Explore a randomly generated Galaxy populated with factions, enemies, missions, and items providing you with a unique experience each time you play.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,410 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 15, 2011

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Recommended By Curators

"Very fun, very arcady....though dieing can be extremly costly. This game is a soft grind, doing repeatable type quests while painting a map."

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September 8

SPAZ 2 is in the works!

Hi everyone,

Thanks to your overwhelming support for SPAZ, we have now been working on a sequel for the past 2 years. We have made a lot of changes due to player input and our own growth as designers. SPAZ 2 really will be an entirely new experience but in a familiar universe. We are hoping to release SPAZ 2 in the spring of 2015.

Please tell us what you think. Your feedback makes a huge difference!

41 comments Read more


“The developers are planning to continue expanding the game in the future, but why wait? It's already great now…”
9/10 – Atomic Gamer
“But suffice to say Space Pirates and Zombies isn't just a grand open-world space action RPG in the tradition of Star Control. It's also a rare expression of zombies that belongs alongside Dead Rising and Atom Zombie Smasher.”
A – Gameshark
“It’s a very solid game that is obviously made out of passion and is a great example of the indie renaissance we’ve been experiencing lately. In my opinion, it’s one of the best things that $15 can buy.”
90/100 – RTS Guru

About This Game

At its core, Space Pirates and Zombies is an action based, skill oriented, top down space combat game. It’s similar to the ones we knew and loved in years past, but now using full physics simulation and modern graphics for those oh so pretty explosions. But as you dig deeper, SPAZ becomes much more.
Instead of flying a single ship, you are in charge of an ever growing and evolving fleet, unlocking the rich tactical elements of SPAZ, all accessed at the touch of a button. Issue orders, change ships, apply fleet AI settings, all on the fly. At any moment the battle can change, and the Tactics Panel gives you the tools to make the battle turn in your favor.
As a layer on top of the action and tactics, we have a detailed technology and levelup system akin to what you would expect from an RPG. Learn to build new ships by destroying your enemies. Explore the galaxy to find components, use your hard earned research points to unlock their potential, and then customize every aspect of your new fleet.
Finally, there is the universe in which all this strife and adventure takes place. SPAZ features a persistent randomly generated Galaxy populated with story elements, factions, enemies, missions, items, to provide you with a unique experience each time you play. While you are struggling to survive, uncover the secret of an ever expanding Zombie infestation that spreads by establishing its own real time multi-tiered ecosystem.

Key features:

  • 33 ships to research, build, outfit and pilot.
  • 70 unique components to discover and customize your fleet’s performance.
  • Totally physics based combat system.
  • Fight Zombie infestations, battling a full zombie ecosystem comprising four stages of un-life.
  • Explore a persistent randomly generated galaxy containing hundreds of star systems.
  • Freedom to explore the galaxy and take on challenges at your own pace.
  • Aid, flee, or exploit the warring factions in each star system.
  • The unique event system lets the player change the balance of power in any star system
  • Carefully spend your hard earned research points on hundreds of upgrades across 15 categories.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7/XP/Vista
    • Processor: 2.5 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB Available System Memory
    • Hard Disk Space: 250 MB Available HD Space
    • Video Card: 256MB 3D DirectX 9 Compatible video card
    • DirectX®: 9.0
    • Additional: OpenGL: 3.0
    • 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
Helpful customer reviews
9 of 12 people (75%) found this review helpful
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
Why are space pirates called space pirates? Because they arrr in space
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7 of 9 people (78%) found this review helpful
62.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 4
It's like a very simplistic Mount & Blade game but with spaceships.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
47.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 6
I think the name SPAZ actually make the game seem less than it actually is. The zombie aspect of the game is more like Homeworld Cataclysm than another dumb zombie shooter game. The game itself is very solid and to a point very satisfying with all the ship customization and upgrades available to the player. The little downside is, in my opinion, that it drags on a bit towards the end of the game and tends to be quite repetetive. Nevertheless, I recommend it to anyone who likes solid sci-fi games and doesn't necessarily want all the drama and weight of a AAA title.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
120.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
While I'm a bit late into the game of reviewing SPAZ, writing it anyway couldn't hurt. Space Pirates and Zombies is a action-strategy space shooter with elements of random generation. While you have some control over how random it is, it only serves to increase or decrease the difficulty in the long run.

