Check out the strange Abarenbo Tengu and Zombie Nation

abarenbo tengu & zombie nation boss city connection

Strange Famicom shmups to return next week

Publisher City Connection, in association with developer Empty Clip Studios, has released the first full gameplay trailer for its retro double-pack Abarenbo Tengu & Zombie Nation, which will be available to purchase digitally on PS4, PC, and Nintendo Switch from October 28. Just in time to offer retro gaming fans a solid dose of Halloween weirdness.

As we have previously reported, the twofer will offer fans a new (and in many cases, the first) opportunity to check out two obscure 8-bit shmups: 1990 Famicom release Abarenbo Tengu and its heavily localized 1991 NES release, Zombie Nation.

The player guides a ghostly Tengu mask or a disembodied samurai head, respectively, as they do battle with waves of undead monsters and supernatural beings — intent on enslaving the world through some barely explained form of mind control. While both games went somewhat under the radar in their heyday, they have since found a cult fandom due to their garish visuals, frantic action, and — perhaps most importantly of all — their rampant silliness.

Abarenbo Tengu & Zombie Nation is a straight recreation of both games in their original 8-bit glory, though both titles will include a handful of new features include redefinable controls, save states, a “Rewind” function, and online leaderboards. A Museum Mode will also showcase a gallery of the title’s strange cover artwork and marketing materials.

While hardly stone-cold classics, it’s always neat to see oddities such as these resurrected for modern audiences — for preservation’s sake at the very least. You can check out the mind-bending culture chaos for yourself come October 28.

Chris Moyse
Senior Editor - Chris has been playing video games since the 1980s. Former Saturday Night Slam Master. Graduated from Galaxy High with honors.