This new strategy base building game has a twist: cure the zombie hordes instead of killing them

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True story: Before we got married I made my wife agree that if a zombie apocalypse ever breaks out and I'm bitten and I turn into a zombie, she's not allowed to kill me. There will be no moment when she (tearfully, I would hope) aims a shotgun or rifle at my head and blows my brains out. Instead I insisted she trap me, lock me in a closet, shackle me to a pipe, dig a pit and trick me into falling into it—anything she could do to neutralize me as a threat besides killing me. 

(Don't worry, I didn't make it a part of our wedding vows or anything. I'm not a weirdo! I just made her promise. Solemnly. On multiple occasions.)

My reasoning is that there might someday be a cure for zombieism, and wouldn't she feel bad if she splattered my brains all over the wall only to find out a day later that a quick jab from the doctor would have set me right?

So I'm pleased to see a post-apocalyptic base building game in a world full of flesh-eating zombies where the goal is to cure the zombies instead of killing them. In Zombie Cure Lab, which was released on Steam Early Access today, scientists have found a cure for the zombie plague. It's a bit more complex than just a simple injection, so you'll have to construct a sturdy base to protect your eggheads, gather resources, and set up jobs and shifts among your scientists. With your base and workers in place, research new technology, upgrade your equipment, and set up automated defenses and a zombie cure production line.

As for the hordes of zombies trying to bash their way into your base and feed on the juicy, knowledgeable brains of your science team, they'll need to be neutralized and captured with the help of freeze ray technology. Once a zombie has been safely ice-cubed and contained, you begin the process of curing them, which takes multiple treatments. Zombies will progress through several "humbie" forms (part-human, part zombie) and once they've regained a bit of their humanity you can put them to work in your lab while you continue your research to unlock the full cure and restore them to 100% human form. 

But it's not enough to just build a base and start cramming zombies into curing pods. You'll need to manage the moods and needs of both your scientists and humbie helpers, making sure no one gets too unhappy or stressed out. If a humbie gets angry, they might just let their zombie instincts take over and rampage through your lab, undoing all your hard work. (I think we've seen the perils of keeping zombies in your research lab in one or two movies.)

Zombie curing lab

(Image credit: Aerosoft GmbH)

Zombie Cure Lab has a fun and cartoony art style, but it doesn't look all that casual: Some of the lab layouts in the release trailer above are pretty darn elaborate. It looks like there's plenty of automated systems to play with (some powered by helpful humbies walking on treadmills), gardens to grow plants, a big tech tree to unlock, and lots more to build and manage. And it's just nice to see the zombie apocalypse being handled by something other than shotguns and crossbow bolts. You'll find Zombie Cure Lab on Steam.

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.