At first glance, Dead Venture doesn't look up to much. It's another zombie game, with those same blocky graphics you see everywhere.
But after about five minutes of play, it becomes apparent that there's a lot more going on in the game than initially thought.
It's a wonderfully fun, oddly strategic, and well-thought game that encourages repeat plays to get the most out of it.Dead simple
Playing Dead Venture is fairly straightforward. You have a gas pedal, a brake pedal, and you can turn left or right.
You kill zombies by running them over, and you'll quickly unlock a gun which automatically shoots the closest zombie in its path.
This can prove slightly annoying, as you'll blow through ammo on smaller enemies before reaching tougher foes and bosses, but there's often enough ammo crates lying around to counteract this.
You'll have up to three objectives to complete at one time, which usually consist of driving to a certain location and killing zombies.
But you've only got so much fuel in your tank, so you'll usually need to focus on one mission at a time, or you'll find yourself running dry before you've completed even one.Back from the dead
Dead Venture doesn't really do failure, though. Running out of fuel or getting destroyed just ends the day, gives you all the coins you've collected, and invites you to start all over again.
You're able to upgrade your vehicle and weapon before you head back out with the coins you earn, allowing you to last a little longer and travel a little further with each run.
It sounds slightly repetitive, but it's designed in such a way that you'll hardly notice.
Missions are switched up regularly to offer variety, and you'll often have enough coins for an upgrade after each run, giving you a strong feeling of progression even in short bursts.
And raking in cash while you mow down zombies is always fun, especially with explosive barrels and cars thrown into the mix, which can wipe out a huge crowd in a gleefully large explosion.Dead behind the eyes
The only thing holding it back is the aforementioned blocky graphics, which mask an otherwise excellent game with bland presentation.
The levels also feel a tad empty outside of mission-specific areas, meaning there's little point in wandering off the beaten track.
But ultimately, if you follow the path Dead Venture has in mind for you, you'll find yourself having a whale of a time.
It's a deeply satisfying experience that hides its depth behind a simple control system and easy to grasp mission design, and it's well worth a look if you have a zombie killing scratch to itch.