User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 144 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 144

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  1. Aug 16, 2011
    10
    One of the best games I've played in the last 3-5 years and for certain a game that sits somewhere in the best twenty games I've played. And honestly, a game that shares one of twenty seats with timeless classics and extremely fine games such as Star Control, Master of Orion, X-COM, Terra Nova and Battlezone (1998) definitely deserves all these/those praises!
  2. Aug 17, 2011
    10
    You'll absolutely love this gem of a game, not only if you have a long history of gaming like me, going back to C64/Amiga age. It somehow manages to capture the charm of some of the greatest classics like e.g. Asteroids or the Star Control games. It is also a perfect example that a small ambitious team (only 2 guys) with a great idea and a quirky sense of humour can achieve where Multi-Million Dollar Companies often fail. The 2 years of work that went into this product make it feel very solid and polished. The small amount of money you have to invest to get this game are nothing compared to the countless hours of spaceship blasting (pew pew) fun you'll have. Expand
  3. Aug 17, 2011
    10
    The perfect blend of strategy, resource management, tactics and space sim. Right from the start this game throws you in the deep end, but has a very helpful tutorial. The graphics are simplistic but suits this game well. What is very surprising is the A.I. One of the best indie game AI I've seen so far. The AI is very responsive but has some hiccups, but very very little. The voice acting is also good. The only thing that was not too good was the difficult spike, but you get used to it in about 10 minutes. I highly recommend this game for any person who likes a strategy or shooting game. Collapse
  4. Aug 18, 2011
    9
    My only grip about this game would the way your fleet is setup, That being said i picked this game up thinking it would burn a couple hours here and there while im off work for summer and put in 8 hours almost without realizing it on the first day. Very rarely have i seen an indie game by such a small dev team hit the mark like this game does. Reminds me of an old school asteroids with a modern rts feel. The last time i had this much fun in a space game was Freelancer. Only one patch into release and its already easily one of my favorite games to hit steam this year. To the guys at MinMax You really hit the spot on this one keep up the good work. If you havent checked this out i can assure you its worth every cent of the $15 it costs, do yourself a favor and pick this up you wont regret it. Expand
  5. Jan 30, 2012
    9
    This game was such a surprise for me. At release I immediately wrote the game off simply because it had "zombies" in the title. I am quite honestly just tired of the lazy way that zombies are getting pumped out in games these days. During one of the steam sales I decided to watch the trailer and it turned me around. I played it and fell in love. As a kid I grew up playing classic space shooters like Life Force, Gradius, Darius, R-Type and all the big 16 bit era games. While there have been lots of great games in the genre since then none of them seemed to take the next logical step, depth. S.P.A.Z. does just that. Adding a level of depth to the genre that I have never seen. Now there have been some games that added some of the management systems and rpg like elements. They just tend to be centered around those elements and ignore the flight and battle elements. Now of course there is room for improvement but it does so many things well. The battles are fun, intense and usually pretty challenging. The management elements have depth and require thought and skill but aren't as daunting as you would expect. Un-lockable hull types with the ability to customize those hulls, weapons, shields and more. A very pretty game graphically, especially for an indie game with a 2 man development team. I've spent time just watching the A.I. battles that play in the background on the main menu screen. Now the ship controls can feel a little odd at first but once you get used to them they make sense. In short, if you have any interest in space battles and fun sci fi stories you have to own this game. I love it and have even bought copies for my friends. Good luck and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Expand
  6. Aug 18, 2011
    10
    The quirky sense of humor and sprawling universe of this game reminds me of Starflight; its elegant mechanics and satisfying storyline remind me of Ascension; and its giddy, free-wheeling amorality (and almost accidental-seeming invention of a completely new interface) remind me of Elite. If you don't remember those titles, don't feel bad. . . the last of them came out in 1995. If you DO remember those titles (as the TWO GUYS[!!!] who wrote S.P.A.Z. almost certainly do), then you'll know how enormous those compliments are.

