Introduction to the Game
Space Pirate and Zombies (most commonly known as just S.P.A.Z) is one of the most popular space based indie games in the past three years. It is a top down shooter game which takes place in futuristic space with a role-playing real time strategy play style. It is known for it's large randomly generated galaxies and the ability to customize your own fleet of ships.
For any fans of Escape Velocity series from Ambrosia Software, Inc. this game is right up your alley and if you are like me and grew up play EV: Nova then you're going to like what you find when playing S.P.A.Z.
S.P.A.Z. has a lot of grinding as you run around the galaxy eradicating pirates and zombies alike while collecting upgrades for your ships. You are the commander of your own fleet of ships (the number grows throughout the game) with the ability to customize your ships making them quicker, tankier, or stronger. Whenever you jump into a system and are faced with bad guys trying to kill you you're able to command the fleet to do whatever is needed, while you get to fly around in one ship of your choice.
While the story is prevalent the need to explore the galaxy isn't motivated by finishing the story, but more the need to find stronger upgrades for your fleet and the accomplishment of exploring the entire galaxy. There are more ship combinations than you'll ever need, but it's fun to create your fleet and see how it fairs in a more offensive or defensive build.
The game play can feel a bit repetitive as you have the same kind of fights in almost every system, but this gets a few shakes here and there as you meet stronger and more varied enemies and need to adjust your strategies and fleet.
As long as you go into the game wanting to fly around in space and making things blow up in a spectacular way then this game is right for you.
With S.P.A.Z being developed by a small studio I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the graphics in this game. Since S.P.A.Z is a top down shooter you won't be finding stunning 3D rendering anywhere in this game, but this is not a bad thing as battles in near-endless space are complicated enough. You can tell from the first ships you get to fly around that the level of details is amazing, and you'll only notice that if you can look away from the always colorful background. Obviously the developers loved making this game, and added fun signs and debris floating in the background with messages such as "speed limit - 57000 MPH". Each weapon has a different graphic, and every battle is a like a rave with the varied colors, flashing lights, and bodies floating around.
This is a simple game, and my old Mac Pro (Mid 2010) had no problem running it. The basic requirements listed on steam are as follow:
- OS: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later
- Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (1.8GHz or better)
- Memory: 1 GB RAM
- Hard Disk Space: 500 MB Free Space
Final Review and Numbers
- Easy fun without the need to invest hours of your time to get into it
- Runs smoothly and has great visuals and audio
- Millions of possibilities with ship building
- Pirates and Zombies
- Not a riveting story line
- A little pricey unless on sale
- Graphics: 3.5/5
- Fun: 4/5
- Storyline: 3/5
- Gameplay: 5/5
I would highly recommend buying this game when you can grab it on sale on Steam. It normally goes for $9.99, but it can easily be found for less than $2.00 during any given steam sale. The hours of fun gameplay it has given me has been beyond worth it at that price.