Gameplay: The gameplay is pretty solid. You pilot your ship around with WASD keys, and shooting your weaponry with the mouse. What makes it special if that you don't point and shoot, but the direction of your ship controls where your shots are. If you place a weapon on the front of your ship, expect it to shoot forward until the higher class ships which have rotating turret mounts that do just that. Even then, anything other than lasers will still need to lead the target, as nothing is hitscan. This makes shooting more skill based.

At the same time, you have to pilot your ship to avoid incoming shots from enemy ships. This ends up leading to dog fight type scenarios where you and your opponent are dodging around each other trying to get a shot in. This is where a lot of the enjoyment of the game is, since a lot of battles will be decided on whether or not you can out-maneuver the AI, especially on higher difficulties when the enemies become too strong to kill in a head-on fight.

As you kill enemies, you can pick up orbs of Data to level up and gain research points. The tech tree is nothing complex, since it is mostly just a direct % increase in damage and other stats for each weapon or ship subsystem. This is however needed, since more powerful versions of equipment are unusable until you level up that system. But before you can even equip something, you must acquire the blueprints of each item. Naturally, higher level equipment requires more blueprints, which can be obtained by the faction bases. Either buy from them, or blow it up and loot the charred remains of the base, if you can.

The Bounty Hunter system adds in some extra challenge to the mix, if you choose to allow them to spawn. Killing enemies within their territory increases the bounty on your head. Eventually, if left unchecked, the hunters will come after you in an attempt to collect that bounty. The higher your bounty, the higher the chance. You also have the chance to be extorted on the way out of one of their systems. Failure to pay and you'll need to fight them off. You'd think this would increase your bounty further, but instead gives you respect, which lowers the bounty. If the bounty falls into the negative, you start to gain respect points. This acts as a buffer before you will start accumulating a bounty, and ensures you won't be attacked until you drain all of your respect.

Another way to gain respect, as well as money and Data, is to fight in arena matches set up by the hunters. As you progress, harder challenges are unlocked, each with 3 difficulties. If you want to avoid ambushes every are or two, you may want to take advantages of these arena matches. They can even be repeated for a lesser reward if you are out of fresh fights. And if you really have no other option, you can pay your bounty off yourself. As a whole, this system adds more challenge to the game, which is welcome when not playing on the highest difficulty.

There's much more to gameplay, but I don't wish to drag on. So I'll end with one major flaw I found, and that mostly comes with the late game. If you fail to kill one of the smallest ships but weakened it to critical health, it will flee. For several thousand feet. If you don't switch to a small ship of your own that is just as fast, it will get away, and you'll spend minutes at a time waiting for it to come back. This becomes a huge pace breaker, and sometimes even causes you to be put in more difficult situations in the late game, when enemies can spawn just by you staying in an area for long. Maybe if they would retreat from battle, leaving the area entirely, this wouldn't be an issue.

Story: The setting is that of a far future, and space travel has advanced to that of colonizing other star systems. This is mostly thanks to the currency of the game, Rez. This subtance is mined from deposits floating in space to craft vessels. In order to become rich, many set off to mining colonies to gather as much Rez as they can. Legend also has it, there is a grand deposit in the center of the universe. This deposit is what our protagonists are looking for. The only problem is getting there. Warp gates between star systems are guarded by the UTA, the police space force, essentially. Not only this, but the grand warp gates to the planets near the center are locked down tight. A nice twist comes in the zombie part of the title, which you discover upon finally reaching these center systems. I'd elaborate, but I don't wish to spoil it.

Graphics: I care very little for graphics as long as they are serviceable. Meanwhile, SPAZ has great graphics. Each ship looks nice, if simple at times, and the lighting is bright and colorful.