    If you're NOT old enough to remember those titles, then prepare to suffer the pangs of an addiction as insatiable as a century-old circus monkey's craving for cigarettes, which will sink its hooks into you from the moment you boot this game up. Do yourself a favor and grab this title now, while it's still just $15 bucks. You'll have it on your hard drive forever, and if you don't snag it now, you'll just end up buying it at full price.
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  7. Sep 12, 2011
    10
    WOW!!!!
    This game is absolutely amazing!
    I've been hooked every since I've installed it. Great blend of R.P.G and top down shooter mixed with elements of strategy.
    Easy controls, great voice clips (I laughed out loud), awesome story,colourful level design and an overall visual aesthetic that is a work of art. Tons of missions and side missions in a huuuuuge galaxy that you explore at your
    own leisure.
    For a two man indie company to produce such a fine game, it renews my faith that the little guys can compete with the big development giants, but just on a different level.
    I was almost choked up when in the opening screen the developers leave a very personal message thanking you for buying it.
    I will be playing this game for a very long time.

    Bravo MinMax!

    and to everyone else....
    BUY THIS GAME!!!!
    Expand
  8. Dec 30, 2011
    10
    This game is very under-rated and has not gotten the publicity that it deserves. The haters are only hating because they got stuck in a hard spot (there are more than a few) and then gave up and cried. It is an absolute blast to play, and has 30-60+ hours to keep you going and get your money's worth. It is a top-down view space shoot em' up like the old school games from the 80s and 90s on PC. You upgrade and buy new ships, secure territory, steal some pirate booty, and eventually you're the only thing standing in the way of an invasion that could destroy all life-forms! The gameplay is stellar, the story is astronomical, and the graphics are out of this world! (see what i did there?) The gameplay and story are both very deep; the story is full of twists (just when you think the game is getting repetitive, everything changes), and there are a lot of different upgrade paths and tactics to choose from when you build your fleet. I can't imagine why or how anyone could ever regret buying this game, unless of course it becomes so addicting that you catch the infection and turn into a SPAZ zombie (like I did). Good luck! Expand
  9. Aug 26, 2011
    9
    This game is extremely addictive. The perfect blend of strategy, resource management, tactics and space sim. I cant belive that only two guys developed this game.
  10. Aug 26, 2011
    9
    WALL OF TEXT WARNING! Premise: Have you longed for the joy of 2D Space RPGs like Star control or Masters of Orion? Well, after years of waiting, two man company MinMax have released S.P.A.Z. with the intention of reviving that sense of adventure! However, does it live up to the standards set for it, or fall into its own black hole?
    Review:

    Plot: The plot of S.P.A.Z. revolves around a
    somewhat dystopian future, with earth a backwater planet and scattered colonies all but cut off from each other by blockades. It's here that a group of pirates set out from earth in hopes of reaching the galactic core in search of a motherload of Rez, a transmutable element that serves as one of the game's currencies. While this plot is amusing and quite humorous at times, it won't win any Oscars. It features voice-overs on the "cut-scenes" that explain the plot, but the majority of the story will be delivered by RPG-esque text boxes. However, the plot is engaging and more than exiting enough to drive you to complete your objectives, if not only to blow stuff up! Overall: 8/10

    Presentation: While S.P.A.Z. might look like a well made flash game at first, the true beauty of this game is in the details. Backgrounds are bright and colorful, often containing a myriad of nebulae, planets, and other cosmic beauties to catch your eye. The ships too are numerous and well made, having visible maneuvering thrusters (unlike many other games) and exploding with great fanfare of hull-breaches and escape pod ejections. Without revealing too much, I can say that the zombies too look fantastic, bits of ships mangled together with goo-like zombie "stuff", popping when you burst through them with weapons. The weapons too look great, especially beams! For a game like this, the eye-candy is almost never ending. Overall: 10/10

    Gameplay: An RPG at heart, S.P.A.Z. features all of the feature you love, ship customization galore, research and leveling, even multiple currencies in the forms of Rez and goons (ship crew collected from escape pods). S.P.A.Z. also features an RTS-like tactical window, where you can give orders to your ships and tweak AI behavior. The UI is simple to navigate and easy to use, a rare feature in a game as deceptively deep as this. Controls are also responsive and easy, though it may take a bit to get used to the side thrusters as they are oriented to your ship and not the camera. There are currently five ship classes, ranging from tiny to huge with a wide variety of modules and upgrades. Each system in your randomly generated galaxy of up to 300 stars has two factions, Civilians and the UTA, that you can complete missions for (or stab them in the back for the loot). Gameplay starts fast and furious and gradually slows down, never quite descending to a grind-fest, but as you would expect with an RPG there is a certain amount of grinding. There is quite a lot to do in S.P.A.Z., and you would be hard-pressed to find a time with nothing to do. Overall: 9/10


