Allow me to introduce a new feature here on Nintendo Inquirer: Cheap Nintendo Gems. We all love Nintendo games, and we all have a budget. I think I can help.

I’ll vigilantly scour the deal forums, weekly ads, and retailer sites to find you cheap Nintendo games that are worth your time. When I come across a gem, I’ll tell you where to find it, how much it will cost you, and why I think it’s worth picking up. This will include Wii U and 3DS games, as deals permit, but you might also find me bringing up eShop deals, virtual console classics, and even Wii and DS titles on occasion. All you’re going to need to enjoy my recommendations is a Wii U, a 3DS and a healthy appreciation for a buck. So without further ado, here is your first Cheap Nintendo Gem:

ZombiU (Wii U) $8.99 at Best Buy: $7.19 with Gamer’s Club Unlocked

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I’m not going to lie, I’ll take any chance I can get to bring up ZombiU. Not only was it easily my favorite launch title for the Wii U, but even now, a couple years and many fantastic games later, it still stands out as one of the system’s most interesting games.

ZombiU handily subverts the hilarious cliché that zombie horror games have become. Utilizing an uncommon setting and a GoPro-style first person camera, the game firmly plants you in the shoes of a lonely survivor. The supporting cast is slim, zombies are everywhere, and ammunition is an anomaly. A cricket bat, while maybe not the ideal zombie-slaying weapon, is your only constant companion.

Taking cues from From Software’s Souls series, death comes with some heavy tolls. Your entire cache of equipment can be gone in seconds if you venture too far into the unknown. On the other hand, foolish bravery is sometimes the only way to progress. You’ll find yourself constantly walking this perilous line in ZombiU.

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Oh, and who would have thought that one of the best arguments for the Wii U GamePad would come from outside Nintendo? Ubisoft fully designed ZombiU around the system’s unique controller, using it for a huge variety of HUD and input elements. It recently came to light that ZombiU may be making the jump to PS4 and Xbox One under a new name, but I honestly can’t see it being half as interesting without all of the brilliant control implements.

If you are a Wii U owner and have somehow managed to pass up this criminally underrated game, this is a perfect opportunity to rectify that. Some of you may be adamantly opposed to the horror genre, I understand that, and you’re off the hook. But if you skipped ZombiU based on the divisive reviews or the unfortunately poor sales, I implore you to give it another look. For $8.99, you really can’t go wrong.

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Written by Brittin Shauers

Brittin literally grew up with Link, Mario and Samus. These three characters and their worlds collectively capture everything that he loves about video games.

Brittin Shauers