hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Indie Nation #37: Cottage of Doom

9:42 PM on 10.24.2008 // Anthony Burch

With Left 4 Dead less than a month away, and my "Top Ten Most Badass Zombie Games" list still a glimmer in my eye, I thought it'd be worth mentioning one of the coolest zombie-related indie games in recent memory.

Cottage of Doom, winner of TIGSource's B-Game Competition, is one part shooter, one part tower defense, and one part survival horror. It is, in other words, totally addictive and awesome.

You can hit the jump for my thoughts on the game, but if the concept of defending an isolated cottage from a zombie attack by barricading doors and windows and blasting any zombie who gets close with a shotgun isn't enough to make you download the game of your own volition, there's nothing I can really do to help you.

On an unrelated note, check the alt text if you're a registered Arizona voter.

I'm currently reading The Living Dead, a compilation of zombie-related short stories, each different from the next in terms of zombie type and story context. One story involves the dead coming back to life to vote Democrat, another about a porn king who tries to wait out the end of the world with his Playmates, and one about a private detective who resurrects the dead for a living.

The stories are hit and miss, but the anthology has taught me one specific thing for which I am grateful -- that out of all the different sorts of zombie story, there is one specific type that resonates with me above all else. You can show me political zombies, spiritual zombies, or zombies on parade, but I'll never enjoy them more than when they're mindless, shambling freaks attacking one or more survivors inside a barricaded compound.

It's something about being able to put yourself in the characters' shoes, and wonder what you'd do in that situation. Something romantic about the idea of barricading an entire structure and isolating yourself from the world, alone except for your wits and your undead enemies. I can be entertained by running zombies or satirical zombies or intelligent zombies, but it takes the dumb ones trying to tear a house down with their bare hands which really gets my blood pumping.


And this, to halfheartedly transition back to talking about videogames after three paragraphs of avoiding them altogether, is why I like Cottage of Doom so much. While the other zombie games I've highlighted on Indie Nation (Urban Dead and The Last Stand 2) are really fun in their own way, and do involve barricading buildings and protecting yourself, neither game takes the "one man against the world" idea as far as Cottage of Doom does. 

Apart from the goofy opening and the invisible roommate who throws you ammo and furniture from the top floor, you are the only living human in Cottage of Doom. There's no ending where you get saved from destruction by a helicopter. No safehouse to go to. The stream of zombies is neverending, your fate assured; it's simply up to you to see how long you can hold out. 

Cottage of Doom's most interesting mechanic, by far, is the player's ability to block windows, doors, and entire areas off by moving furniture. Though it sounds like a small thing, there's literally no other zombie game I can think of (heck, maybe no other game, period) which allows you to dynamically barricade certain parts of a house.


In most zombie games, barricading is a binary thing: you either do it, or you don't. In Cottage of Doom, barricading is an integral, strategic part of the game. If you don't keep the right parts of the cottage defended, you'll get overwhelmed quickly. If you don't destroy certain barricades ot get ammo from them, you won't be able to take out the encroaching zombies. If you can't strategize and find a good balance between blasting the undead and maintaining your barricades and doors, you'll be screwed.

The barricading system almost makes Cottage of Doom more of a strategy game than an action title. Blasting zombies is fun, of course, but the gunplay never gets any more complicated than "click on this zombie a few times to kill it," while the barricading gameplay has an incredible amount of depth and nuance. I'm not typically one to enjoy thinking in my zombie games, but Cottage of Doom tricked me into loving every minute of strategic, furniture-moving glory.

"Strategic, furniture-moving glory" is also the exact wrong phrase to use on your friends if you're trying to get them interested in playing the game.


Play it, enjoy it, and try to imagine how awesome a game like this would be if it took place in a huge, nonlinear world.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

Gamemaniac3434 avatarGamemaniac3434
Today I replated bacteria that I made take up a plamid hopefully stitched onto the genes generatlight. Taken from other dead bacteria and put into a non glowing species, to make it glow. Fucking microbiology is the best.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
It seems fairy farts are a fragrance, a soap, incense, a vaping liquid and a kind of nail polish. I'm clearly in the wrong line of work and need to eat more chili.
Cannibal Steven avatarCannibal Steven
"You gave the Lost Soul a big smile, like you remember she likes to do... For some reason she sort of wants to smile back..." I'm not crying. Not one bit.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Just tried 'The Last Of Us' on PSNow Trial, only to be told... 'Something went wrong. Try again.' Game-appropriate error message or quickie plot-summary?
TheAngriestCarp avatarTheAngriestCarp
I hate when people say crap like "I admit that [thing] in games is problematic, but I still enjoy it" because it's an underhanded way of contradicting your own views while convincing yourself that you aren't a hypocrite.
ChillyBilly avatarChillyBilly
Well shit. I knew I was more than likely going to enjoy Star Wars Battlefront (cause you know, giant Star Wars nerd and all) but holy cow, the beta is fucking great! I need the full game like, now.
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Anyone here going to NYC Comic Con? Always wanted to go and lived so close, but alas, it wasn't meant to be.
Mark Plechaty avatarMark Plechaty
Well I haven't seen any levels like this on mario maker so maybe it's unique the I'd is 55BD000000961CBA GIVE IT A GO and let me know what you think
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Hey Stranger ... wadda you buying ? Want some crack ? Here ya go... [youtube][/youtube]
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
My brother caught me this Pokémon in our room yesterday. How should I name it? [img][/img]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Yay, I got off of work early and may have Friday off! I have a sinking feeling I'm going to work 10 hours on Saturday as a result, though :/ We ran out of stuff to make stuff with so they must ship us stuff so we can ship stuff.
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Yo yo I'm Marie and I got dat gangsta flow. High scores ain't no trip, cuz I whip that shit like Sonic quick. I-I mean no! I didn't say anything! Stupidrecordbreakingcombodolt. [img][/img]
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
I'm watching you.
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Work noooooooooooooooooo D:
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
I had such a awkward time playing Catherine because it shared the same name as my mother....
JayDGee avatarJayDGee
Broforce is coming out of early access on the 15th. I had no Idea it was an early access game.
James Internet Ego avatarJames Internet Ego
I have now played all 3 Witcher games. My verdict: Witcher 1 - alright, aged badly, lots of sex. Witcher 2 - good, very short, not much sex at all. Witcher 3 - Excellent in every way.
ikiryou avatarikiryou
I really wish MGO had been implemented with free-roam gameplay PMC (clan) setup instead of the standard matchmaking. Imagine roaming bands of PMC's opposing each other on the battlefield. How sexy would that be?
SkarKrow avatarSkarKrow
Playing Shantae & The Pirates Curse, must say I'm loving it for the most part, barring the odd WHERE AM I D: moment
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -