This category is probably our favorite here at the Zombie Gift Guide. There are SO many movies, books, television shows, games, and other media in the zombie / horror genre so that so many gems go by without much recognition when they deserve more of it. We make it a point to pluck out those ugly, gorey, rotten zombie gems and showcase them here in the Under-Rated category for the world to see!
When I first came across Rebuildwhen it was originally ONLY offered as a PC – Browser based Flash game on a website like Kongregate (where you can still play Rebuild 1 & 2FREE in your browser). Let me tell you, there wasn’t a whole lot like Rebuild out there. Created by Sarah Northway (For Tower Games, originally), the Rebuild game enjoyed cross-platform success over a span of nearly ten years that is well-deserved.
This turn-based strategy game takes place right at the beginning or in the middle of (depending on what version you play, they vary slightly) the zombie apocalypse. For some reason, you have come to find that you are immune to the virus. Naturally, that turns you into a leader and you seek to rebuild (hence the name) society and civilization by taking back zombie-infested facilities, recruiting survivors, and, eventually trading with (or murdering) other factions that you discover along the way. You move from city to city with a select group of survivors of your own choosing, clearing the way for your new metropolis. As you progress, politics and survival knowledge will dictate how well you survive or adapt to certain situations, how happy your fellow survivors are, and if other factions hate or adore you.
You can create and edit survivor’s using a limited character builder which allows you to change their look and name. During your character creation at the beginning of the game, you have the choice of different ‘career’s, ‘professions’, or ‘skills’ that you can select from that will decide how well you perform certain actions throughout the game.
No matter where you go and what you do, zombies become an increasingly dangerous and pressing problem. While you don’t have to ally with other factions to defeat them, having them on your side is much easier than fighter both them AND the zombie hordes, particularly later on. Some of the factions in this game are hilarious, such as the Chosen Ones in Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville, that worship the zombie virus and repeatedly commit ritual suicides so that they can become a horde of ravenous undead that will inevitably attack your encampment.
The battles in this game are passive and are completely based on the Fighter skill. You may select survivors to defend or attack tiles, scout, and scavenge them. Zombie hordes only appear once they’re close enough to be revealed, but you can always pre-emptively clear hordes from tiles before they amass into something more lethal.
While you may be immune, your fellow survivors are not. Death is a common occurrence in this game – for children as well – which undoubtedly adds to the realism but some may find this aspect of the game unnerving.
Because of the amount of variables in this game, the random generated maps, choices, survivors with unique skills and personalities, and the advancement of the game over time with the various version., I highly recommend it to those who enjoy strategy games and want something that they can play offline. This game is for sale on all platforms, including in browser format, and the sequels are available for purchase from the Rebuild home site as well as Amazon (At a discount!), Google Play, Itunes App Store, Steam, and on Kongregate.
Some devices may not display dialogue windows entirely, particularly wide screen or full screen devices like the Motorola Edge when playing the app version
The graphics progressively get better throughout the series, but still on par with standard Flash graphics. I personally enjoy this comic-book / flash style, but don’t compare it to more graphically intense survival simulators like the zombie apocalypse survival sim on Steam
Combat system is non-existent, entirely based on stats and RNG
Can be challenging even on normal or easy modes due to the randomly generated maps often lacking resources or buildings required for advancement
Can get somewhat repetitive. Each city often requires the same amount of challenges, allies / enemies, or has the same requiements to advance to the next stage
This game and all sequels can be purchase directly from the developer’s website https://rebuildgame.com/ using Paypal. It is a one time purchase and does not require a subscription and does not have in game microtransactions.
This game can run on any PC or Mobile Device running any of the operating systems above, Windows XP Minimum requirement for XP. Can also run on Chromebooks, Netbooks, and Browser based computers / laptops without modern processors.due to the adjustable rendering settings.
The Rebuild Series hasn’t disappointed me since its last release (Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville) back in 2015. I still find myself downloading and playing this game on and off, playing through on different difficulties and trying new stategies with each new game I start. For the replayability of this game it is well worth the price and, since you can basically play it anywhere (except consoles), you can enjoy Rebuild at home or on your lunch breaks at work, save the game, and return to it as you please.
The variables, randomly generated events and content, strategies, and storyline are intricate and engaging enough to make it worth every penny (and more.) I highly recommend this game to strategy nerds and those of you who also enjoy choice based games, survival simulators, or RPGs. If you’re an FPS or MMORPG fan, however, this game may be too slow-paced for you.
There is a lot of written content and most of the events that are triggered are done so in a comical way versus using cinematics or cut scenes to tell the main story. If that is your cup of tea, you will absolutely love Rebuild.
