Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Crossroad Zombies is a frustrating game, not because it’s particularly difficult but rather it fails to reach its own full potential. The combination of God game and zombie survival it promises is tantalizing, but this is just a rough draft.
It’s yet another zombie apocalypse, but instead of playing as one of those chumps stuck in the thick of it, in Crossroad Zombies players are a God safely, but sadly, watching the carnage from above. The main goal is to earn points by protecting a special survivor for as long as possible. If they die, it’s game over. But since each new Armageddon starts with just a single zombie in a populated area, players can also try to contain the infection. Unfortunately, their only way of interacting with the world is by touching the ground to send a small shockwave pushing objects in different directions. Push people you’re protecting away from zombies. Push zombies into cars. Push your avatar towards power-ups to recharge this limited ability.
It’s such a cool, genre-blending idea in theory. And occasionally it works. Prioritizing who to save and who to abandon is agonizingly great as all your focus eventually dwindles down to the special survivor. People will naturally flee from zombies but won’t always notice a speeding truck so some babysitting is required. But overall, this just isn’t as engaging as it could be. For starters, the game wildly swings between so easy it plays itself and game-ending events that feel virtually unstoppable. Adding to this sense of impotence is just how lame and ineffective the player’s one form of indirect interaction is. It’s like trying to sculpt shapes out of water. And finally, the game’s ugly retro graphics drain all personality. At first I thought every pixel cluster on screen was a zombie in the messy top-down view.
I want to stress again though that I still enjoy the idea of Crossroad Zombies, even if I ultimately didn’t enjoy playing Crossroads Zombies. Hopefully one day that idea can rise from the dead as a game I actually do enjoy.