Sawbuck Gamer



Shambles proves that not even the mind behind Minecraft is immune to the zombie virus.

By Danny Gallagher • September 5, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

Zombies are so prevalent in pop culture that it feels like they’ve spread throughout the film, television and gaming industries because of some kind of mysterious virus. They bite into fans’ brains with stories of human survival at its most basic level and the promise of unrelenting violence. The entertainment industry can’t help but cannibalize itself and unleash wave after wave of more of the same.

That might make Shambles sound like another contagion in the gaming world, but it actually finds a fun way to make wasting the undead the ultimate time waster again. Notch, the creator of Minecraft, concocted this game as part of the 7DFPS challenge, in which game creators around the world create a first-person shooter in seven days. Notch creates a refreshing, fun take on the zombie genre by focusing on its core basics. Your goal is simply to survive for as long as possible while taking down as many of the undead as you can. Players rack up points by killing victims of the infection—which turns people into rabid, green Dave Attell lookalikes—and collecting the point pellets they drop as they die. Panicky civilians and cops also don’t want to die, so chaos is erupting all around you. This offers plenty of opportunities for friendly-fire mishaps, but the good guys also drop helpful items like first-aid kits and weapons. The fight between these warring factions creates a challenging morasse of violence, scavenging, and survival.

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10 Responses to “Infected”

  1. Hyoscine says:

    Minecraft proves that not even the mind behind Minecraft is immune to the zombie virus. Idiot.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      I take it you’re not a Minecraft fan, then?  How does your not liking Minecraft (or, apparently, zombie games) translate into Notch being an idiot?

      Maybe he is, I don’t know him…but he’s sure as hell a lot more successful at what he enjoys doing than me.

      • huge_jacked_man says:

        He’s calling the author an idiot because Minecraft already had zombies in it I think

      • Hyoscine says:

        Big Minecraft fan. My point was that Zombies are not a new thing for Notch, and this reporter is an idiot for implying this. Or at least, has gone with a nonsensical lede.

    • Fyodor Douchetoevsky says:


  2. lokimotive says:

    I thought Notch already had the Zombie bug. There were plenty of zombies in Minecraft.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      True, but Minecraft is more of a “sandbox game that includes zombies”, and Shambles is a “game specifically about killing zombies”.

      “Zombie-adjacent” versus “zombie-centric”.

    •  It’d be like calling Half-Life a zombie game. It has zombies in it, but it’s by no means a game about zombies.

  3. Hunter Taylor says:

    I really liked this one!  I really enjoyed the mechanic that you can essentially watch the virus spread and take over.  It’s quite menacing to hide behind a group of doctors with guns (or whatever they are?) only to watch them turn into green monsters all around you.  It’s simple, but very effective.