Earn to Die 2 is, as you might expect, the sequel to Earn to Die, which was met with a somewhat tepid response a little over two years ago here on Pocket Gamer.
In this follow-up you play as some bloke. Let's call him Quentin. That'll work. For all the game tells you, he might have been in the first game. I haven't a clue.
Surrounded by zombies, and with a tone closer to Dead Rising than The Walking Dead, Quentin needs to drive a series of knackered vehicles across a chunk of America to get to an evacuation site whilst a Foo Fighters-esque soundtrack blares out.Out of fuel
A 2D vehicular platformer, you'll control a series of utterly evil automobiles using on-screen buttons to lean back and forwards, and to run out of fuel. Sorry, to accelerate and boost.
Oh wait, you noticed that I labelled the vehicles as evil? Yeah. They're all a bunch of swines. While you'd think the hordes of the undead might be the biggest challenge here, it turns out that every car, truck, van, and digger you drive wants you to suffer.
Which is awkward, to say the least, given that these rides are your only way of interacting with the game world.
Start a level, which is split into a few checkpoints, and you'll drive to the right for a bit. You'll run over zombies, who are 'all groan and no bite', and crash into boxes which, as the on-screen text really wants you to believe, is 'awesome'.Out of fuel
Go right for long enough and you'll run out of fuel. You'll be given a score based on how far you got, which converts to in-game dollars. You can then spend these dollars on upgrading your vehicle at the garage.
Maybe you'll opt for a larger fuel tank. Perhaps some better tires could help. Or how about saving up for a gun that takes out zombies before your car bashes them? Honestly, it just doesn't matter.
Yes - grab a few upgrades and you might be able to reach an early checkpoint, letting you start there on your next run. But unless every part of your car is maxed out. and unless you splash out on the best petrol, you simply won't be able to finish the level.Out of fuel
So begins a tedious cycle. Start a run, go to the right, run out of fuel. Upgrade a bit. Start a run, go a bit further to the right. Out of fuel. Rinse and repeat very literally ad nauseam.
Here's another slice of fried gold - completing a level actually feels like a punishment.
With your souped-up ride confined to the previous level, you then become lumbered with a new vehicle, slow and useless, without a single upgrade, and you'll have no in-game bucks to help. Ugh.
Is it meant to be satire? Some sort of nihilistic comment on life as we know it? I don't know, and I don't care.
And while such a stance might seem a tad harsh, especially given my usually devout dedication to being as constructive as possible, I simply can't find a game within this grind-fest.
The physics are nice. Out of fuel.