Dead End caught my eye because the screen shots looked good and running around a grave yard in a rampage plugging zombies full of lead sounded fun albeit familiar. The premise is simple. Zombies have killed your family (and everyone else). You're not just mad... you're REALLY mad. The kind of mad that makes you want to exterminate the whole zombie race. But where would they be? Duh! The local grave yard. So let's head on down and go zombie hunting.
Dead End features three means of control. You can either touch the screen, or use an on screen virtual DPad and fire button, or tilt and tap to aim and shoot. Given the overhead perspective the on screen DPad wasn't good, but touching the screen worked well so I stuck with it. I can't imagine tilt being very good with the need to line up shots being as precise as it is. Next, come the zombies walking and groaning. The sound effects are really very good in this game. Groans! Screams! It's all here. You can also download an accompanying music track which is also very well done. Other devs that need help with sound should turn to these guys for assistance. And as the zombies approach you open fire. When you empty your clip you'll have to reload and that always happens at the most inopportune time giving the zombies precious seconds to approach and inevitably eat your brain. But in reading this do you see what's missing? I'm in awe... I don't move. I just stand there with my empty clip while I let the zombies feast. And once they're on top of me there seems to be little I can do. Occasionally I get a shot off, but I'm toast. With bite after bite I lose life after life. Am I missing something? And even on easy mode this game is quite hard. Once you realize some of this it becomes apparent that there really is no other control option than touch control.
The game has a simple tutorial that explains the game. You'll also learn that you start with a few grenades and can buy more stuff by hitting the pause button in between waves. Tossing a grenade requires that you drag from your guy to the space you want to throw the grenade. Timing is everything as it takes a few ticks for it to blow.
Dead End isn't as polished as I'd like it to be as it has crashed a few times while launching into a new game. Fortunately no crashes have occurred during actual game play. The game is also way too hard and come on... I should be able to move. You've read my complaints about games being too easy... not here. Easy mode is tough and in Extreme mode you'll be dead before you know it. I guess the zombies have to finish the job they started. 3/5 stars for a game that isn't bad, but also needs some more work if it's going to catch on.
Edit: Dead End is currently on sale at $.99 (down from $2.99) and also has a lite (3 level) trial version available.