Hi, everyone. It's time that I stuck my proverbial nose where it doesn't belong. I am Mike Renner, known to a great lot of you as Tseng, and a select few of you as "that fucking asshole, Tseng". I'm taking Kracken's place for writing Classic Game of the Month, since she's ill, and I happened to be online at the time. Insomnia works wonders, I always say. I'll STRESS that I am not Kracken. She uses much bigger words than I.
Now, choosing Classic Game of the Month is an easy process for me. I just look at what's chosen, then choose something else. Something that deserves it. Most people who will see this game on CGotM will think that it's Kracken's call, and she's giving this to Nadir because they're all loveydovey. In truth, she just gave me the reigns to pick what I wanted. It's a game that's been constantly emulated (I know I've tried it), but never duplicated.
Lebensraum was it.
Nadir's always had a handle on fun ZZT games. I go on record in saying that Dragon Woods was awesome, as was Blue Moon, the Fucking Egg Games (the one thing Testa ever left me with that I still use to this day is that name), and Untitled. Lebensraum is the epitome of the ZZT action game, essentially a game that allows you to run around and shoot without abandon. You are Jim Cowvitz, and you are a prisoner in a Nazi camp. Obviously, you greatly annoyed someone up there and now you're in the physical equivilant of listening to Hanson on full blast with about fifty Hanson-hating spectators around you, armed with rotten eggs.
The game drops you right in the middle of a Nazi camp, and obviously, unless you have some sort of deathwish, you have to go escapies. It's similar to going to the bathroom, except that you're going to make the Nazis wet their pants. So you take what I can only assume to be a machine gun and you begin turning your enemies into a bloody form of swiss cheese. This game would be banned by animal's rights activists, since you also get to shoot dogs. Isn't this a lovely game?
The AI of the enemies involved is rather simple and effective, as the enemies often move *just* before your bullet strikes them, which will annoy the hell out of you. There's a sufficent ammount of ammunition around to get the job done, and it's one hell of a job to get done.
But if all I were to talk about are the intricates of the game's fighting, itself, it would get boring. In the game, you don't know what's behind a door until you actually open it. Once you open it, the details of the room show up. Maybe a rug, a Nazi flag, suits of armor, and, of course, the enemies. This also works for around the corner, and Zenith took a ludicrous amount of detail to do this.
But if you think THAT'S the gist of the game, you're sadly mistakened. Zenith has also taken the time to add secret rooms in all of the levels in the game, hidden from view of the player. It allows more playability of the game, allowing you to play to your heart's content, especially with the four different difficulty levels.
If there's one problem with the game, it's the fact that Zenith began to run out of memory after finishing the third level, and thus, he had to attach the ending. With a rivet gun. To make it up for everyone, he *laughs evilly* included a little bonus game where I, Tseng, got to kill everyone in #darkdigital.
Okay, so I have a soft spot for the fact that I get to shoot Vampy/Jawatrader. SUE ME.
But all in all, Lebensraum is one of the BEST action games you'll ever play, filled with secrets and shooting action, and with four difficulty levels, a novice or an expert can play Lebensraum. It's a game that will kick nine hundred different kinds of ass and still have a line of asses around the corner to kick.