Thursday, February 28, 2013

Indie Review: Deadly 30 (Headup Games)

Wow. I really like this game. Deadly 30 is a tower defense game for the most part. For 30 days and 30 nights, the player travels around looking for materials during the day and defending their base camp at night. Scrap metal can be found to build better gear and defenses. The art work is okay. It looks a little campy at times but it does the job. The voice acting sounds like it was done in-house. At first glance, it’s a pretty run of the mill indie tower defense production with zombies.

So what’s so good about this game? Honest to goodness difficulty. The press materials commonly show a party of three members, but the other two characters are met seemingly at random. One time I went to day six without meeting anyone, another time I had a full party by day 5. One brilliant part of the game design is that the set up makes the player feel danger when outside base camp at night but the reality is that the only way to be successful at the game is to leave the safety of the base and explore for materials deep into the dangerous zombie infested night. If you want to live, you’re going to have to brave it out there. At least a little.

The aiming and shooting feel really tight. Crouching and aiming for the head both increase damage so it really feels like the player has to shoot AT the zombies instead of just in their general direction. Usually I really don’t like it when side-scrollers make the reticle follow the mouse because it makes it impossible to use Joy2Key to get Gamepad action going. But Deadly 30’s aiming hot zones make it feel appropriate to use the mouse and keyboard.

All in all, this is a fun game. Is it perfect? No not really. But it’s fun. Deadly30 is 5 bucks regular price. 

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