I'm usually not the biggest fan of tower defense games, and with the zombie market past its tipping point, playing Dead Stop was not exactly on my gaming bucket list. Dead Stop took my misguided perceptions and threw them out the window with engaging enough gameplay to keep me happy. I never thought I'd have so much joy eviscerating undead creatures with my vast array of weapons, but Dead Stop effectively combines two genres with humor and a charming level of aplomb.

A crazed scientist asks you to defend humans from a seemingly endless group of zombies, and you set up various traps and weapons to keep them at bay. Dead Stop's tutorial is relatively painless, as the scientist uses the best methods to kill the horde while collecting gold coins and protecting the humans in the process. The use of one finger tapping on the screen is all you need to navigate the game, and if you're tired of swinging your iPad around or using both your hands, Dead Stop will entice you with its one stop shopping maneuverability. At the beginning of each level, you are given fifteen lives to protect. Adding gold coins to your arsenal gives you more weapons, traps, and upgrades, and as the levels get more complex, spreading weapons across the terrain is mandatory.

By constantly changing the look of its creatures and giving gamers a plethora of weapons to use, Dead Stop always keeps the action fresh. With each level giving players waves of creatures to destroy, a bit of strategy also comes into play. Do you spend all your coins upgrading select weapons, or will you simply purchase several machine guns and spread them across the field? If you're tired of blasting bullets through the undead, you can also shock them to death with lightning. The zombies, some donning baseball caps and sunglasses, have their own unique look. It's this slight attention to detail which puts Dead Stop miles above your average gameplay experience.

Setting up a group of guns in a crossfire position and throwing a few traps along the way may deplete your coins, but it also enables you to sit back and watch the zombies get plowed down, one by one. Relaxing for a few seconds to watch the visuals pop off screen is yet another facet to Dead Stop. Every tree and car feels like it's in the right place, and even if you can't blow up some of these objects, they add an extra visceral depth to the game.

Dead Stop is one of the few games I will continue to play as the weeks progress. It's fun to blow stuff up and collect mass amounts of coins in the process. The developers understand that a little more unpredictability and variety will keep gamers coming back for more. Dead Stop is a monster mash of pure fun, especially if tower defense titles or zombie adventures are your games of choice.


App Store Link: Dead Stop for iPhone | By Chillingo Ltd | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.0 | 156 MB | Rating 9+

7.5 out of 10 arcade sushi rating