Friends With the Undead: Our Favorite Facebook Zombie Games

With Halloween just around the corner, it seems like there are endless options for those of us who want to play a game that has a sold dose of horror in it. Fortunately, zombies are one of the most popular bad guys in entertainment right now, and that theme has extended to social games.

In the early days of Facebook, “zombie” games were like all other text-based apps that asked players to recruit as many friends to their horde/mob/fiefdom as possible in order to “win.” As games have become a more sophisticated experience on the platform, the concept of zombies has expanded to cover everything from minions to command to a resource for harvesting. Though more prominent on mobile devices (perhaps because of perceived differences in demographics), there are still a fair amount of zombie-themed games for Facebook. Here’s a roundup of our favorites.

Braaains – First up on our list is Arizona-based Broken Bulb Games’ take on zombies, Braaains. Instead of players defending themselves from the oncoming horde, they command it and assemble an army of zombies one by one. Players equip their zombie warriors with weapons and armor and send them into battle to earn money and experience. The combat comes down a pure numbers game, but players can get an edge with training and and performance enhancing items. More zombies can be bought for in-game cash (earned in battle) or via brains, which can be purchased with Facebook credits. The game currently has 160,000 MAU and 20,00 DAU. Read our review here.

Hollywood Zombies – Developed by Victoria, BC-based independent studio Kano/Apps, Hollywood Zombies is a perfectly decadent mashup of zombie horror and celebrity culture. In this game, Hollywood has been overrun by the undead and it’s up to the player deal with the zombies that are terrorizing the town. The twist is that the goal isn’t to obliterate the zombies, but to catch them all — sort of like Pokemon, but with undead. Players can add friends to their squads to help them take down tougher and rarer zombies, and can purchase better bait, health and energy refills in exchange for Facebook credits. The game currently has 20,000 MAU.

Zombie Island – If catching zombies isn’t your speed, you can always try 6waves Lolapps and Vizor Interactive’s take on the zombie genre. Zombie Island takes lazy zombies out of the ground and puts them to work for you – harvesting wood, tending crops and mining stone. While Zombie Island is technically played with zombies, the real goal of the farming game is to build and customize your own island, albeit with zombie themed items. Players must manage their undead workers by giving them brains, which can either be purchased with the in-game currency or with Facebook credits. According to AppData, Zombie Island currently has 390,000 MAU and 130,000 DAU. Read our review here.

Zombie Lane – A zombie game with a bit of everything, Digital Chocolate’s Zombie Lane combines farming, quests, city-building and lots of zombie killing in a lighthearted package. The player’s goal is to rebuild and defend their neighborhood from zombies, which means while they’ll spend plenty of time bashing zombie skulls, they’ll also spend time clearing rubble, building reinforcements and helping out their friends. Zombie Lane came on strong after its March 2011 launch but has since started to decline, today coming in with 2,700,000 MAU and 510,000 DAU according to AppData. Read our review here.

Zombie Misfits – Nexon’s latest Facebook game Zombie Misfits expands an already diverse sub-genre of gameplay by adding tower defense elements to the mix. In the game, players must protect a bunker filled with helpless survivors from zombies by strategically placing defenders on the map. The more zombies a player kills, the more defenders they can put on the map, and the more survivors they’ll be able to keep alive. The fast paced and challenging game was co-developed by Canadian studio Antic Entertainment, and currently has 8,000 MAU and 2,000 DAU. Read our review.

Zombie Mosh – If you’re sick of farming zombies, killing zombies and commanding zombies, how about just dancing with zombies? Menue Americas’ game Zombie Mosh puts the player in the role of a recently deceased zombie who just wants to have a good time and make sure his club has an active mosh pit. The problem with zombies is that they can be fragile and don’t stand up well to repeated wear, so the player must also farm zombies to ensure they can keep partying. Since we reviewed Zombie Mosh in January, Zombie Mosh has lost many players, dropping from its peak of 346,000 MAU and 20,000 DAU to its current total of 30,000 MAU and 1,000 DAU, according to AppData.

Zombie Slayer – The other zombie themed game from Kano/Apps is a much more traditional take on the undead menace, Zombie Slayer. A simple game, Zombie Slayer is more about resource allocation than it is about blasting brain-eaters. Killing zombies is accomplished by clicking the Kill More Zombies button, but the challenge comes from ensuring you have enough items and energy to take down bigger foes. While less visually interesting than the developer’s other game Hollywood Zombies, Zombie Slayer has more users according to AppData, with 90,000 MAU and 20,000 DAU.

Zombie Typomaniac – Interested in killing zombies AND improving your typing skills? Independent developer GameYawp’s HTML5 based game Zombie Typomaniac may be what you’re looking for. In the game players protect themselves against an advancing wall of zombies by typing words. The game automatically calibrates the difficulty level, and the better players type, the more trophies and in-game currency they earn.  Unlike most Facebook games, Zombie Typomaniac monetizes through a paid upgrade system. For 30 Facebook credits players can purchase the full version of the game which includes 28 levels and a survival mode. The game currently has 1,000 MAU.

Zombiees! – Last but not least is Zombiees!, the newest game from Austrian developer Team Vienna Games. An exceptionally cute take on zombie games (even for a genre that tends to design very cute undead monsters), the game has simple turn-based gameplay that pits the player against a university campus full of zombies as they attempt to fight their way out and find a cure for their best friend’s zombie affliction. As they level up players get better weapons and items, but can also purchase weapons, premium items, health and stamina refills with Facebook credits. Zombiees! currently has 20,000 MAU and 3,000 DAU according to AppData. Read our review.

A quick search of Facebook’s games section will reveal lots more zombie-themed games, but also apps that appear to be games called Zombies!, Zombies & Penguins, Zombie and even a fake version of PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies. These apps should not be trusted as some are aggressive spam apps and others unlicensed clones of popular titles.