There are certainly no shortage of zombie games and while the genre is very over crowded right now, I’m still down for playing one if it’s good and different. Take for instance the latest from Ukiyo Publishing, Death Road to Canada. It’s a retro inspired, randomly generated survival game with a bit of ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ thrown in for a bit of decision making.
Tipped off that Canada might just be free from the threat of zombies, the long, winding Death Road is all that stands between the player and their goal. Players will explore iconic sites such as Y’all-Mart and the Muscle! Bomb!! Gym!!!, meeting and recruiting a host of strange and bizarre companions along the way. Unusually for randomly generated roguelikes, Death Road To Canada features a heavy emphasis on narrative, its Interactive Fiction events making or breaking friendships, all the while adding character-driven drama to the blood and guts chaos of combat.
Death Road to Canada has a very retro look to it and is part of the reason why I think I like it. It’s different than what’s been out lately and a nice change of pace if you’re a bit sick of hyper realism. The game features a top down view similar to that of old school Zelda games and even features dungeon like locals.
The meat of the game is survival based and is split up between combat and decision making. The combat aspect of the game usually comes when you’re looking for supplies or trying to survive a zombie siege. The decision making aspects come while you’re on the road and usually consist of where you want to stop for supply runs, whether or not you want to allow new members to join your group, what to do when it’s time to sleep, and ways to strengthen your skills. There’s actually a lot or randomness to these decisions and that’s totally fine as it’ll change each time you play and make the overall story different each time you play.
That’s the major plus of a randomly generated game. It’s different pretty much each time you play it and while there is always going to be a few familiar aspects each time, the overall game itself is never the same each time you go through it.
Combat in Death Road to Canada is pretty engaging too. You start off with a random character which you can re-roll if you choose along with a randomly generated partner. Both have their own unique skills as well as starter weapons. As you play, you’ll be able to pick up an array of different weapons which includes melee weapons and ranged weapons. Choose your weapons carefully however as some break very easily and ranged weapons do no good if you have no ammo for them. Also some characters can’t use certain weapons or are no good with certain weapons so you’ll have to take that into consideration. Most of the combat will be in close quarters and survivability will depend on your health, weapons, how good your group members are, and how agitated the zombies are. Even at full health, a super agitated horde of zombies and quickly over run your group and kill everyone in an instant. That’s pretty cool though because you’ll learn from these events know what not to do next time.
Overall, I’m having some really good fun with Death Road to Canada. It doesn’t really take itself too seriously when it comes to the story, but there’s quite a bit of challenge and skill involved for those who want a serious game. Item management seems to be a big thing here obviously try and make the right decisions or you’ll have a tough time towards the end of your journey. Those who still enjoy zombie games should check this out and those who don’t, check it out anyways. It’s a good take on survival games and you can just pretend the zombies are something else.
Received preview code from developer and/or publisher for coverage purposes.
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