Jan 29, 2013
Zombies are everywhere. Seriously, they’re not even real and they cannot be escaped. Zombie Road Trip from Spokko has plenty of zombies to run over, and run from. After all, when the zombies come, it’s best to have a quick finger on the trigger and foot down on the throttle.
The game plays similarly to other endless games and 2D racers like Extreme Road Trip and publisher Noodlecake Games’ Lunar Racer. Players control a car that drives forward unceasingly, and can do frontflips and backflips as tricks, which give the car a short turbo boost, and can build up a meter with a longer turbo boost that gets unleashed when it fills up. The game blends in a dollop of action with its racing, as players can tap on the screen to shoot their weapon, which is needed to take out the various earthbound and airborne zombies that populate the landscape. Crashing into them slows the player down, and allows the zombie horde that is chasing after the player to get closer. They’re like nightfall from Tiny Wings except deadlier.
The physics system does work extremely well: the cars have a good feeling while spinning in the air, like pulling off the spins is meant to work. Granted, sticking the landings properly is tricky, but the game does reward landing perfectly. In fact, I like that the zombie horde getting near is not inherently a sign that the game is over, like in Tiny Wings: the player still has ample opportunity to escape by doing tricks. Also, there’s plenty of style in the game: zombie decapitations during flips are possible, and there’s also just something cool about shooting out a bird with a lottery ticket in midair after you’ve just flown past it.
The weapon usage, while well-handled, can be frustrating to use because they’re generally burst-firing weapons; there’s no sweet satisfaction that comes from having a steady stream of fire to take down zombies. The reloading delay can slow down turbo boosts, as well, which just feels awkward. But it’s a minor complaint.
The game is free to play, though if it sold for $0.99 (such an uptick, I know) it would feel quite fair; the game hands out a good amount of coins by just playing, completing objectives, or through the lottery tickets that are earned, but naturally the best cars and upgrades will take a while to unlock without spending money. Still, this is definitely a free-to-have-fun game, not a free-to-pay one.
Fans of endless racers that feel like the genre has been lacking zombies (because they’re so underrepresented in modern culture) or just want an interesting new twist on the familiar concept should check this one out.