Zombie Run

Sure, you can run, but will you look this fashionable in the apocalypse?
You've heard of 5ks, 10ks, marathons and half-marathons, and maybe you've even heard of Obstacle Races and Spartan Runs and the Tough Mudder challenges. But have you heard of Zombie Runs?

It was only a matter of time, as zombies became a cultural icon outside of just films, books, and videogames, that people started to take thier zombie love onto the streets, and as running challenges began to become more and more profitable and popular, that someone would combine the too.

Zombie Runs are a relatively new phenomenon that I've seen popping up in major cities over the next few years (our home city of Calgary is home to one such Zombie Run called 'Zombie Survivor' kicking off at the end of July 2014) and it sounds like a lot of fun.

Basically combining a normal 5k or 10k race with elements of tag, game-playing, and obstacles, Zombie Runs see participants run a race filled with actors and volunteers playing the part of slow and fast zombies, whose goal is generally to tag a runner or steal a flag or object off of their belt. Similar to the Zombie weeks that have been held at a lot of major universities lately, hundreds to thousands of zombie lovers really get into the action with full costumes, prosthetics, make-up, and (occasionally) decent acting skills.

For those who can't make it to a zombie run or don't feel quite as social, zombie running apps are gaining popularity to as part of the gamification movement; you put these games on your cell as you run and they track your location and implicate you in some kind of story of scenario that you have to run to complete. Running can be hard sometimes, and things like this can give you that nice little extra push to eek out a few more minutes from your aching legs.

Dead Pixels: The Perfect Thoughtless Zombie Shooter

Dead Pixel's isn't the most amazing or innovative  game of all time, but it's damn fun and it does perfectly what it set outs to do; namely, let you shoot zombies with a variety of weapons in a cute-yet-gory range of levels.

The basic game has you trying to make it a few dozen blocks to a Safezone, dodging and dealing death to hordes of zombies in your way. There are a bunch of weapons, at first following the usual handgun/shotgun/rifle set-up but there are far more interesting weapons at the higher difficulties and in the bonus campaigns.

You raid unlocked houses for weapons, ammo, and scrap, and buy new equipment and upgrades from stores that generally occur once or twice per level.

I honestly didn't expect to play this very long, but I ended up playing through to the end on my first time, and then coming back again the next day. Ammo is scarce, especially in the start, and the different weapon types use different kinds, so knowing when to use your handgun and when to use your shotgun becomes a constant juggling act. There isn't a lot of enemy variety but just enough to keep you on your toes, always trying to decide which gun would work best vs which ones you actually have ammo for. Zombies drop the coins you need to get more supplies, but they disappear pretty fast, so you often need to rush in and dance through the masses to get your reward for your kills; or carefully line them up and pull out your high-penetration rifle for a multiple head-shot.

It's this finely-tuned gameplay that makes Dead Pixels actually one of the better indie/small team zombie games I've ever played. Sure, there's a lot that could have been added to the game, but what is there is actually quite fun and scratches that arcade-zombie-shooter itch nicely.

Organ Trail: The Hellish Bleakness of Survival in a Zombie Apocalypse

My fingers are crossed. Our car battery broke down in the middle of nowhere in the Midwest, and no help is coming. A thief made off with our spare, and after waiting for hours and scavenging what scrap we could we've cobbled together enough to give us a sliver of a chance to fix it.

It's a chance we'll have to take. My best friend's been bitten, barely clinging to life, and if we don't get moving soon and find him some medkits he'll turn, and I'll have to shoot him before that can happen. We have a long way to go, but we've come too far and time is running out.

Organ Trail: The Director's Cut, made by game studio The Men Who Wear Many Hats, captures one aspect of the zombie apocalypse very well; namely, that it would be a hellish slog, full of endless tension and struggle, ending with certain violent death. (Or is that just life?)

It's the kind of game that you kind of dread playing, but then as soon as you're in it you can't escape. It moves slowly, and you hold your breathe every second waiting for the next horrible thing to happen.

