Tread of the Dead Review
With the success of The Walking Dead series, the Left 4 Dead franchise, and Zombieland, the undead have staked a huge claim in pop culture, and although they're not as sexy as vampires, their overall creepy factor and thirst for human flesh continues to feed our basest desires.
Tread of the Dead, a game blessed with a title George A. Romero and Sam Raimi would love, is the latest offering in the zombie universe. As an adept zombie killer, you can throw gold chainsaws and pinata colored ninja stars at a zombie horde that are coming after your blood. Under Adventure Mode, you wade through four chapters and 100 levels worth of zombies, each dispersed in different ways to make your weapons miss their target. Armed with a selection of three weapons (a pipe bomb, chainsaw, ninja stars), you must strategically aim at the horde and kill everyone by your third throw or risk getting infected. Although it's a simple kill the zombies title, each succeeding level in Adventure Mode gets more complicated, and it's the hard earned victories in Tread of the Dead that serves as its saving grace.
Vehicular mode starts off as a fun idea right off the bat, as you drive a car into zombies while avoiding tree trunks and ditches along the road. Under the Zombiefied Mode, you're the dead guy and this time you're avoiding every single weapon that's thrown into your path. While this puts a nice spin to Tread of the Dead, both the Vehicular and Zombiefied gameplay lack imagination, and if repetitive gameplay is something you avoid like the plague, then you might as well skip both of these modes.
Tread of the Dead's controls are basic -- just tilt the screen left to right to aim your weapon at the zombies and, when the need to kill several of them in a row is a necessity, a good back and forth shake of your device should do the trick. The music and sound effects of Tread of the Dead are completely on point; the game's score will perfectly fit in to any John Carpenter movie or even a sequence from The Walking Dead.
With the ample achievement board in place and power ups on your weapons, Tread of the Dead is fine if you just want to erase zombies at a rapid clip and the ample amount of levels ensures extended hours of gameplay. However, I expected a bit more out-of-the-box thinking from Tread of the Dead, even if its sole purpose was to offer players a mindless several minutes on their respective iPhone or iPad.
Zombies, with their decayed bodies and stench, are here to scare us and -- if one likes to even go deeper -- offer us a mirror image of our very own mortality. Even though Tread of the Dead wasn't made as an open world RPG or even a first person shooter, a little bit of creativity can go along way. Of course the levels are hard and the boss fights can get tricky, but eventually all this action ends up signifying nothing. I recently spent several hours addicted to another game which continues to have me in its grasp. That feeling is not shared with Tread of the Dead, a worthy enough experience if you want to kill a slew of zombies. If you're not a creature of habit, Tread of the Dead may grab your attention for a spell, but unfortunately, tomorrow is another day.