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- Great retro design
- Different every time
- Challenging... in a good way
- It seems trick progressing beyond day 7 or 8
- Could do with a little more variety in challenges & locations
A fun, choose-your-own zombie apocalypse adventure
Size: 53.8 MB
Platform: iPhone & iPad
Launched as part of Apple’s recent indie games showcase, Death Road to Canada represents one of the more comedic and retro efforts that sailed into the App Store in March. The game is certainly a premium affair, however, so we thought we’d take a closer look and see whether this zombie apocalypse choose-your-own adventure style game is worth your hard earned dollar.
First, make no mistake, Death Road to Canada is fairly ridiculous, yet so, so much fun. This is the premise: it’s the zombie apocalypse. Every major (and minor) power has disintegrated but one: Canada. Your task, with a band of fellow survivors, is to make the journey from the US to the land of the maple leaf. Along the way you’ll pick up new people, and you’ll lose people to the hordes. Your only goal is to keep going – find fuel, food, weapons – and bash those pixelated zombies back to where they came from.
When it comes to DRtC the tongue is firmly in cheek. The art style is top down, and heavy on the pixels. It reminded us a little of Zelda if all the other characters were undead. It’s an inspiration we had confirmed later when a character called ‘Lank’ shows up dressed all in green, with a wooden sword.
DRtC is perfect for the mobile. You can play for as long as you want in one sitting, but the game will also save your progress from whenever you close it so you can pick it up later. There’s a whole bunch of characters; from little old ladies to stacked muscle-men, and weapons; from simple hatchets, to rifles, to planks of wood. You’ll need to use these to fight your way through numerous sieges and supply runs as you try and survive the journey.
This is where most of the fun is. You start with one buddy, alongside your character, then you can add up to four in your group. You can play as any of these characters, and when you’re in an old house, or supermarket scavenging, they’ll be with you helping to fight off the undead. There’s a lot going on here, more than you’d think, and it gets super-intense. But the game never gets dull.
Sometimes we got a little frustrated as you do tend to fail around the same time each run – but it hasn’t put us off playing. It’s all randomized, which means sometimes things go in your favor, but other times a supply run doesn’t come up for days, you run out of fuel, then your already battle-worn gang have to hit the road on foot, where they stub their toe, or run into another gang, get hurt more and then die. That was a particularly bleak run that we were part of that felt more than just a little unfair.
However, there’s lighter moments all over the place. One of the most enjoyably silly elements is that you can invite a dog into your gang. And, if you come across a bunch of them in the same run, you can build your own dog army to fight the undead – you can have up to four members in your gang at any one time. That’s quite a force to be reckoned with.
Sure, it’s pricey, but the replay value is huge. It’s incredibly difficult to make it to Canada – you’ll find the difficulty ramps up around day 7 or 8, but because each journey is completely different, embodying a range of characters with their own lines and personalities, each run is a joy.