Zombies!!! loses Xbox support on Windows 8, becomes a universal app

It's not an easy being an Xbox game for Windows platforms. First you have to go through a difficult pitching process just to make it into the portfolio. If by some miracle Microsoft actually approves you for Xbox status, you then enter the equally unpleasant certification process. And once you finally make it to market, you'll probably just get pulled from the Store by Microsoft at some point. You're an endangered species, son.

That's what happened to Zombies!!! for Windows Phone back in September of last year. The game was delisted for having in-app purchases, and then returned in November without Xbox features. The Windows 8 version managed to keep its Xbox features for a time… But now that time has ended. Microsoft recently chose to stop publishing the Xbox Windows 8 version of Zombies. And so developer Babaroga has republished the game as a universal app (but without Xbox features). Zombies!!! has come back to life, you might say.

Getting to know your Zombies!!!

Zombies!!! Windows 8

Zombies!!! (now called Zombies!!! Board Game on Windows 8 and RT) is a faithful adaptation of the original board game. In the default game mode, 2-5 human or AI players take turns placing board tiles that will form the zombie-infested city. Each player must then try to escape with his or her life while simultaneously doing whatever it takes to slow down the other players. They'll also have to kill their share of the walking dead.

Whenever a player runs into a zombie (controlled by the AI or other players), a battle ensues. Players must roll a four or higher in order to avoid taking damage. Carrying a weapon (which you mostly get from playing weapon cards inside of specific buildings) adds one or more points to your roll, increasing the chance of coming away unscathed. You can also elect to use one of your precious bullets to boost your roll, though ammunition tends to come in scarce quantities. All told, combat provides an enjoyable mix of chance and strategy.

The Windows Phone and Windows 8 Zombies!!! games support single-player and pass-and-play multi-player. Single-player is more fun than you might expect thanks to the Survival Horror mode, which pits a sole human survivor against the entire city of zombies. Kill them with extreme prejudice (everyone knows they deserve it) or reach the helicopter to win. Winning a Survival Horror game can be quite challenging since so many zombies infest the town (over 100!) and bullets can be spent awfully quickly.

Universal Zombies!!!

Zombies!!! Windows 8

It's a total drag that Xbox-enabled versions of Zombies!!! no longer exist. The Windows 8 and RT version was one of the very few Windows games with Xbox avatar support. Players could choose to play as their avatars instead of the standard Zombies!!! survivors. Zombies!!! was also pretty much the only avatar game with actual killing, as Microsoft usually restricted the level of violence in avatar-enabled games.

The republished versions of Zombies!!! for Windows Phone and Windows 8 lack avatars (never present on the phone game) and Xbox Live Achievements. But they do bring some cool bonuses to the table. They're a little gorier (I believe) like the iOS version now that avatar restrictions are gone. And Zombies!!! is now a universal app, so you can buy it on your phone or tablet/PC and get the other version for no additional charge.

Zombies!!! is one of the most interesting board games available on Windows platforms, and we still recommend it – Xbox Achievements or no. Maybe Microsoft doesn't want you to earn Achievements from playing Zombies!!!, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't play it.

The delisting of the Xbox Windows 8 version of Zombies!!! is part of recent trend. Other Xbox Windows 8 games have been disappearing too. We're still checking into the specifics with our sources and will update you guys if things pan out.

  • Zombies!!! – Windows Phone 7 and 8 (universal app) – 19 MB – $4.99 – Store Link
  • Zombies!!! Board Game – Windows 8 and RT (universal app) – 244 MB – $4.99 – Store Link (opens in new tab)

