Game Reviews

Into the Dead

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| Into the Dead
Into the Dead
| Into the Dead

In amongst all the human melodrama of The Walking Dead and the comical stylings of Zombiewood and The Bowling Dead, it's easy to forget that zombies are actually pretty scary.

Shuffling hordes of unthinking monsters - some of them people you used to know and love - all wanting nothing more than to chew on your innards? Screw using them as target practice - I'm out of here.

If Into the Dead achieves nothing else, it manages to reinstate that frantic tension. Fortunately, it does a lot more beside.

British zombiedog

Into the Dead is a bleakly atmospheric first-person endless-runner that reminds me of Dead Runner - Distinctive's effective but somewhat anaemic game of a few years back.

While here, too, you find yourself legging it through spooky forests - as well as corn fields and more open areas - your enemy in this case is visible, plentiful, and always in front of you.

It's like a grim game of British Bulldog as you dart left and right (using tilt or touch controls), avoiding the zombies in your path. You can get away with nudging into these zombies at the cost of a stumble, but a direct hit will result in instant death and the end of your run.

There are also various pieces of level furniture to avoid - fences to vault, trees to dodge, and zombie-hiding corn crops to navigate.

Aim for the head

If that was it - which appears to be the case from your initial run - Into The Dead would be an effective but pretty limited experience.

But the game really flourishes from your second run onwards. First you'll encounter the game's combat system, which isn't particularly involved in itself - just tap the screen to shoot or attack - but adds an extra layer of strategy and timing to proceedings.

Picking up the weapons stashes dotted throughout each level is a welcome tactical element - do you risk steering into trouble in the hope of securing a shotgun? You can also pick up whatever weapon you were wielding in your last run if you make it back to the same point.

Dead good

Then there are the missions, which subscribe to the school of bright freemium ideas. Here you're given a cluster of three objectives to complete, such as killing a set number of zombies with a certain weapons, making it to a certain point without using a weapon, or something altogether trickier.

Once you complete all three, you move on to the next 'mission'. It's a great way to keep you interested in a pretty repetitive game, and along with the unlockable weapons it grants a vital sense of progression.

There are also perks to consider - advantageous conditions you can purchase for the next round such as a head start, more ammo, or more frequent weapon stashes.

All these additional elements combine with Into the Dead's atmospheric and incredibly tense zombie-dodging action to form a compelling take on the endless-runner.

Into the Dead

Tense and atmospheric, with a compelling mission system, Into the Dead scares the endless-runner genre back into action
Jon Mundy
Jon Mundy
Jon is a consummate expert in adventure, action, and sports games. Which is just as well, as in real life he's timid, lazy, and unfit. It's amazing how these things even themselves out.