It's a tough time to find good investment opportunities, and that applies to the video game market as well. For every Bioshock Infinite there are ten steamy loads of Colonial Marines. Worry not, I have an solid investment opportunity for those pesky left over moonbucks. At a mere 80 moonbucks on the XBLIG (X-box Live Indie Games) you can invest in Zombie Estate II. Yes, death is looming for the XBLIG, and there are more CMs (like BMs, get it?) than gems, but this is a solid investment for any zombie enthusiast.
The original Zombie Estate is a crude mash-up of Crash TV and COD zombies. A third person twin stick wave shooter Zombie Estate is not original, nor pretty, there's no story, and there isn't much content. However, after my couch co-op wing-man and I beat it we agreed that for dollar it was an entertaining and worthwhile game (7.5/10). Unaware of the upcoming sequel, we also agreed that if there was more content the game could be spectacular. So when I saw that Zombie Estate II was out I bought it without hesitation.
Like the original, Zombie Estate II is nothing more than wave after wave of shooting zombies, and like most wave shooters it's better with a friend. Unfortunately, there is no online multiplayer. However, with a number simple improvements to the core game the original seems more like a beta and ZE II a fully realized game. ZE II boasts four different levels to choose from (one being an updated version of the original), with three different difficulties and a endless mode. There is a number of playable characters, each with unique weapons, and a number of unlockable characters. You can upgrade characters and get minions to help. After each round you can visit a store to buy and upgrade weapons. It keeps the ubiquitous pixel art style from the first game, though slightly sharper. It's not pretty, but not ugly either.
I'm sure haters gonna hate, but for those of you that enjoy semi-mindless couch co-op games ZE II is a must buy. I have to admit I've only played a few rounds because I am waiting for a wing-person, and my trigger finger is getting anxious. From what I've played I'd say 8.5/10 (to be conservative), and for a dollar you can't go wrong.
The XBLIG marketplace is easily ignored. There are a lot of games so bad that they can make you feel like you wasted a dollar, and unless you are looking for Minecraft clones it can be hard to sort out the worthwhile games (they do exist). Thankfully, some developers got together to make it a little easier. Akin to XBLA Summer of Arcade, Indie Uprising III [url]http://www.indiegames-uprising.com[url] (there were two others?) showcases some of the more promising games, and it happens to be going on right now.
I can sense the indifference in the air...
However, I do believe that many of these titles are worth checking out. The one I am most interested in is Gateways; a 2D performer mash up of Super Mario and Portal (go ahead, try to act like that doesn't sound awesome). Also worth checking out is Diehard Dungeon, a brutal dungeon crawl that hearkens back to Link to the Past. I have played both these demos and am eagerly awaiting my paycheck to give some indie-love to these titles. I write this because there seems to be no other mention of this event on Destructoid. While there is a lot of crap on XBLIG more worthy titles are coming to the service and now is a good time to stop ignoring them.