Honestly, I expected the worst when I loaded this one up for the first time. By all means, My Cat vs Zombies Episode 1: Meows in the Darkness should have been a meme-filled nightmare -- another throwaway XBLIG release that hoped to attract attention by featuring a handful of cat pictures and unfortunate Internet catchphrases.

And yet, a few minutes later, I realized that I was having fun. Look past the amateurish presentation and programmer art and you'll find a game that's strangely coherent and decently written, with gameplay mechanics that provide a surprising amount of depth.

My Cat Vs Zombies presents a bleak future in which humankind has been decimated by a zombie virus, and cats (being unaffected by the disease) have created an underground civilization. Unfortunately, in the years since the outbreak, zombies have developed a taste for cats. As Rascal the cat, you must fight for survival.

While hunting for fellow felines and taking on odd jobs (often as a catnip runner), you'll scavenge for weapons, earn experience, and level-up to earn new abilities. It's no masterpiece, but for what it is, it's executed quite well. I didn't think I'd be saying this, but I can't wait to see what's planned for the next episode.

My Cat Vs Zombies is priced at 80 Microsoft points ($1).