Fans of the Resident Evil series will know that zombies come in all shapes and sizes, although they won't have encountered a zombified granny hurling undead cats, until now that is.
Feline-slinging octogenarians are just one of the many hilarious enemies facing the adolescent heroes in Monster Madness: Grave Danger; an action adventure that provides more laughs than shocks. The game's four teenage protagonists - a nerd, a goth, a skateboarder and a cheerleader - must slash, shoot and drive their way through a horde of invading monsters using whatever weapons they find along the way. Traffic cones, lawnmowers, chainsaws, American football helmets and practically anything else found lying around can be used to dispatch the werewolves, witches and maniacal clowns that rise from the earth.
Each character has their own signature melee weapon, such as axes, swords or batons, and by collecting building materials and befriending Larry Tools, the player can unlock home-made weapons, such as a pair of nail-guns, a water pistol flame-thrower and a defibrillator. Larry can also provide you with items that increase the power of attacks, the speed of your character, reload times and much more.
With so many different enemies coming at you and the huge arsenal of weapons on offer, gameplay is frenetic and varied, requiring constant switching between close and long range attacks to clear a path through the dozens of monsters swarming the screen. Vehicle sections also add variety and, in keeping with the rest of the game, they are outlandish - an early level puts you in control of a swan-shaped pedal boat and a rocket launcher as a zombie pirate ship attacks.
Level design is one of Monster Madness: Grave Danger's great strengths, and the cartoon-like graphics, depicting classic locations such as suburban streets and high school gymnasiums, capture the look and feel of old American B-movies; a style that is also present in the quirky humour that drives the action.
Playing through Adventure mode in single player is fantastic fun, and the game really comes into its own when played co-operatively with friends. Up to four people can join forces, either offline or online, each controlling one of the game's four characters, increasing the mayhem and making the tougher difficulty settings more manageable.
There are also competitive multiplayer modes, such as Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, as well as 25 brilliant mini-games. These include Zombie Dance-off, a rhythm action game where you must press buttons in time with the music to keep the undead dance floor moving; Slice N' Dice, where your character runs on a treadmill and must jump over saw blades; a baseball game where you must hit a skull out of the park using a thigh bone; and many other outlandish challenges. Not only are they a lot of fun, completing them unlocks new outfits in Adventure mode.
Monster Madness: Grave Danger is an accessible, action packed paranormal adventure, full of charm and humour. Its huge, diverse levels and challenging Adventure mode offer hours of gameplay, and the brilliantly designed mini-games complete the package. Four-player co-operative play is the cherry on the icing, providing frenetic fun either offline or online.