QR: Zombies WP

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • 5$ ._.
  • Its a zombie thing. Plants vs Zombies costs the same. :)
  • PvZ... A game without hd support and can't even run in the background... For 5$...
    I love PvZ so much but EA sucks
  • Fuck you Microsoft for ruining Xbox on windows platforms
  • +100000 !
  • Xbox was what brought me to Wp. I have suffered "app lack" just to play Xbox in my phone. Might switch back over so I can be back in app heaven and download all those Cave games.
  • You didnt buy WP to play Xbox, you bought it for achievements. Think about that. You bought a phone to get more achievements. Smh
  • Judgemental much.. smh
  • Hey, it was one of my selling points too... I'm in a race with family and friends for gamer score.... GS=Bragging rights % completed is also important so mobile games where there are only 200 points and usually 75% of the score can be unlocked through normal play through is good (playing game from start to finish on normal or higher) versus maybe about 30-50% in normal xbox games (with the rest requiring you to do some strange but often fun things that are better suited for a long gaming session)   I just want more XB games for WP and to be able to use one of those mobile controllers on a 1520 (I honestly haven't tried because they never list WP on the compatibility list)  
  • I'm genuinely interested - how much GS do you have then?
  • Yes and no. I can admit I'm a cheevie hound (sooo close to cracking 50k)... However, there was an assumption that Xbox Live would have been a 'universal' marketplace where WP would offer some of the titles you could get via Xbox. Now, I'm not delusional and saying I thought State of Decay was going to be playable on a mobile phone... But Worms? Peggle? Pinball FX? Or something like Burnout Crash! Or Trials or Castle Crashers... That's what came to mind when I heard Xbox on Windows Phone. Some of the games I just mentioned are on Android and iOS. In reality, how many games Xbox Live games actually appear in all 3 (WP, Win 8 & Xbox) markets? You can count them on ONE hand. In FOUR yrs (WP7 & WP8), thats not progress or promising. Plus features like smartglass and communicating w/ players online on Xbox that aren't all that great. Its a disappointment for those of us who made XBL a buyer's pro. But you're right... I wanna play Worms and Scribblenaits? Maybe I should be on Android instead?
  • Microsoft really needs to make the Xbox platform more accessible on Windows Phone and Windows 8. Apple GameCenter and Google Play Games devs don't have to go through that crap... and surprise, surprise! ... Both services are whipping Xbox Mobile's ass.
    ... And that's a shame, because I'd much rather game on Windows phone just to see that my achievements count towards the same gamerscore I have on my 360. Are we gonna have to take this to UserVoice to get shit done?
  • Never thought I would miss gamecenter and buying any game on my iPhone and having it be on my ipad
  • We've got a movement going on this right now that utilizes both UserVoice and Twitter. Links to the existing UserVoice thread and Twitter instructions can be found here. #SaveXboxWP
  • I never understood why everyone is crying about this. Is it just me that play games to have fun? I don't think that some stupid achievements can ruin a good game.
  • You are right, but android and iPhone have better games and more of them. I enjoy getting achievements while I game so I went WP. Without achievements I would go iPhone or android just because more and better games.
  • Yes, so xbox branding isnt the problem.  It is the developer developing for WP which is the problem.  People can say bad things about how MS is failing with xbox on WP, but in reality, if the developers dont want to develop, then really out of MS control 
  • "I don't think that some stupid achievements can ruin a good game". You're right: they make a good game better. That's the point.
  • +920
  • Why are all these game losing Xbox support?
  • Because of how tight Microsoft has the certification process and rules I suppose. It's their own fault really if they lose more xbox games because of it. I think Windows/Phone Store apps should really have less restrictions...
  • Indeed, help prod Microsoft to extend the ID(at)Xbox program to Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. Details here. #SaveXboxWP
  • Strange
  • And this is why I don't feel compelled at all to buy an Xbox One.
    And the developers of this game can thank Microsoft for preventing me to give it a chance. My time is limited and I've decided long ago that I won't waste it on non-Xbox games. So congratulations Microsoft for your contribution to the degradation of your own platforms.
