Into the Dead

Into the Dead review

Into the Dead review

A zombie auto-runner? Yep, sounds like the end of days.

Admittedly, the concept isn't all that promising. A zombie-themed auto-runner is an unholy union of two of the most tired trends in games right now, and that's before you consider the small matter of micro-transactions. Happily, it is a small matter thanks to sensible monetisation, while the game itself turns out to be a surprisingly smart little time-waster, suggesting someone at Pik Pok one day wondered how Left 4 Dead might play with the sprint button stuck down.

Good idea number one: it literally cuts to the chase. There's no scene-setting CGI cinematic, no comic book panels or tedious text intros to tap through. Instead, once you've hit play, there's the briefest of loads before you're stumbling to your feet, facing a crashed helicopter surrounded by the undead. You spin around and start sprinting through plains, forests and cornfields until you collide headlong with a zombie. At which point you hear the screams, guttural moans and squelchy chewing noises that mean it's game over. Three more taps and you're back in play, trying to beat your previous distance.

Before long, you'll run into your first weapon crate, which ostensibly marks the point at which the scales are tipped in your favour. In practice - at first - it changes very little. Your starter weapon is a feeble little pistol that packs all the firepower of a NERF gun and only has a handful of bullets in the chamber. Even once you've unlocked further perks - one makes crates appear more frequently, another gives you 50 per cent more ammo - it's only ever a brief respite from the bobbing and weaving. Chainsaws and shotguns, when they arrive, offer such a cathartic release of violence that you'll probably exhaust them within seconds.

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