"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." - Gameshark.com
"A great indie plenty of depth, choices and fun: one of the best mix of genres in a long time." - Multiplayer.it
Space Pirates and Zombies takes place far enough in the future that Earth has become a toxic backwater planet, so potentially not that far in the future. The galaxy has been colonized by humans, and the only means to travel to new star systems is through highly restricted and well defended warp gates. It is well known that systems closer to the galactic core become richer and richer as well as more scientifically advanced. This has led to theories of a secret system with a cache of treasure or knowledge at the galactic core feeding this growth. As a pirate, you must assemble a fleet and discover what treasure awaits you there.
THE GALAXY: There are hundreds of stars to visit in SPAZ, and each game galaxy is uniquely generated.
STAR SYSTEMS: Within each star system there is an ecosystem of events that are influenced by your actions or lack of action. These events will expire over time and represent a War between the factions within the star system. Some events you can even stay out of the way and simply observe, such as fleet battles, and then collect the spoils. Yarr.
FACTIONS: Each system has two factions you can interact with, but they always dislike one another. The hub of activity in each system for each faction is their Starbase. There you can purchase technology, or trade captured crew for resources and other favours. If a faction is not friendly with you, they wont deal with you, but transferring a few workers to the Starbase can usually grease the wheels just enough. Approaching a hostile Starbase to make the trade is another matter entirely.
THE FLEET: As the game progresses, you increase the size of your mothership and thus the size of the fleet which it can maintain. Only your mothership is able to breach the warp gates between systems. The player can fly any of the ships in the fleet real time with AI pilots as wingmen. New ship designs are added to the fleet through combat. Each time a ship is destroyed, some of the knowledge to build that ship becomes available. If you can kill it, eventually you can fly it.
*SHIP DESIGN: *As the player explores star systems, they will come across new technologies to purchase. Upgrading your ships to use the latest tech is always desirable, but can be expensive. Technologies are usually not “better” than one another in SPAZ, instead they have different uses. A shotgun and a rifle both have a use, but neither is better than the other for all situations. As your technology pool increases, your combat options increase.
TECH REFINEMENT: As the player destroys ships and completes events, they gain technical knowledge. Once enough technical knowledge has been achieved, they gain a level up and can spend points to refine their technology. Technological refinement is required to use some of the higher end components on ships but also makes all components within that category better. There are far fewer points to spend in SPAZ than there are things to spend them on, so specializing will be key.
COMBAT: All of the above boils down to you flying one hell of a powerful customized ship and using it to blow up the enemy (whoever you choose the enemy to be.) Combat in SPAZ is all physics based. This means that if you can avoid a shot, it will not hit you. Ships have inertia and weight plays a major role in maneuverability. Use your thrusters and inertia to strafe as you have seen in Sci-Fi movies. Bullets will ricochet at high angles. Explosions have blast waves that impart impulses and apply damage to nearby ships.
ZOMBIES: Zombies are the fourth faction in SPAZ. As the game progresses, zombies become a more prominent force in the galaxy, altering the nature of the previous events and conflicts. In combat, zombie vessels and critters (dead people) behave a lot differently than human space ships. Zombies infect and eat, instead of destroy. They lay eggs and can quickly change from being a minor pest to a disaster.