Developer: Chillingo Ltd
Price: FREE
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

deadahead06I know a lot of people have begun to get tired of zombies, but not me. Assuming the game they’re in is good, of course. I mean I still like zombies in my games but Dead Ahead isn’t getting a free pass. That said, I’ve been having a great time with it. Not because of all the Living Dead but because it’s a genuine blast to play.

As one of possibly only a couple of living humans in a zombie-infested world, players will have to stay ahead of a mass of hungry corpses while avoiding all manner of obstacles in order to stay alive. Simple touch controls allow them to weave around derelict vehicles and barricades (and guide pursuing undead into them), accelerate to gain ground (or plow through zombies in front of them, and fire off their weapon behind them. Like all endless runners the idea is to last as long as possible but there are also a number of challenges that are issued that will increase the player’s rank once each set of is completed. Higher ranks unlock better bikes and weapons, while cash earned by squishing zombies is needed to purchase and upgrade them.

I’m totally in love with Dead Ahead‘s visual style. It’s semi-retro with visible pixels and such, but also quite detailed and extremely well animated. Watching zombies burst when running them over or faceplant and skid on the pavement when they trip over an obstacle is incredibly satisfying and never gets old. The constant push to move up in the ranks as well as to acquire better gear is also great. Ignoring the call of “just one more run” is difficult enough but knowing there’s only one more challenge between me and the next rank, or only a little more cash for the next firearm, it’s almost impossible.

deadahead10I just wish there were another control option. There are already two (buttons or dragging), but the problem is that my thumb has a tendency to block oncoming hazards from my view for a few precious milliseconds. It’s still possible to react and get around them for the most part but it can be pretty tough at high speeds. I hate to admit it since I tend to vastly prefer touch over tilt, but in this instance I think the latter would work even better for me.

Dead Ahead is a great endless runner with plenty to offer, even to those who have grown to hate seeing zombies in their games. I certainly wouldn’t mind having a third control option for tilting to make dodging obstacles at high speeds a little easier (theoretically), but what’s already there is more than enough to get the job done. I also never get tired of watching the gloriously animated zombie carnage, so there’s that.


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