If you’re going to make that leap into developing a zombie-themed video game, you’ve got to make sure you do it right, but you also have to do something different. Let’s face it, there’s no shortage of zombie apocalypse games. The genre is as overdone as that pumpkin pie sitting in the oven right now. That said, don’t let Metal Dead’s point & click zombie adventure sour you from giving it a play-through just because “it’s another damn zombie game”. As casual as the experience is, Walk Thru Walls Studios has done a fantastic job creating a humorous story of zombie survival that’s as fun to play as it is sketchily scribbled and sadistically hilarious.
The fun starts from the very beginning. You and your dim-witted friend are two metalheads driving through an undead-infested city. After a brief argument about where you all are headed, your character hijacks the wheel from the passenger seat, causing a rather horrific accident that leave you unscathed, but turns your friend into a new hood ornament. Surrounded by zombies and out of options, your character takes refuge in the only place available… a medical research facility. How convenient!
For anyone reading this who has never played a point & click game before (all eight of you), the story progresses by you choosing a specific action, then clicking on various people or objects on the screen with that action in order to solve puzzles. Your character will respond positively or negatively based on what you’ve clicked on. The player chooses between three basic actions: a devil-horns hand allows you to interact with something or someone, a speech bubble will let you talk to someone and give you a choice of responses, and a boot will walk you over to certain area. Important items that are retrieved can then be selected and used to solve puzzles (SPOILER ALERT: In the first part of the game, the crazy doctor needs the head of a zombie, and you end up pulling your friend’s head off his lifeless corpse with the winch from the totalled vehicle. Now THAT’S the way to do a puzzle people! Doesn’t get any more metal than that!). This is a pretty classic style of puzzle solving, made popular by games like Lucas Arts’ Maniac Mansion, and Metal Dead does a great job of keeping the play style alive, interesting, and fully interactive.
The indie-looking, Microsoft Paint art style will most likely be hit or miss with most people, but again, for this type of game, it actually works quite well. Despite how primitively everything is drawn, you can still interact with objects and characters with ease, and after figuring out the first few puzzles, you’re quickly drawn into the story, excited to see where it takes your character next. Despite the game being pretty short (under two hours), it’s an enjoyable experience the whole bloody way.
I really have to applaud Steam for making room for indie titles like this one in their catalogue. It really is the best platform to use for showcasing and selling games for any type of gamer, whether you’re hardcore or casual, and Metal Dead has all the gags and gore you could want in a light-hearted zombie game. If you’re looking for a hilarious, bloody puzzler to pass the time with, grab Metal Dead on Steam now for the very affordable price of $4.99.