It’s Halloween, so why not set aside business for a moment and use that Android device for a little moaning, shambling zombie-themed game time? And since I happen to an author of a zombie series, I figured I might be a pretty good candidate for choosing some quality apocalyptic distractions from the whole of the dystopia.

And so, without further distraction from the nightmare landscape of your crashing network, breached security, and needy end users, let’s have some fun!

1. Plague Inc.

Plague Inc. isn’t so much zombies as it is apocalypse. With this game, you launch pathogens into a country (at your discretion) and attempt to wipe out the population of the planet (Figure A).

Figure A

Plague Inc. is one of the best apocalyptic games you’ll find.

As the pathogen spreads, you have to mutate it in order to keep it spreading quickly and prevent science from developing a cure. This is one of those games where you start and don’t realize just how much time has expired until you either win, pause, or lose. Of all the apocalyptic-themed games I’ve played, Plague Inc. has to be one of the most zombie-fying games of all.

As you play this game, though, you do slowly begin to understand exactly why we have the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control. And when you realize just how a pathogen can become a destructive force, issues like the ebola virus and the black death become more frightening than anything a horror writer or Hollywood director can dream up. You can install the free version (with ads) or purchase the full version (in-app purchase) and remove ads, unlock fast forward, modify genetic code to customize your plague, and unlock Mega Brutal. The cost of the full version is $1.06 (USD), and it’s worth every penny.

2. Zombies, Run!

The Zombies, Run! app picks up where the tried-and-true Zombie Run left off (which is now no longer being developed) and improves it greatly. With this game, you put your headphones on and take off on a run from impending doom. What I really enjoy about this game is that you are not only enjoying an immersive zombie-themed environment, you’re also getting some much-needed exercise. As you run, your goal is to collect supplies and avoid walking (or running) death. The app contains all 33 episodes of the first “season” (Figure B), and you can purchase more in-app.

Figure B

Selecting a mission in Zombies, Run!

The game also keeps statistics of your running game and, when you return from your run, you can use the supplies collected to grow your home base. Understand, this game is for those who actually want to get outside and get physical. So, if you’re of the more sedentary nature, you might want to hold off until you’ve managed to build up to a run — the zombies are fast. But most of all, you’ll manage to get some exercise and play a game at the same time. Win-win all around, even when being chased by the undead! As you run, you can also listen to music. At the moment, Zombies, Run! isn’t compatible with all music players. The best player to use is Shuttle. The app will set you back $3.99 (USD), but if you’re a fan of games and exercise, you’ll find it well worth the investment.

3. The Walking Dead

This is a five-part game series that packs a lot of undead punch. You can pick up The Walking Dead, Season One for free. The game follows a convicted criminal and his struggles to protect an orphaned girl. More than most games of this nature, The Walking Dead gameplay is very much influenced by decisions you make as the story unfolds. This game is best played with headphones — for the sake of ambiance — and it reminds me of some of the RPGs of old. (Figure C).

Figure C

Playing The Walking Dead app on a Verizon-branded LG G3.

Before you download this app, make sure that your device has enough power to play the game. The recommended requirements are:

  • GPU: Adreno 300 series, Mali-T600 series, PowerVR SGX544, or Tegra 4
  • CPU: Quad core 1.5 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB

This is a large app (1.15 GB), so make sure you have plenty of space on your device and that you’re connected to Wi-Fi for installation. One final note on this game… to exit the game, you have to swipe downward to exit out of fullscreen mode and then tap your home button.

As the haunting season comes to a close, you don’t have to stop getting your undead on. With your Android device handy, there are always zombies to kill and people to save. Give one of these apocalyptic-themed games a go and kills some moaners, some time, and even some calories!

What’s your favorite Android game? Let us know in the discussion thread below.