Sound: The music of the game mostly boils down to ambient noise, but there are a few tracks here or there that are enjoyable. Cutscenes are also narrated by TotalBiscuit, who does a fine enough job. Though even he says he did terribly, and it is clear enough that he could have done better if he tried. The sound effects are all well and good, meanwhile. Each weapon has its own shot sound effects, and the sounds of another ship being hit are clear to hear. But after awhile, hearing the pew pew pews of the game gets old.

Overall, the game is a terrific time. It serves as a challenge when it needs to, and is just pure fun to shoot stuff in space. I'd recommend this to anyone who thinks they might enjoy this when shown any gameplay.
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10 of 18 people (56%) found this review helpful
67.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
Концепт у этой игры замечательный: вы странствуете по огромной галактике на персональном космическом корабле, боретесь с пиратами и зомби, выполняете миссии, собираете ресурсы и прокачиваете технологии. На имеющиеся технологии и ресурсы можно строить космические корабли - сначала один-два, потом больше - которые будут воевать за вас сами, или же вы можете управлять ими вручную. Этакий Master of Orion, только в экшен-антураже и с одной тактикой вместо стратегии.

Но вот воплощение немного хромает. Потому что разных миссий не так много, фракций всего три, а все системы уж очень похожи друг на друга. Я ещё по глупости поставил огромную галактику, и все технологии разнесло _так_ широко, что их найти - уже нетривиальная задача, потому что от одной системы с нужной технологией до другой приходится пролететь 4-5 "пустых" систем. А учитывая, что на каждую систему приходится тратить ресурсы, чтобы выправить отношения с местными (или автоматические полёты сквозь систему будут невозможны), а потом же нужно фармить эти самые ресурсы, чтобы хватило на следующую систему, ооо... Игра получается до-олгая и ну-удная.

Но вот если не гнаться за гигантизмом и действовать побыстрее - будет очень мило и хорошо, как по мне.
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
As a game inspired by Star Control, it desperately, desperately needs controller support. Instead it uses awkward mouse-aim + WASD in a top-down game, and ten hours in I haven't seen any ship or weapon that really takes advantage of that.

Speaking of ships and weapons, there isn't a wild diversity in either - you pick a size of ship, decide whether you want the slightly faster one or the one with slightly more weapons, and kit it out with variations on lasers, projectiles, and homing projectiles. Bombs are basically big missiles with long cooldowns, and fighters are just missiles that fire more often. Combine this with a tech system that results in weapons/systems you don't use much being typically weaker, and the game at hour ten feels very much like the game at hour one. Point your ship at the other ship and hold down both mouse buttons.

The great big open starmap looks good until you realize the only real variant from system to system is the level of enemy ships and the presence or absence of bounty hunters, which seem to exist primarily as arena locations and also as another way to slow down the player by putting bounties on their heads. The missions in a level 1 sector are the same as the ones in a level 35 sector.

The in-game chatter is terribly repetitive after only a few hours, though it can be turned off.

So yeah, kind of a dull game.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
115.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 18
Overall a great game.

Personally, I like to play games while I drink (hey, it keeps the replayability factor up when I forget :-P), watch Netflix and BS with buddies. This game is great for that in the sense that I can step away from it while it's running and not come back to a dead toon or missed out on something extremely important. Also (bonus points) if I get a little too far gone, chances are good that I again didn't miss something that I can't look back on the log to figure out what happend. I think this game may have been made specifically for me.

I love leveling up. I love keeping an eye on resources. I love the discovery aspect. I love upgrading and discovering new weapon/ship models. Oh and there's a fun storyline with multiple characters. The best part is that each one of them are friggin pricks! I hate dainty little do-gooders when it's a universe they just wouldn't survive in. Every character I've come across in this game thus far has been such a friggin @sshole and I love it!

I can't wait until SPAZ 2 comes out if it's anything like the original!

Play it, or don't. No one likes you anyway.
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2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
This game is... weird. I'll recommend it, but ONLY if this is your type of game. I really like the premiss and everything of it, but the only problem is that... well, SPAZ never really hooked me. I really feel like it'll get much more intiguing if I continue playing it, but so far it just hasn't given me any big reason to do so.

Like I said, I'd recommend it if it's up your alley. Maybe it just wasn't up mine.
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
15.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
The style and idea behind this game are appealing, but the game is made unpleasant by several glaring design flaws.

