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The controls of the game work fairly well on the Ipad. Holding a finger on the screen moves the character forward and can also aim the gun. Problems ensue when you try to move and fire at the same time. The turning radius just isn’t fast enough to deal with zombies coming from any direction except in front of you. Body shots and headshots kill the zombies equally well in some cases, however the pistol is a particularly weak weapon, need two shots in the head to kill and numerous body shots. Range also is a factor. The closer you are, the better chance your bullets will actually hit their targets. Of course, let the zombies get too close and they’ll be chewing on you as you try to aim for them. Bunches are a particular problem, and the life bar isn’t long enough to take a bunch of hits. The best strategy I found was to shoot for a middle distance, and move when the zombies got too close. If you’re just facing a few, or they’re coming at you in a line, then it’s best to wait until you can see the green of their eyes before shooting.
The game looks amazing. The levels are well detailed and the sound effects are quite good. The zombies are also well rendered but there are only a few models of them, so the game ends up seeming repetitive right from the beginning. That’s a shame because the environments are so well done that it seems like Madfinger should have spent a little less time on them and a little more on their monsters. Zombies are everywhere, so there should be some uniqueness or “cool factor” to their design to attract players to the game. The character spouts little one liners that remind me a lot of games like Heretic or Powerslave.
Missions are sort of repetitive too. Defend this, find that, defend for a certain amount of time. The missions themselves require a strategy to win. For instance, when defending blockades from zombies, they can be kind of far apart, so you have to pick and choose when to move away from on to defend the other. Wait too long and the doors will fall before you get there. So there’s a challenge aside from the actual zombies, which I liked.
Shooting zombies in the head always fills me with a little bit of dark joy. In Dead Trigger, headshots can be hard to pull off without the right weapon. Pistols are not effective because you need the zombies to be really close so that only a few bullets will take them down, and that’s only a step away from too close. Once in a while, a close zombie will try to bite you, and you have the opportunity to break their neck before they can by tapping the marks that pop up on the screen by the zombie’s face. I thought this was a great bit of fun, even more so because I didn’t really expect that move in the game. But when will developers learn that people would rather pay 4.99 for a game and not have to shell out anything else after that? Most of the really cool items require purchasing, though the amounts they want are fairly low compared to some other games. Having things you can’t purchase in the store because you don’t want to shell out real money is a drag.
Dead Trigger is a good game overall, hampered by a bit of repetitiveness and a freemium philosophy.