Even big-time zombie movie fans may have mostly missed Fido. It came and went with barely a whisper back in 2006, maybe because of its Canadian origins and poor distribution; maybe because nobody knew what to make of it. Is it a comedy? A satire? A skewed love story? Tor is it, in fact, a skewed sequel to Romero’s classicNight of the Living Dead (1968)? That’s still a good question, but there’s no doubt this is one of the least expected and most watchable of the “dark comedies” to come out of the genre… and it might be brand new to the zomfan in your life (or unlife).
Comedian and satirist Billy Connolly is virtually unrecognizable as Fido, the domesticated zombie “contracted” to Carrie-Anne Moss‘s family. They’re part of a bizarre alternative America in which radiation brought about the rising of the dead in the early Fifties, it seems, and led to a long-ago, hard-won set of “zombie wars.” Now the world, or at least as much as we see of it, is a weirdly static Perfect 1950’s World, kept that way by the ubiquitous ZomCom Corporation (you have to love that name!) that created electronic collars that allow the calming and control of your classic Romero slow zombies with the touch of a button. And that’s what Fido is – just one of the shuffling, voiceless, undead slaves in this odd world – until the family he’s working for develops an equally odd affection for him. Then the collar malfunctions and Fido kills a neighbor (who deserved it, but still …
From the beginning, Fido is not what you expect, and the entire presentation – from the off-puttingly realistic Fifties Paradise to the performances of Moss, Connolly, Dylan Baker (currently in Hunters) and the rest, are flawless and devoid of any wink-wink nudge-nudge to the audience. It’s a shame Fido’s been nearly forgotten since its appearance fifteen years ago, but that can change with a click… and it should. We’re willing to bet you’ll like this hidden gem.
OG Tough Guys andDumb But Cute Would-Be Thugs Fight the Undead
Movie / Outrbrea / Underrated
Cockneys vs. Zombies offers a truly ridiculous premise: a group of young Cockney toughs are simply trying to rob a bank, no big deal, when, bam, here comes the zombie apocalypse. They fight off the walkers with some understandable difficulty – I mean, there are not the sharpest bulbs in the basket -- but eventually, they get the job done – or they survive at least -- and somehow end up at an old folks’ home that’s populated by aging Cockney toughs from two generations back… and damn, can those old folks kick ass. It’s only a matter of minutes before the oldsters – the literal OG’s – are taking charge and beating back the horde of the hungry dead.
There’s absolutely no reason this should be as funny, engaging, and even exciting as it is. But it is. There’s a mad exuberance about old folks blasting away at the shamblers while the hapless younger generation barely keeps up. Much of it has to do with the performances of some great tough-type character actors from long ago – Alan Ford (who you will recognize immediately as playing the Cockney Tough guy since the 1960’s about 200 times -- Snatch, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, etc.) and Honor Blackman (yes, the GoldfingerBond Girl and The Avengers‘ Mrs. Peel before there was a Mrs. Peel), not to mention Harry Treadawayas the only young’un with half a brain. Treadaway went on to distinguish himself as Dr. Frankenstein inPenny Dreadful, as Brady Hartsfield inMr. Mercedes, and most recently as Narek in Picard.
You might have skipped this as another one of the Stripper vs. Zombies or Bigfoot vs Zombies low-budget throwaways, but in fact, this is a surprisingly well-made and just plain fun addition to your zombie collection. Or another great surprise for the zomfan who’s missed it for years.
Native Americans vs. Zombies in a Grim, Effective Film
Movie / Post-Apocalypse / Underrated
With so many low-budget zombie movies sneaking in through streaming services or film festivals, it’s easy to miss unexpected quality and creativity when it appears. Here’s an example.
Blood Quantum (sorry, kind of an awful and pretty much inexplicable name) has your standard virus-based flesh-eaters, and the opening scenes that establish it are deceptively familiar. But the truly intriguing part comes after a timeshift, as we focus on the stories that rotate around the effect of the zombie apocalypse on the First Nations and an already devastated Mi’kmaq reservation – a reservation that survives because Native Americans seem to be immune to the zombie virus, maybe because of their connection to the Earth itself.
Virtually all the principle players here are Native Americans, and many of them came from and went on to fascinating careers. Elle-Maija Tailfeathersis a multi-award-winning actor, writer, producer and director; her co-star Michael Greyeyes paid his zombie-dues in multiple episodes of Fear the Walking Dead,showed up after Blood Quantum, in the not-wonderful V Wars, and was excellent in the underrated mystery series Home Before Dark. He also has the dubious distinction of playing Rainbird in the otherwise awful remake if Firestarterin 2022. No George C. Scott, maybe, but at least the part was played, more than passably well, by an actual member of the First Nations as Stephen King meant it to be. The writer and director, Jeff Barnaby, is a member of the Mi’kmaq himself, and continues his work on projects based on the realities and fantasies of native Americans, past present and future.
It’s a bleak and brutal plot and worldview, but not without good reason, and probably one of the best – and most overlooked – ‘serious’ zombie movies of the decade.