You only ever seem to have around 3 ships to control at once. That doesn't really give you much in the way of tactical options. You're frequently put into situations where you go up against way more ships than that, so it feels strange to have only one large ship and two small ships and be expected to feel like you're being strategic/tactical.

The issue with the tactical options is compounded by the need to grind a lot to have weapons strong enough to take on foes of a given tech level. The damage system is interesting, you have shields, then armor, then hull. Beams are strong against shields, cannons are strong against armor, and launchers are strong against hull. However, according to the DEVS THEMSELVES, a good strategy is to only focus on upgrading one of beams/cannons. What was the point of the damage model if you're just going to suggest people not worry about trying to match up the correct weapon based on the situation of the enemy ships? Because I didn't know about this, I was getting to the point where most of my time was spent grinding to at least 1.5x the tech level of the enemies I would go against. It seems like the designer didn't really think about how the damage and tech level system really affected the fun of the gameplay.

There's a lot of time spent just doing repetitive mission types over and over again to get data so you can level up your tech. It gets old after awhile, even though there's a decent variety of mission types, once you play a certain type once, it isn't really fun to play it again. The only thing to keep you going is a desire to progress through the story or feel like you're "being productive", but really you're just doing the same stuff over and over again. It doesn't make for very fun gameplay.

The whole idea of the Bounty Hunters is also an issue. Bounty Hunters in space is really thematically appropriate, but the way it's implemented in this world just adds unpleasant busy work. Every time you do missions you accrue "bounty". Whenever you jump, if your bounty is high enough and your near a bounty hunter lair, you'll be attacked by powerful ships and probably will have to reload a save. The only way to get rid of bounty is to go to a lair and pay them, or complete "arena challenges" which net you some Rez and relieve some bounty. The arena challenges are very fun, but I frequently found myself in a situation where I had maxed out my Rez so I just had to pay a bunch of money and never really felt a reason to play the challenges. It's just a resource sink without much fun behind. If it was possible to beat bounty hunters when they attacked you I would consider this fixed. There's plenty of other ways it could be improved, of course.

Other than that, there's just lots of little annoyances throughout the game that indicate a lack of polish. One petty example is that, on escort missions, the ship you are escorting might have cloaking, but will be invisible to you, which makes it difficult to tell where you need to be. Escort missions have other problems, like the behavior of the escorted ship (it will sometimes go in the opposite direction, won't follow you, etc...). This is just one example of a minor design issue. There's others; like the heavy reliance on saving and loading (breaking immersion and breaking up the flow of the gameplay).

Overall, it's insulting to Mound and Blade to call this game "Mount and Blade in Space". Mount and Blade lacks a lot of the issues that make SPAZ unpleasant (after a few hours of playing). Unlike games like Mount and Blade, I just never feel like I'm becoming more powerful. I don't feel like I'm interacting with the galaxy because all the solar systems are very closed off from each other.

If you're looking for a game that actually gives you a sense of strategy, tactics, and power, you should look into Starsector (formerly Starfarer), which is currently playable though in-development. I think it does a better job of providing the sort of experience this game was trying to provide.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
11.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
A 2d Eve Online meets Subspace meets...Asteroids?

Game took a little bit to grab me, but it's loads of fun.
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2 of 6 people (33%) found this review helpful
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
The name says it all. Space pirates and zombies. What else do you need?
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
76.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 11
Trully awesome! :D
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
Its fun,.
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
30.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
is gud game
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
58.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
very fun! challenging!
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
112.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Despite being a solid game the usage of Green-Yellow-Red makes this game a nightmare to play if you have the corresponding colorblindness.
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0 of 5 people (0%) found this review helpful
40.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 24
can someone help me mod this
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53.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
Fun balance of tactics and strategy. Potential for very rewarding battles on smaller maps. Can become a bit of a grind on larger maps (>200 stars).
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119.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
A fun game with ships and explosions. Fly around and blow stuff up and do some missions to progress along. Gets a little grindy in the later parts of the game trying to get new ships and tech, but still a fun game.
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