  • The Windows team's mistakes really are completely separate from the console team's. And Microsoft is actually doing the opposite of what happened to Zombies on Xbox One - indie devs can publish and maintain control of their own games. So while you should be disappointed in their handling of Xbox games on WP and Windows 8, and you should learn to enjoy games regardless of Xbox status, there's no need to let that affect your enjoyment of the Xbox One. IMO.
  • Have to disagree, having Xbox on your phone that integrates fully with the console and desktop was one of the original WP promises, with Microsoft giving Xbox on WP the shaft why would anyone feel they should buy into that ecosystem, especially with an unfinished console like the Xbox one?
  • They're totally separate teams. The actions of one team don't always reflect on the other. Hell, it seems like they hardly have anything to do with each other (for better or worse). The Xbox One team has really good leadership right now and is making lots of good decisions. That team's awesomeness doesn't reflect on the WP gaming "team," nor does the WP gaming team's general apathy prevent the Xbox One team from doing good work. Also, it's a bit late to call the Xbox One unfinished. The OS still needs a few improvements, but it has basically caught up to what gamers expect from the 360 successor. And most importantly to me, lots of good games are starting to come out. ~ ~
  • So, are you saying that Phil Spencer, as head of Xbox, only deals with Xbox One and Xbox 360? He doesn't also oversee Xbox on Windows 8/RT and Windows Phone? If he doesn't, then who does?
  • They technically fall under his stewardship, but until we see him start doing something with them, it's the same really small group of individuals with no funding who are doing all the work. If Spencer came along and gave them guidance and the money needed to do proper work, it would be a different story. But I still don't think that will actually happen any time soon.
  • If it falls under his stewardship then there is no excuse, it needs to be fixed and he needs to fix it. These products come from the same company, MICROSOFT, so if their internal politics prevent them from producing a compelling mobile experience I am less inclined to give them $400 of my money for an Xbox one. And it is unfinished, my 360 can stream my local music and videos, the Xbox one can't and you are restricted to their paid services, that doesn't match what the 360 can do ergo, unfinished.
  • But for the user they're all labelled as "Microsoft" or "Xbox" and appear as one and the same. Microsoft has to get itself together because their customers have nothing to do with internal teams divisions.
  • The fact that there are more than one Xbox team inside Microsoft is already weird.
    The thing is, more and more the consoles are linking to mobile devices. The fact that Microsoft - who had the lead there - isn't concerned and works against herself there, just doesn't make me believe in the future of Xbox integration with Microsoft's other operating systems.
    To keep having a console disconnected from my other devices, I rather keep using the PS3...
  • I don't believe there is an Xbox Windows Phone team at all any more. There is just a tiny gaming team within each Microsoft market (US, Germany, etc.) that does what little it can to encourage WP game development. So that's what I meant by WP gaming team. There is definitely still someone associated with Xbox Windows 8 games, but that program is wrapping up too so it's either an extremely minimal team or just someone handling those duties in addition to a different full-time job within the company.
  • All very sad Imo, I would of thought gaining market share would be high on their list but obviously not. Mr Gates needs to return to fire a LOT of ppl and re invest in a LOT of dev teams. Please don't ruin Nokia please. Onya Paul
  • Or just get a PS4. That's what I did. It's better anyways.
  • I'm happy with the PS3 ;) Also, Sony's removal of the ability to play CDs and stream video and music from a PC to the PS4 broke the deal for me. As long as those things are missing, I'm not considering buying a PS4. If I want a gaming console that does little more than gaming I buy a Nintendo :P
  • If by better you mean it has 1/3 of the features of Xbox One and 1/3 as many AAA exclusive titles, then yes, ti's better.
  • Lol
  • It had 100% of the features it needs to be a gaming console and that is why it is doing better in sales; it concentrates on doing what consoles were made to do: Game. The video streaming and mp3 support is confirmed to be in there in the future once they get it finished.
  • No, it's doing better in sales because of 1. lower price and 2. ignorance and misconceptions. Wii U is more focused on games than PS4 but it's not doing better in sales, so that argument is moot, especially since more people used their Xbox 360s and PS3s for non-gaming purposes than for gaming purposes. Anyway, if you want to talk about games, Xbox One has better and more AAA exclusives, so it's not because of games either.
