Hopefully you’ve made it this far because if you’re anything like me, you’re probably sick to death of the oversaturation of zombies in video games. It seems like just about every game to hit the market lately tries to find some way to incorporate zombies into the mix and the games on the Xbox Live Indie Game market are no different. So, you’re probably wondering why I’d even be covering XBLIG zombie games. Well, as much as it pains me to say it, some of the best games currently available on XBLIG involve zombies in one form or another. I guess with zombies being so abundant there were bound to be a few decent choices among them and here are a few of my favorites.
I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!!1 was the game that introduced me to Xbox Live Indie Games and what kept me coming back. I was amazed with how much fun I got out of $1 and had high hopes for XBLIG because of it (needless to say, that didn‘t quite pan out). The game is a simple twin-stick shooter (much like Geometry Wars) where your only goal is to survive. While it doesn’t do anything to revolutionize the genre, it offers enough variety and addictive gameplay to keep you playing long after your initial purchase. It’s not the kind of game you’re going to play everyday, but you’ll fire it up every few months, get your fix and move on. The theme song is also so amazing that it is worth the price of admission alone.
Zombie Estate is a self-proclaimed “retro-3D shooter” where up to 4 players try to survive 25 waves of zombie hell. The game also features 30 characters to play as and has over 20 weapons available for you to dispose of the massive zombie horde waiting to eat your face. Like I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!!1, Zombie Estate is nothing we haven’t seen before, but for the $1 price tag you can get a decent amount of fun out of it, especially if you have a couple of friends willing to sit down and play with you. If you’re not a fan of wave-based survival games, this probably isn’t for you, but if it sounds like something you’d be into, definitely give it a try.
In I, Zombie, you take the role of the zombie, which is different from any other game on this list. Your goal is simple: infect every human on the map to move on to the next level. As you “recruit” new zombie brethren you can use them to do your dirty work and infect the other humans on the map. The more zombies that make it out alive, the better your score, but you’ll have to watch out for soldiers who are ready to blow your zombie brains out of your skull with no remorse. If you prefer your zombie games with a bit more strategy and puzzle elements, then I, Zombie might be a game worth checking out.
“When the dead start walking, it’s time to run.” That’s the tagline for Dead Pixels and rightfully so because things will go from bad to worse in no time and you’ll be running for your gaming life. You’ll be tasked with trying to get through 20 zombie-filled streets (the number of streets varies depending on difficulty) in order to reach the extraction point and escape to safety. Along the way, you’ll be able to visit various buildings where you can loot items and weapons that can be used to help you get through the horde or sold to a number of different traders along the way. As you acquire money, either from killing enemies or selling loot, you’ll be able to upgrade your character at certain shops, which adds a decent amount of depth to the game that normally isn’t seen in XBLIG games.
While things may start out rather easy in Dead Pixels, later streets will be a test of your skills. Unless you have amazing luck or naturally sick zombie survival skills, it is unlikely to see yourself extracted on your first few runs, so you should get a good number of playthroughs simply trying to complete the game. You’ll also get two pieces of free DLC with your initial purchase as well, which will allow you to play the game in slightly different ways, adding even more to this already great deal. For me, Dead Pixels is the pinnacle of zombie games currently available on XBLIG and is also one of the best games available on the service as a whole. If you only try one game I mentioned on this list, let it be Dead Pixels.