    Conclusion:

    Overall, S.P.A.Z. is an absolute steal for $15 on steam. You can easily find your weekends and free time lost to this game, but you will love it. As an added bonus, MinMax is still actively developing new content, so it can only get better from here.
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  11. Sep 11, 2011
    9
    after playing the FREE demo through Steam, I pretty much knew right away I was going to buy the full version - it's addictive and much better than most $15 games and after 400 hours of playtime I don't regret the purchase at all - the game devs are always on the forums talking to players about ideas and possible bugs - runs like a demon penis rotating in a bag of hot dog water.
  12. Sep 11, 2011
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I chipped my foreskin after the first 200 hours of playing this - an insurance claim is pending. Expand
  13. Dec 29, 2011
    10
    Great indie game (in fact its more than a great indie game and I feel it gives many big name hits a sound thrashing), I have recommended this to several friends and another family member is also enjoying it as well, both of us are on chapter 4 and the dynamic of the game has changed quite a lot (I wont spoil how the balance of power/gameplay has changed), plus I have most of the games ships unlocked and there is plenty of variety in how I can build my fleet (I am running a huge drone control ship and my wingmen are in mixed laser/torpedo ships of their relevant tiers which works well so far). On the front screen of the game are details of upcoming new features and you get the feeling that the devs care about their game (there's even a winter mod available in the game at the moment). Well worth the money - the way the good indie games are piling up on steam at the moment I may give up buying full-price games altogether... Expand
  14. Mar 26, 2012
    9
    Space Pirates and Zombies is a 2D top down shooter with some light RPG and strategy elements mixed in. You play as a motley band of space pirates, trying to make your way to the center of the galaxy, acquiring riches and upgrading your fleet along the way. I felt like the game strikes a nice balance between action and strategy. The game is simple to pick up, and the prospect of picking up new toys and figuring out combinations that worked well together kept me from getting bored. SPAZ is a lot of fun for not a lot of money. The devs are constantly adding new content and listening to player feedback. It's basically everything I love about indie games. Expand
  15. Feb 4, 2012
    10
    Wow I spent all of 4 dollars on this game and it's blasting me back to old StarControl 2 days when I couldn't stop playing games for food or work. I've grown up since then and have 2 kids, but this makes me want to skip work and leave the kids at day care. I can tell the devs wanted to res an old Microprose feel. Yes you might have to do some of the same old missions over a few times, but if you loved shooting ships and watching things blow up the 1st time, why would that change the 10th time? It won't replace star control 2 as one of my all time favorites, but its a near enough miss to be worth 20 bucks, easy, much less 4 on sale at steam. Grats devs on taking my old school love and making a life out of it. Expand
  16. Oct 7, 2011
    10
    Awesome blend of 2D shooting, space exploration. The game is absolutely addictive, and downright funny. Plus it's a steal at ~15$. Go and buy it now, and save the universe from zombies!
  17. Dec 4, 2011
    9
    an absolute gem of a game. this easy to get a hold of, and very deep game will have you playing for hours. in this huge mass of indie games, this game is a welcome change from your typical 8-bit graphics, and side scrolling, and is a wonderful reboot of the much neglected "space sim". and while not quite the sim of ELITE, this game does have very good space exploration and combat
  18. Jan 28, 2012
    10
    Truly one of the most addictive games I've ever played.
    Simple, fun, and with random and massive stellar systems.
    Never played 8 hours straight since the eighties.
  19. Sep 15, 2011
    10
    A must have. Pure, addictive and constantly updated piece of pure awesomeness. You explore, you fight, you do missions and collect crew for your personal small fleet. ANdb the... you obliterate zombies! Or they obliterate you!
  20. Oct 12, 2011
    9
    Great game, Neat graphics, fun combat, Takes very long to beat. Did I mention there's space zombies in this one?? Holy **** this is good! Finally we can kill zombies IN space!! yikes.
  21. Apr 8, 2012
    10
    This is a game i toughrouly enjoyed. Sure, there might be some people who don't like this style of game but to them i say this : It's not the game's fault, it's yours. Personally, i found this game to be amazing ! The way you upgrade, explore, discover and fight was simply stunning to me ! They just don't make games like these anymore ! Even better, this game was made by two friends who had a dream : Mission accomplished guys ! Expand
  22. Oct 26, 2013
    9
    For a uncomplicated repetitive game its extremely addictive, maybe thats where simple beauty lies in this game. The atmosphere to the game is great, the graphics look really colorful, the combat is frantic and fun and the universe you explore is massive. Plus you get to unlock tons of cool stuff to have a laugh with.
  23. May 20, 2013
    9
    SPAZ is a throwback to 2d arcade space shooters. What's really cool about it is it has realistic physics. You control the direction of your ship with the mouse cursor and forward, backward and side thrusters with the keyboard. So you can spin your ship, make it move backwards, side to side, all while controlling turrets to still shoot at your enemies. Really cool, allows for a lot of variety in gameplay. A lot of ships have fixed guns too, not turrets so you can do quick hit and fades, strafing etc. There's a lot of ways to play out the battles.

