Every month, Microsoft announces new Games with Gold that Xbox Live Gold subscribers can download for free and keep forever (even if their subscription expires).

This month, Microsoft is giving ZA gamers Dead Island: Riptide, that zombie-bashing, awkwardly-controlling first-person survival horror sequel to 2011’s Dead Island. Having played it on PS3, I can verify that Riptide is most certainly worth your gaming time, and is thus a pretty good giveaway for Gold subscribers.

They’re also giving away Toy Soldiers, a tower-defense type game played using green plastic army men, which will become available on the 16th.

If you’ve never played Riptide before, here’s some advice: get another three of your mates to sign up for XBL Gold so they can also get the game, go get some snacks and set aside a Saturday to play through the campaign together. While I enjoyed playing the game alone, I found that it was even better with friends – defending camps from zombie attacks with mates is much better than with computer-controlled NPCs, and there are a lot more zombies to thwack when you’re playing co-op so it’s a lot harder, too.

Riptide may be a flawed sequel to a flawed game, but it is still a lot of fun. It’s also huge and will keep you playing for ages. Do yourself a favour and sign up for XBL Gold and grab it between now and the 15th of Feb.

Deon got his first taste of PC gaming at the tender age of 11 when his father bought an 8088 XT, ostensibly to "help him with his homework". Instead, it introduced him to Leisure Suit Larry, King Graham, Sonny Bonds and many more, and Deon has been a PC gamer and hardware enthusiast ever since. He landed his first professional writing gig in 2006 at a prestigious local PC magazine, a very happy happenstance as he got to write for a living about things he loves - tech, PCs, gaming, and everything in between. He's been writing about it all ever since, and loves every minute of it.