  • X1 could have 1,000 more features... There's ONE feature I want that all their competitors have.
    All those media centric features are pointless to me... Been doing shit like that for years with my laptop and PCs. I'm not going to clap for features that seem old hat to me. Hell... In 2006 I was DVRing cable shows on my Windows Media Center PC and streaming them to my 360. But I'm not being elitist, I know I'm the minority here, bit damn people. catch up already. I have to suffer for all you turtles. When it comes to the media options I want, I guess I'll have wait for the next-next Gen.
  • Better in what ways? I'm glad I got an X1. Please dont say graphics. Honestly, the differences aren't much and the 1080p debacle is becoming a thing of the past after the last update.
  • Because it's a better gaming device. Sale numbers prove it.
  • That's BS. With your misguided logic the Wii was a better gaming device than the Xbox 360 and PS3.
  • No, because Nintendo is technically not in direct competition with Sony and Microsoft. They serve a different purpose and a different demographic. They said so themselves. They don't build to compete with those two, so you can't include them in this discussion.
  • Wait? Sales numbers prove better device? Does that mean that the 520 is a better camera than 1020? Or better overall phone than Icon/930?
    NO, sales figures show what people bought, nothing more. People don't always buy the best device. They buy what they want to buy. You need better evidence to support your argument.
  • +822 :-)
  • You can't compare devices built to cater to different markets. Budget phones vs high end expensive phones cannot be compared.
  • Ok. Well then the sales numbers CLEARLY show that the galaxy S5 is WAY better than any WP flagship. Time to go guys, since WP sales aren't the highest they can't be the best. Let's all go get GS5s. See my point? High sales figures are an indicator that something is being done right, but it doesn't mean the device is better or worse. Marketing, hype, price, ECT all play a huge role. Also, XBOne up until now was $100 more than PS4. So that's a huge factor.
  • And if Xbox had higher numbers, they would be used to show which is better. They were during 360/ps3. But now suddenly ps4 is doing better and that is not a valid statistic?
  • It's a completely valid statistic, but not for saying which is the better device. I think in this case it reflects strongly on Microsoft's poor PR when they messed up their launch so badly. But which device is better is not a story told by sales figures alone. By that logic the Zune HD was way worse than any iPod, which I disagree with.
  • Xbox One is a different beast all together. Every game from indie to AAA game on the console has 1000 gamerscore. Not sure your concern is warranted.
  • Sorry for out of topic. Halo: Spartan Assault got 30% discount on Windows 8, become $3.49. And other games and apps too (which i do not care). Last for 20hrs.
  • Oh well, lets go off topic then. Lost Echo trial version available.
  • Sarcasm detected
  • Xbox on windows and WP is disintegrating right before Microsoft's eyes and they don't give a damn about it. What a bunch of morons, the lot of them.
  • True!
  • true that. this is the same company that still treating their developers and OEMs like kids while google empowers everybody. I don't know what went wrong inside MSFT but have they looked at their own software? I doubt most of it would pass their own "standards"
  • Umm. Isn't this a bit hypocritical? Halo is Xbox Live and it has in-app purchases.
  • Go back and read the story on why the WP version was delisted (we linked to it in this article) and then you'll understand. ~ ~
  • Ahh. Well, in that case, I blame the developers. They may not have been notified their apps were being delisted, but everyone had a heads up on the MS Point system going away. As soon as they got the email, they should have realized their apps would stop working.
  • You might have read that story a little too fast. The decision of whether to update games or not, and whether to keep them on the Store or not, was completely out of developers' hands. Much as with this Windows 8 version's delisting, which is even more arbitrary.
  • guys i droped my phone in d watr...mic not working and noise is distorted from the speaker...what to do?
  • I guess it proved its not water proof
  • This Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • bro...i just switched it off..opened it after 30mins...mic and speaker both are fine now....phone works as if it never went inside the pool..all phone...*place success kid meme here*..fck yeah
  • Learn proper English? Posted via Windows Phone Central App
  • Lets not forget 40 000 dollar charge everytime you want to update said game..... MS really should stand for Mr Scrooge.