Apr 14, 2014
Zombies have become a gaming mainstay. With good reason too; they are the perfect adversary, as they’re stinky, they walk funny and tend to crave weird things to eat. In the inevitable zombie apocalypse, we are all gonna have to find innovative ways to dispatch the undead, and Dead End provides us with a cool, relatively painless way of doing it.
The first thing one should notice in this game is the interestingly zany artwork. It hearkens back to a time of the Big Red Machine and when John Travolta made a living on the dance floor. The 70s motif is especially reflected in the reversed reddish monochromes that the gameplay is bathed in.
The gameplay itself is as simple as it gets. The player is in a vehicle, and using optional tilt controls or virtual direction buttons, the overriding goal is to take out as many zombie jay-walkers as possible to score points; different types have different point values. To counter this, there are different types of road hazards — stuff like spikes in the road and strewn debris — that reduce the motility of the driven vehicle. Running over zombies usually leads to splatter on the windscreen that blocks vision, a swipe gesture activates wipers.
So, at the base level, a lot of quick reflexes are needed to make the most of the runs. Challenges are incorporated, using things like distances, combos and money spent. I liked that the developer flips these challenges around further on, and makes players go distances without hitting zombies. In and of themselves, the challenges should provide plenty of enjoyment.
Crushing the zombies yields cash, and cash can be used to upgrade the car. Upgrades are valuable as they increase vehicle attributes and also provide exhaustible boosts. These definitely come in handy with regards to the missions.
All in all, the game comes together well, and has many hidden elements. It’s a worthy freemium game, and 99c unlocks the full game.