Garage-Bad Trip Review: B Movie, A Game

Garage-Bad Trip is a Switch exclusive top down horror twin stick shooter developed by Zombie Dynamics and published by TinyBuild. Heavily inspired by B-movie horror films of the VHS era, the game follows drug dealer Butch as he awakes in the aftermath of an accident in a parking garage, amnesiac and unaware of the monstrosities that have overrun the facility. It’s up to Butch to figure out what happened and put a stop to the mastermind behind the outbreak.

Gameplay is tight in Garage, with precise aiming being a necessity. You’ll find yourself managing ammo and stamina as you shoot and roll to defeat the undead obstacles you face. Enemies are varied, from pesky rats, to standard sprinting zombies, to two headed dogs and more, all dead set on rushing you down. This creates both stress and fear, as enemies can pop out of doors or corners at a moment’s notice. Despite this, Garage never feels unfair. The difficulty is rather forgiving, with checkpoints throughout most levels after obtaining a progression item, and an arsenal that expands gradually with weapons such as axes, handguns, and machine guns. By the late game I felt like I was capable of defeating most obstacles within my path, as long as I reacted fast enough. I do wish however that the game included a mini map of the levels, so that I could find my way better, as most levels involve backtracking which can become frustrating in the late game’s larger levels.

Garage also has an amazing balance of tone, between genuine horror and B-movie humor. The game’s atmosphere is constantly dreadful, filled with sickening colors of yellow and brown, punctuated with red blood. Then as the mood becomes almost suffocating, it lightens up with a ridiculous conversation or story development. Combine this with a screen filter that mirrors classic VHS films, and I always laughed or was fearfully trudging through the next level. Small details can be found in televisions and journals found scattered throughout the levels, each told through a different perspective, they help flush out the larger story outside of the character dialogue. This helps make the game stand out from other zombie games on the market, because it’s a more lively take on the undead which kept me engrossed until the finale.

Garage-Bad Trip is a remarkable twin stick shooter. It’s precise, it has a wonderful presentation, and most of all it’s fun. Throughout my roughly ten hours spent, I found myself afraid and laughing simultaneously. While it may not take itself too seriously, it definitely shouldn’t be missed.

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