Endless runners seem to have run their course with all of them offering a run for your life while being chased, with the chaser not usually part of the challenge of the game. Dead Ahead is a brand new endless driving game where you jump on a moped in a zombie apocalypse, and try to escape the horde of the undead. Unlike other endless games, Dead Ahead pits the chasers right on your heels, and there’s a continuous supply of zombies that are trying to chase you down. In addition to the zombies behind you, there are abandoned cars and standing zombies in the foreground as added obstacles. Luckily, the chasing zombies always take a direct path to you, so you can lead them into the obstacles up ahead so that they squish themselves in their pursuit of you. As a last resort, you also have a gun to take down zombies that get extra close.
It all combines together for an exhilarating ride that is one of the most action packed games in the App Store. All of the action is controlled effortlessly as you simply slide you finger up and down on the right side of the screen to swerve on the road. There are two action buttons to either shoot or accelerate, and the accelerate button can be just as handy to outpace the zombies. Most zombie games give you slow moving enemies, but these run at break neck speeds, which makes the accelerate button that much more important. Your weapons have a limited ammo clip with a significant reload time, so you need to speed up ahead to buy yourself some time. One drawback to speeding up is that all of the obstacles up ahead come at you that much quicker, so there’s a delicate balance, which is consistent across the entirety of the game.
All of these elements can only take you so far, and the next phase is where Dead Ahead shines. There’s an objective system like many others with three to complete at a time, and doing so helps you level up. The difference is that leveling up helps you unlock new items including three additional locations. The locations stand out because they don’t just offer different scenery, but also all new layouts that enhance the placement of cars, the number of ramps, the speed of the zombies, and even offer coin doubling. There’s also new rides and weaponry to help your run, and the unlockables make you care about the objectives. That means that each time you start a run, there are varying goals to shoot for to change up the gameplay, and there are some intriguing and challenging missions.
Once you dive into Dead Ahead, you will be hooked, it’s really as simple as that. So many endless runners have blend together because although they start off strong, they quickly fade away. Not Dead Ahead, as it seems to become more enjoyable as you go with the challenge continuing to amp up, and better rewards on the horizon. The gameplay is unlike any other with obstacles in front of, and behind you, and it’s taken to another level with the replay factor. There’s so much happening on screen at once, and so many different tactics to balance it keeps your eyes and fingers glued to the screen. It’s all delivered wonderfully with polished pixel artwork, and deluxe blood splatter animations to round out an amazing package.
Dead Ahead (Free, Universal) is the best endless game in recent memory that delivers thrilling and challenging gameplay with great long term enjoyment making it a must have.