Welcome back to Rollin' Back the Week's Best Tips, the Friday column where we provide you with some helpful advice on new releases.  This time, we've got a doubleheader between Deep Silver's zombie-filled first-person action game Dead Island: Riptide and Namco Bandai's space saga Star Trek: The Video Game.

So without further ado, let's get started with the undead.  Heaven knows that's how we often feel at the start of Friday...

Dead Island: Riptide

Take Care of Your Team

You'll notice with the new tower defense-like stages in Riptide, your team will have to help you when incoming waves of enemies come pouring in.  It helps to have some good traps in place, including turrets and explosives that can tear them apart at once, but eventually you'll need to have strong teammates to back you up; no man is an (ahem) island.

You'll need to make sure to take care of your team so that they're not completely helpless.  It's kind of hard to do that when they ask you to complete side tasks, but doing so helps them earn trust in you and they'll fight harder to stay alive during these defensive stages.  You'll score some great weapons as well, which can help your survival rate even further.

Diversify Your Weapons – It Shouldn't Be All About Melee

Some people will say that melee weapons like oars and wrenches go a long way in Riptide.  While they do have some advantages, they can also weaken over time and there are situations where you may be forced to throw one, later having to recover it when zombies are pouncing on you.  So you'll want to balance your weapon load a little bit, with at least one kind of firearm or strong melee weapon in the beginning of the game, a solid swinging tool and maybe even a few bombs.  That way you're prepared for most situations, though some boss fights will still leave you scrambling when you least expect it.

Speaking of which, don't always just go for one type of melee weapon.  There are several throughout the game that you can try and even the lighter ones can do a significant amount of damage.  Play around with your weapon choices and see what's right for you.

Don't Forget You Can Kick and Even Jump Kick

With Dead Island: Riptide, it isn't always about going on the offensive and killing every zombie head-on.  Sometimes you need to strategize and get some breathing room in order to stay alive and that's where the kick ability comes in handy.  You can kick a zombie down to the floor, giving yourself a couple of seconds to arm the right weapon or get away long enough to come back swinging at them.  You can also perform a jump kick by running and hitting the kick button, which is quite useful if you need to clear more than one zombie out of your path.  Try it out in the beginning of the game, then utilize it when you need it the most.  You're fighting for survival here, it's not just for WWE wrestlers!

Those tips should help you out throughout Dead Island.  Now let's move on to Star Trek.

Star Trek: The Video Game

Who's Better – Spock or Kirk?

With Star Trek, you have the option to choose between Captain Kirk and Spock, his right-hand ma...er Vulcan.  Though it seems like they play the same, there are circumstances where you'll be doing something different with each character that warrants a play-through just to see how they turn out.  For instance, Kirk finds himself injured in one stage and Spock has to rush him to a nearby medical facility that is under attack by the evil alien race known as The Gorn.

The play experience is different in both situations.  Playing as Spock, you're unable to perform combat duties while you're be taking part in a mini-game to heal Kirk's wound.  As Kirk, you're unable to move off the gurney but can still shoot enemies that come charging through the doors.

Though there's aren't too many situations like this, both characters have an differences in combat and solving puzzles that require the opening of doors and panels.  There's moderate balance between the two.

Bring a Friend, Especially If They're a Star Trek Fan

In Star Trek, you have the option to play solo with the help of an AI partner, though there are times they can be unreliable.  It's best to play the game in co-op, working with a fellow player on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network or PC and helping each other out without losing track of one another.  You can complete cooperative duties much more quickly together, like giving someone a boost into the next area through ceiling panels, holding open a door so both of you can get through it, and reviving a player when they're down from too many hits.

It's hugely beneficial to have a good partner with you, someone that's very capable in combat as well as keeping track of what you're doing.

Keep Your Tri-Corder Handy, Because You'll Need it and Your Phaser

Along with any weapons you pick up in the game and the teamwork with your partner, one vital ingredient to your success in Star Trek is your Tri-Corder.  You can analyze items in the area or call upon a partner to meet you at a location or activate a door that you're having trouble getting through using the device.  It's simply a matter of holding down the left shoulder button and pointing at what you need to get more info on.  You'll want to keep this charged because you might be in trouble without it, especially when it comes to tracking cables through floors to find power sources.

As for ammunition, you'll have no trouble refilling your supply using the several distribution pods that you'll run into over the course of the game.  They're usually placed midway between levels and pretty easy to spot with a solid white design.  Carry as much as you can, because the Gorn definitely mean business.

Hope these tips help.  Live long and prosper!

We'll see you next week with another Rollin' Back the Week's Best Tips!