Game Reviews

Dead End

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| Dead End
Dead End
| Dead End

Dead End is a bloody action racer where OutRun-esque drifting and dodging meets a gritty Death Proof style. Oh, and zombies.

After choosing tilt or touch controls, you'll take to the road to splatter zombie goo all over the road and smear blood all over your windshield. Turns out that's a way to make a living.

Cash is earned by smashing into zombies and earning chain multipliers. There's an element of both skill and luck in maxing out your combo at ten hits - it's down to just what's on the road at any given time and whether you have the skill and car manoeuvrability to get to the next zombie chap.

It's tough to shake off a zombie without accidentally turning off your screen too

There are three types of zombies you'll run into on the road: the rotund, the normal, and the grabby. If a zombie latches on to the hood of your car, you'll need to shake your smartphone to knock it off.

Each run ends once your tyre or shield durability is exhausted. Hazards that chip away at this bar include road junk, cards swaying from side to side, and, of course, hails of gunfire from helicopters above.

In the garage you can spend your cash on upgrading your shield durability, tyre durability, and steering, as well as three power-ups of sorts - SlowMo, Booster, and Wipers. These power-ups are replenished at the start of each race, drastically reducing the overall difficulty of Dead End.

Well... er... what do I buy now?

Wipers are the handiest asset, allowing you to clean off the blood that builds up on your screen by swiping from side to side.

SlowMo is handy for making sure you hit every fiend if you spot a clump of zombies in the distance, and the Booster sends you blazing forward, ignoring potholes that would otherwise damage you.

After all the upgrades have been unlocked, the cash you earn is useless, with the only earnable item left being mysterious cassette tapes. These tapes are the only strictly limited resource in Dead End. Using one floods the road with zombies, guaranteeing a max combo and then some for a gigantic cash reward.

The trouble is that tapes are unlocked for every five missions you complete. These missions comprise a list of achievements rather than a full-on mission mode, with the zombie tallies and, disappointingly, "tweet your score" shenanigans.

Tape madness in action - mind the road, there

Whilst the moody menu music of Dead End has an almost Diablo-esque twang to it, the driving music is limited to a one endlessly looping thumping rock soundtrack that wouldn't be out of place in some kind of extreme sports chewing gum advert.

Completing Dead End's initial ten-mile run opens up an Endless mode, but the game really needs more content to justify its IAP unlock. More stages with different backgrounds to race through, more zombie types, or just more to do would all add much needed meat to these decaying bones.

Dead End

Dead End's grindhouse aesthetics are let down by its short lifespan and dead endgame
Danny Russell
Danny Russell
After spending years in Japan collecting game developers' business cards, Danny has returned to the UK to breed Pokemon. He spends his time championing elusive region-exclusive games while shaking his fist at the whole region-locking thing.