Stories about the inevitable zombie apocalypse have come of age in recent years. While survival remains the number one priority, more recent television adaptations such as The Walking Dead have chosen to focus extensively on social upheaval – providing the perfect blend between action and narrative. Death Road To Canada is much the same. Each time you play, a unique adventure is generated – providing a good mix of text-based storytelling, role-playing and classic button-bashing action sequences.
With no time to spare, you're taught how to wield and deal damage with an assortment of weapons and even how to throw chairs and trolleys. Once you’ve grasped the basics, you must then attempt to escape to the safety of Canada. In each session you create a survivor with their own unique looks and perks – which provide special abilities ranging from improved healing to incredible abilities with a rifle. If you’re feeling lucky, you can opt with a randomised character. You're also given the option to start the game with a buddy by your side. From here, how your adventure unfolds depends on the choices you make.
As you drive your car, the game presents text-based information about your party’s journey. Fuel, food, weapons, ammo and rest in these survival conditions are highly valued. As a result, you'll spend most of your time scavenging supermarkets, gas stations and gun shops while evading hundreds of zombies at once. Occasionally you’ll stumble across a friendly camp that sells much-needed supplies. There’s always a risk involved when visiting certain locations, and sometimes it’s better to keep pushing onwards. It’s just like other zombie media that depicts the survivors in a constant struggle.
Text-based decision-making is just as vital as the locations you decide to visit. Say if a group of bandits ambush your team, if you fail to select the right response, then brace yourself for team casualties as well as a loss of important supplies. Party members must also keep their moral high – with the role-playing aspects balancing each party member's emotion and how much certain scenarios affect them. Each team member has the ability to gain special perks while certain characters provide unique benefits to the entire party – with some acting as medics for example. Like any zombie apocalypse, things can quickly spiral out of control if aspects of the journey aren't properly managed. Fortunately, you can always recruit one of the many other survivors you encounter on your journey if you are running low on party members.
The primary concern at all times is party and supply management. Keeping a close eye on what skills you’re developing within your party should be the priority. Who will be the weapons expert, who will be the medic, is there enough fuel for your car, should you abandon your old car for a sports model or should you let a dog drive the car? There are a lot of random events that may completely derail what appears to be a perfect run. If it is all too much, you can always get a second player to jump in on the action. There are also variations of the main mode that will further test your survival skills.
The pixel presentation in Death Road To Canada perfectly matches the bite-sized zombie scenarios. There are grainy filters that can also be applied channeling classic zombie films to further enhance the immersion as well. Adding to this is an assortment of upbeat chiptunes incorporating well known music genres like disco and rock. The performance throughout all of the chaotic on-screen action also remains stable.
Death Road To Canada allows fans of the zombie genre to live out their ultimate survival fantasies again and again. Technically, there are a limitless amount of scenarios to experience thanks to the compact yet well designed gameplay, but after a while the patterns and outcomes may become a little too predictable for the average player. If you do happen to be a long-time enthusiast of zombies, this may be worth sinking your teeth into.