Tread of the Dead, a tilt-based zombie puzzler from Spencer Cordes, is now available from the app store. Featuring multiple game modes and tons of zombie configurations to solve, Tread of the Dead has enough content to keep you busy for a while.
Tread of the Dead Pros:
- Presentation has old-school flavor and simplistic gameplay
- Soundtrack has brooding quality
- Tilt controls are easy to use; power-ups add to the fun
- Multiple game modes, including several endless varieties
- GameCenter integration for global leaderboards and achievements
Tread of the Dead Cons:
- Some control quirks
- Can get repetitive
- Need incredible precision to pass some levels
You are a survivor of the zombie apocalypse who has set up camp at the screen top to fend off zombies that conveniently stick to the street and come at you at a steady pace and in linear fashion. On the table next to you are 3 weapons in various combinations. You have chainsaws, ninja stars, and pipe bombs to fling down the road. Using tilt controls, you influence the path of the rotating weapons in an attempt to wipe out all zombies on-screen. Adventure mode throws one level after another at you, creating more complex formations of zombies as you progress. You’ll also encounter new zombie types, including some that will explode and cause splash damage to walkers nearby. Clearing the board with fewer than 3 weapons offers a bonus, and your point totals are translated into letter grades. Puzzles number in the triple digits, and earning top honors may require some careful planning and quick reflexes as you press on. There are also a handful of endless modes to enjoy. Arcade keeps offering you weapons to toss as long as you keep the zombies from reaching your position. There are also power-ups along the road that can be picked up by making contact. These can increase/decrease the size of your weapon, freeze zombies temporarily, split your weapon in two, and more. Infinisaw focuses on creating point combos, Vehicular puts you behind the wheel as you run down the undead, and Zombified lets you play as a zombie and tasks you with avoiding weapons being hurled at you.
Graphically, the environments are varied but static, and the zombie and weapon imagery is fairly old-school and simplistic. Your character automatically selects and tosses weapons, with your only interaction being to alter their paths or tap the screen to self-destruct a weapon, explode a pipe bomb, or split the ninja stars into three, much like the blue bird in Angry Birds. The soundtrack has a brooding quality, but the sound effects are rudimentary, matching the art style but failing to offer the same dreadful tone as the music. Controls are a bit sensitive, but the Options menu offers a slider to tweak them. There is a brief period when you first toss a weapon where tilting does not appear to impact the weapon path, which renders zombies that are close to you safe from harm. Last-second heroics are not to be found due to this issue, which makes endless modes more frustrating than challenging.
Replay value is good, as the endless modes should keep you coming back for more even after the numerous puzzles have been solved. GameCenter integration provides over 3 dozen achievements to earn, as well as several leaderboards on which to compete. A universal app for $0.99, Tread of the Dead is an enjoyable 3.5-Dimple offering.
Tread of the Dead Review,