The oddly titled ‘I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMBIES 1N IT!!!1’ is an indie game released on Xbox Live Arcade on August 16, 2009. It’s a simple top-down 2-D shooter featuring endless waves of zombies, although this simple explanation hardly does this masterpiece of software and programming prowess justice.

Starting off, the game seems straightforward enough. The menu screen is heavily pixilated, like the arcade games it aims to emulate, right down to the “INSERT COIN!!11” in bold flashing text. After all of the players sign in (up to four), the game begins. The controls are simple: Left stick moves your character, the right stick directs and fires your weapon. Anyone who has played Robotron or Geometry Wars should feel right at home here. A quickly increasing horde of zombies will begin to approach your character, and you simply have to survive until the round timer counts down, and the entire level starts again. Every round brings new enemies and increased challenge. Defeated enemies will drop power-ups that can offer you a small variety of weapons and character augmentations, such as super speed or a shotgun spread for your gun. All of this is standard fare. Commonplace. What makes this game exceptional is the endless charm this game exudes while you play it.

This game is extremely low budget, and it never tries to hide it. The title on the top of this article is the genuine title of the game (seriously, complete with the 1 in place of the fourth exclamation mark). Every level has a custom created song by the game’s creator James Silva. The music amounts to him singing about the game that he has made while he jams on his guitar, in a grudge like style. The game that he has made has zombies in it, did you hear? Don’t worry, the song will remind you in case you get stupid.

Visually the game starts off looking on par to that of a flash based browser game, which is to say pretty bland, but soon the playing field changes from a bland grassland or a scarcely detailed background into a smorgasbord of visual confetti synced in concert with the current soundtrack. It’s utterly unexpected for a zombie game to have these kinds of effects along with strangely upbeat music, and is totally radical.

The game can be played with four of your friends, and the later levels definitely get challenging. Sadly there is no online co-op, only local fun to be had here. While it would be a sacrilege for any higher budget game in the same vein to be released in this day, I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMBIES 1N IT!!!1 gets a pass for its exceptional admission price. It’s a whopping $1 (80 Microsoft points). The amount of fun to be had from this game far exceeds the 100 pennies you’ll put down for it. Buy it. If you don’t buy and enjoy this game, you hate fun.