A loving knock-off of Oregon Trail with Commodore 64 era graphics that are as perfect as they are crude and simple, Organ Trail really took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting much, but my first play-through lasted almost two hours of constant tension and unrelenting stress.

Gameplay, like in it's more educational predecessor, consists of naming a group of survivors and then slowly plodding along, from one side of the US to the other, encountering constant events and making sure to manage supplies and deal with illness. In Oregon Trail, you ford rivers and hunt game and trade supplies; In Organ Trail, you maneuver through zombie hordes and fight off bandits and biker gangs and try to keep your station wagon in working order.

It's relatively expansive; the range of weather events and upgrade options and encounters kept things fresh, and the shooting mechanics, which consist of you aiming in reverse, manage to keep excitement high as it's easy to fumble and miss when zombies (or zombie bears) are bearing down on you. I did wish for more variety in the scavenging missions, however; so much of the game depends on you scavenging often for money, food, and scrap, both to keep yourself alive and to trade, that it really starts to wear on you playing essentially the same mini-game over and over again. But in all honesty, it fits the theme; one of constant, unending, hellish struggle through a world gone mad. In that sense, I'd say it's one of the best and most interesting zombie games I've ever played.

10 Awesome Zombie Movie Posters

I'm a sucker for a cool poster, and while zombie movies traditionally aren't all that well known on this particular front, every now and then one comes out that makes me drool over it like a brain hungry monster in a preschool at nap-time.

10. La Horde (The Horde)

The Horde isn't out yet, but it's hotly anticipated. The trailer looks awesome, and the french have really stepped up their horror game. It's too soon to know for sure, but La Horde looks good.\

(Note from 2014: This movie did come out, and it was awesome.)

9. Deadgirl

I admire it's balls- this is perhaps the single most unsubtle poster I have ever seen.
Anyone with half a brain knows exactly what this movie is going to be about.

Deadgirlis a delightedly deranged, very different zombie movie: which, like all great zombie movies, uses the zombies as a metaphor for something more real and relate-able.

8. Dawn of the Dead

Though a bit awkward looking from a design perspective, there's something about this poster that's just powerful, chilling, and cool. I like the zombie head so much I used it early designs of this website (if it's not still up there now.)

The Twenty-Five Best Zombie Movies

We just published our list of the best zombies movies ever made.

What do you think?

Zombies! Zombies! Zombies!?


Most zombie movies just straight up suck, and this is one of them.

Basically an even lamer knock-off of the already deritative, yet fun, Zombie Strippers, Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! has nothing going for it but a name that is a lot of fun to say out loud.

Seriously, there is absolutely nothing redeeming about this film. I'm not even going to waste my time talking about it. I wasted enough of my life watching it.

Run, don't walk, as far away as possible.

Zombie Driver

Zombie Driver is a refreshingly different take on the standard zombie genre, shifting the standard run-and-gun game play to a car, introducing physics, and widening the map to a whole city.

Throughout the Campaign mode, the player is tasked with completing certain objectives around the city- usually, rescuing people and bringing them back to the military base.

Power-ups scattered around the level heal you, give you bonuses, and refuel whatever weapon you might have equipped- there are several, but each vehicle can only mount one at a time.

Between missions you can upgrade your cars with various upgrades- speed, armor, ram-ability, as well as upgrading the strength, spread, and ammo count of your various weapons.

Luckily, for a game entitled Zombie Driver, they got the feeling of driving right. Zooming around the city, hand braking around corners and wiping out stacks of zombies is a lot of fun.

You can't just plow into a horde of zombies either- the resistance of their bodies will eventually slow you down, allowing them to crowd around you and rip your car to pieces.
Special zombies add a bit more variety to the proceedings- hulking tank zombies can knock your car clean apart, trash zombies hurl debris as your car as you pass by. 

Zombie Driver is a solid, fun game, and a good change of pace from usual fare. It's not brilliant, but I'd say it's easily worth it's low price tag.