    There's also a ton of customizable weapons and ships. You level up throughout the game and pick different weapons to upgrade, as well as collecting new schematics for new weapons and ships. Ultimately the quest to collect all the weapons and ships in the game kept me really involved. The hours just flew by playing this game. I have over 140 hours on it through about 4 play throughs.

    It also randomly generates the galaxy based on some input from you like size, density, difficulty, so it has a lot of replayability. The only reason this game doesn't get a full 10 is it gets a bit grindy, especially on the hardest difficulties. Though I do like that the devs put some insane difficulty settings in there.
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  24. Apr 4, 2013
    9
    The only problem I had with this game was the repetitiveness, but everything else about this game is excellent. SPAZ reminds me of some of the older top down space shooters, but with a modern update. Also, zombies. The zombies in this game remind me of the flood from halo.
  25. Jul 31, 2013
    9
    I loved this indie game, the genre is one of my favorites. It was a long journey to finish it, but worth every second It tends to get slightly grindy and repetitive, but it's so damn catchy you will be playing until the very end and lick your finger afterwards. And lastly Total Biscuit as a story narrator Hell yes, shut and take my money
  26. Jan 20, 2014
    9
    A great game which i have enjoyed a lot. Great open world exploration. One of the best things in this game is that you can choose yourself how you want to play it. you can choose to either make friends or rule over everyone while everyone hates you. The only downside for me is that you can't play this game 4 hours and not get bored of it. It's a game which you play for an hour and then you do something else. Expand
  27. Nov 2, 2013
    10
    I have several games on my steam page, the Hitman series, Total War, FTL, but SPAZ is the one game I find myself coming back to and I enjoy every moment of it.
  28. Jun 22, 2014
    10
    Easily one of the best games I've ever played. The gameplay always seems fresh and there is always new stuff to explore. Although it is a bit repetitive- I believe that's so you can get enough material to upgrade your ships. It's for farming purposes only. The game looks beautiful and is pleasing to the eye. The jokes/humor in the game is refreshing and well timed. I truly enjoy this game- and I'm only 1/20th in. That's another thing- this game is HUGE. It will take me a while before I can beat it. Gives me something to do. Expand
  29. Oct 13, 2014
    10
    Wholeheartedly recommended. Quite a multi-layered "spass-wagen" we have here. There is a galaxy to explore, a story to follow and an addicting arcade shoot-'em up. The replay value is amazing as I've been going back to this game for a few days every half year. The allocation of skill points coupled with different available ships give a lot of working combinations that play altogether differently.

    There is considerable attention to detail in the somewhat simple but "get the point across" graphics.
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  30. Aug 17, 2011
    0
    The perfect blend of strategy, resource management, tactics and space sim. Right from the start this game throws you in the deep end, but has a very helpful tutorial. The graphics are simplistic but suits this game well. What is very surprising is the A.I. One of the best indie game AI I've seen so far. The AI is very responsive but has some hiccups, but very very little. The voice acting is also good. The only thing that was not too good was the difficult spike, but you get used to it in about 10 minutes. I highly recommend this game for any person who likes a strategy or shooting game. Collapse
Metascore
74

Mixed or average reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. Oct 3, 2011
    70
    Admirable, but maybe not lovable. Requires stubborn determination on the part of the player. Then it's rewarding. [Nov 2011, p.50]
  2. 80
    If you're into strategi, roleplaying, action and science fiction, Space Pirates and Zombies offers a delightful mix that, once you've grown aquinted to it, offers an insane amount of playtime and catchy entertainment.
  3. Sep 8, 2011
    67
    The germ of a cool game, not quite ready for prime time, but with plenty of potential if the right choices are made. [Oct 2011, p.90]