Dead Ahead Review: 4.0
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…another zombie game. Dead Ahead, an iOS game developed by Chillingo, is a side-scrolling endless runner set amidst a zombie apocalypse. Zombies are a familiar concept used successfully by many great video games such as Plants vs. Zombies, Resident Evil, and even Call of Duty. Unfortunately, Dead Ahead is not one of them. Full of intrusive ads, inept gameplay, and an all-around boring feel, this game brings nothing new or fun to the table.
The bulk of Dead Ahead consists of the player riding through the streets while trying to avoid obstacles in order to achieve as high a score as possible. Along the way, players can gather up power ups, and zombies can be run over or shot for extra points. The player can choose to accelerate at will in order to escape zombie hordes from behind; however, the faster you go, the harder it is to avoid obstacles. Though scrolling your finger up and down the screen is an interesting control idea, it feels very sluggish at times and seems to fall apart when you start driving at faster speeds. Having your finger on the front of the screen creates a momentary blind spot and temporarily blocks oncoming obstacles, giving the player less time to react. The scroll control can be switched to the back of the screen, though this can tend to block some of the zombie horde that is chasing after you. It may be the lesser of the two evils, but it’s still annoying none the less.
Completing challenges throughout the game will level the player up, unlocking new levels, bikes, and guns that are available to purchase with in-game coins. Coins are earned based on your score throughout a run. The major downside to this system is that while these new guns, levels, and bikes add a bit of diversity and fun to the game, it would take either spending money or an exorbitant amount of play time to attain enough coins to buy even one of these items. I would advise against either, as this game is not worth the time or money.
Its inability to be fun from the start is just one of Dead Ahead’s annoying qualities. The game has pop-up ads that are unbelievably intrusive. While they have nothing to do with the game itself, they were incredibly bothersome and interruptive to the flow of gameplay, probably popping up every three or four runs. However, they can be turned off by paying a small fee.
Final Toast: 4.0
The real problem with Dead Ahead is that the game is just flat out boring. Its visuals are drab and uninspired, the gameplay is noticeably repetitious and sluggish, and the games music is nothing more than generic background noise. The game may be free to purchase, but everything has an opportunity cost, and this game’s is far too high. Your time would be better spent doing much more interesting things, such as folding laundry or clipping your toe-nails.