"This video game product represents a culmination of years of intensive psychological research, bleeding edge engineering, and artistic collaboration by over two dozen internationally recognized art houses, using such technologies as the HYPERMAGIC 3.0 engine to power never-before-seen eye candy with the MEGACORE X parallelization processor for smooth-as-glass presentation."
—Official Ska Studios product page
A "Twin-Stick Sh00ter" made by James Silva (best known for The Dishwasher games), and released on the Xbox Live Arcade Indie Games Marketplace on August 16, 2009, where it was sold for a dollar (80 microsoft points). It became the top-selling indie title on that marketplace, selling around 310,000 copies within a year, until it was passed by a wide margin by Fortress Craft, which sold in the millions.
In 2011, it was also made available as "Z0MB1ES!!1 (on teh ph0ne)" for Windows Phone, in a version which includes a second game "Time Viking" and endless mode for $2.99.
On September 27th, 2021, James Silva released the source code of his previous games, including Z0MB1ES, for free to use. On September 29th, 2021, a fan-made free port developed by Dcrew and approved by James himself was released on PC via Itchio and on Steam on November 11th, with keyboard and mouse support, as well as online play.
This game provides examples of:
- Affectionate Parody: Of all the other shoot-em-ups and zombie-themed games on XBLA.
- Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: Multi colored lasers, flashing words on screen and spacy themed backgrounds, cool.
- The Artifact: The Windows Phone port keeps the "It costs a dollar" lyric intact. $2.99 is the minimum price for Xbox Live enabled titles in the Marketplace. They included a second game, Time Viking, to make up for it. Also applies to the PC port, which is free.
- Asteroids Monster: Which appear to be asteroids even.
- Awesome, but Impractical: The Laser and Rocket Launcher can kill several enemies in one hit, but their fire rate is pathetic. Don't bother.
- Bottomless Magazines: None of the weapons need reloading, and the basic machine gun has infinite ammo.
- Bullet Hell: The Geometry Wars bit.
- Continuing is Painful: Slightly. You lose your current weapon and are stuck with the default. But you can only hold one special weapon at a time anyway, and they all have very finite ammo, so it really only means fighting your way to the next one is harder.
- Creator Cameo: The song is sung by Silva.
- Epic Rocking: The theme song is long enough to last for an entire playthrough of the game, which is about 13:37 minutes. Over the course of the song, you will hear verses explaining the game and its creation, choruses featuring Title Screams, and numerous instrumental jam sessions that shift genres from rock to electronic to metal.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The song is pretty much about how the guy made an XNA game with zombies in it that cost a dollar.
- Excuse Plot: It could be argued the game itself is an Excuse Game to carry the song.
- Expository Theme Tune: The BGM not only talks about the game's title and creation, but later applies to the scene changes and enemies you face.
- Follow the Leader: Invoked. Mocks the recent trend of every developer needing to make a zombie game.
- Gainax Ending: Right the heck out of no where, you explode. There is no context to this and it feels completely out of place, making it fit this trope.
- Kill It with Fire: One of the weapons you can get is a flamethrower. Surprisingly, it does not suck, dealing incredible damage to every enemy, but has a pitifully short range to compensate.
- Leet Speak: Didn't you notice the title?
- More Dakka: The Heavy Machine Gun. Less range, but a whole load more shots.
- Mutually Exclusive Power-Ups: You can only carry one weapon at a time, but getting the same one twice gives you more ammo.
- Post Modern: The background music has the creator sing about how he made the game and put in zombies only to appeal to consumers.
- Shout-Out: There are sections based on Snake (also, each Snake enemy is comprised of DwarfFortress faces), Asteroids and Geometry Wars.
- Timed Mission: The game lasts 13 plus minutes, the length of the title song.
- Title Scream: During the gameplay music.