Zenzizenzic but it does contain up to 4 levels and several different weapons you can unlock through play. The game starts off with an optional tutorial level before setting you off into the bullet filled levels, which are increasingly difficult.
The levels follow a structure of base level > Bonus level > Boss fight, with the bonus level only showing itself if you hit a prerequisite like getting a certain amount of score before ending the base level. The level’s themselves aren’t too long but the time certainly racks up when you repeatedly play a level to get a new highscore or more score to unlock new levels and weapons.
Like most bullet hell games on the internet or on console you control a flying ship and must dodge almost anything on the screen. You move around with the mouse or left thumbstick and fire with left click or right thumbstick, though the firing on controller needs adjusting in the menu to be accurate at all. Besides the basic controls you can also fire off special abilities like a screen length laser, missiles or even a black hole.
Whilst playing in the level you can pick up upgrades that add more bullets and missiles to your basic attack, adding more damage to each hit and the amount of projectiles to hit enemies with. You also obtain a shield that defends you from one hit or can be prematurely trigged to send a shockwave to hurt any nearby enemies. Throughout the level you can pick up grey blocks that add to your special meter and score, you score can then be used to unlock new levels or weapons on the main menu.
OVERALL THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS
The music range in Zenzizenzic is rather small right now, with a song for the title screen and one per level which is enough to tell there is a change but I kind of wish there was a music select for when the one song got too repetitive when you tried for that highscore. However what music is in the game is very appealing with its clean style and techno beats it puts into the levels, with higher octane sounds approaching when you delve deeper into the levels.
While the graphic style is very unique and minimalistic it is sometimes hard to distinguish friendly blocks and enemy ones as I found myself trying to pick up some more score and accidentally mistaking an enemy block for a grey one which meant I took a hit and lost my upgrades. The game relies too much on its colour coding I feel and could do with some more difference in its shapes to help the player know what enemy is what type and how to deal with them along with what items you can pick up or not.
Right now Zenzizenzic looks very interesting but besides that it doesn’t have much on it against other bullet hell games on the market or even on flash game websites like Newgrounds. I do have high hopes for the final release, but the game really needs to be polished more, have more variety in levels and music and generally add more to the main part of the game to warrant a purchase.