Space Pirates and Zombies 2 blasts off properly

Spaceship-building shoot-o-strategy sandbox Space Pirates and Zombies 2 today officially launched, following eighteen months in early access. No, don’t mind the name: this is an interesting game. You build your own spaceship, right, by snapping together bits and pieces. So far, so spaceship. Then you set out to stay alive in a post-spacezombie apocalypse, however you can. Find resources, claim territory, build bases, salvage, trade, befriend factions, break alliances, and shoot spaceships… all while 200 other AI-controlled captains do the same. A bit like Mount & Blade with spaceships.

So! Build a spaceship. Similar to Captain Forever, you get to build ships as you please by snapping together weapons, engines, and everything, then the physics engine figures out how it’ll fly. Build a ship as agile, lumbering, or deadly as you dream. Next, space.

SPAZ 2 (yes, I know) follows on from the first game, with the spacezombies gone but the galaxy trashed and exhausted. You and those 200 other captains are all trying to get by however you can, building up your strength, working with some folks, and fighting others. Action is top-down on a 2D plane with plenty of pew pew and some lurid laserblasts. I welcome colourful space.

I’ve been watching SPAZ 2 from the sidelines during early access and think I’ll finally have a go now it’s properly out. Early birds, what have you made of it?

Space Pirates and Zombies 2 is out now for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It costs £15 on Steam and GOG.


  1. Freud says:

    I enjoyed the first one and spent some 40 hours completing it. It does seem like this game is more sandboxy, as a sign of the times.

    • Cyber Ferret says:

      I remember the first game only for turning me onto Starsector (formerly Starfarer), a vastly superior game, even if it is unfinished.

  2. Hyena Grin says:

    Small developers have an endless capacity for using titles that immediately turn me off of games I would enjoy if I actually played them.

    I had to get over Project Zomboid’s awful name. Zafehouse Diaries is an abysmal name.

    Come to think of it, a lot of the cringeworthy titles are zombie games. Funny how that works.

    Anyway, thanks for bringing my attention to this, it’s one I would have ignored in perpetuity had someone not pointed out the title isn’t reflective of the content.

  3. Sarcophagus says:

    It also has a great VR mode, for those still keepin on with Rifts and Vives. The UI takes a bit of time to get used to, but it ends up being more fun in VR.

    • DoomBroom says:

      Hell yes! Here’s a video from the dev explaing how it works in VR.

  4. Nice Save says:

    I vaguely remember the first one, I would go back and play it again but it appears I bought it on Impulse…

  5. KDR_11k says:

    The first one suffered badly from the zombies being absolutely not fun to deal with. I hope them being gone is true and not just setting up for a lategame plot twist of “surprise, the zombies are back!”.

    • Deemedrol says:

      I hated zombies in SPAZ 2. Thankfully, in the second game they can simply be disabled if you play the Sandbox mode. But they’re fun to deal with now, mostly because you have other enemies too (other nations) so you’re not forced to grind the zombies.

  6. Sian says:

    I bought into the early access fairly… early because I enjoyed Space Pirates and Zombies 1. I ended up asking for a refund because the combat was very dull at the time. As far as I can remember, it was basically flying around while the ship did the shooting. There was an option to aim manually, but I think the weapons that couldn’t aim at whatever I was trying to shoot continued doing their own thing. Does anybody know whether that’s changed at all?

    • Makaze says:

      The same. I was also a fan of and bought the sequel on the basis of enjoying the first game. But ended up very disappointed in the combat, which is the core part of gameplay. I fired it up a few weeks before release to see if they’d made changes and unfortunately it’s the same limp lifeless AI controlled shooting. It pushes none of the buttons that made me like the original.

  7. Monggerel says:

    Boy I sure hope the game’s economy (and all of the player’s activities) are still based 110% (production modifier) on the work of enslaved people. That slight detail just never ceased to warm my heart in the first game, not that it stopped me playing or enjoying, mind.

    thank god I have no ethics whatsoever and navigate entirely by slapping together ragged chunks of morality torn from other, more complete people

  8. Nauallis says:

    Captain Benny’s Anarchic Adventures, 2017 Edition

    That first game was a ton of fun for awhile, but the story was wonky as hell. Probably will give this a go.

  9. Cronstintein says:

    Btw they have a demo up on steam, so no reason not to give it a try.

  10. Wolfram86 says:

    I got this game about a month ago, it’s quite fun but eventually the entire game becomes very repetitive. The combat is okay but ultimately boils down to casually flying around while auto-firing. Basically it’s a good 20-hour game.