When it comes to zombie themed videogames developers have pretty much scrapped the barrel when it comes to ideas, with the undead featuring in virtually every genre imaginable. So when Visual Light announced its take, Throw Anything, it was difficult to imagine what the studio could do differently. Yet the team has, with a quirky wave-based experience that’s fun to play, although its longevity is something of concern.
Taking the pickup and throw comedy gameplay of titles like Job Simulator and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-aility to the extreme, the entire videogame is set inside a succession of rooms in various tower blocks. Stood at the window during a zombie apocalypse, the aim of the game is to stop waves of zombies climbing up the outside of the building and into your room. If they do so then it’s game over.
To stop the zombies in their tracks and knock them to the ground, everyday objects are located inside each room. The first level starts you off in some dudes apartment, with all sorts of items to pick and lob. Depending on the actual size of an item it’ll do different amounts of damage. If you throw a book for example it’ll do a small amount of damage but the zombie will keep climbing. It’s either a case of chucking more books or finding something a bit weightier – a bowling ball works very effectively. Should the undead get too close items such as golf clubs and baseball bats then become particularly effective.
And there’s more to just picking stuff up. Quite a lot of the furniture is destructible plus you get regular postal deliveries which can contain useful items (guns) or useless items (a shoe). Plus latter levels have extra little treasures. The second level is set in an office which has a safe you need to crack to get the heavy gold bars out of, plus there’s a 3D printer which can give you some interesting goodies (bombs anyone?).
With the cartoon graphics and frantic action the premise is fun for a while, getting more intense towards the end of each level when the boss appears and you’ve thrown all the best items away. Yet Throw Anything falls into the same trap that most wave shooters fall into, and that’s repetition, lots and lots of repetition. There may be different zombies to kill and lots of items to use, but at the end of the day you spend most of your time looking out a digital window.
The Early Access release includes five levels with a boss at the end of each. As development continues mid-level bosses are going to be added plus improved zombie AI, however it’s difficult to imagine that this will be enough to vary the gameplay. As is, Throw Anything comes across as a reasonably enjoyable time killer for those that want to spend 20-30 mins in VR.