Death Road to Canada is a new zombie survival game. This game has many positives and a few negatives.
Title: Death Road to Canada
Developers: Rocketcat Games and Madgarden
Platforms: PS4 (version reviewed), Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Android
Release date: Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Death Road to Canada combines two genres; zombie survival and adventure mixed with an old-fashioned pixel graphic art style. Both of these genres are popular and found liberally within indie games, but Death Road to Canada combines them to make for some great gameplay.
The premise of the game is much like the book The Road. You have a geographical location for which you are headed to provide salvation (Canada in this case). You get a small group of survivors and can take more with you as you adventure. All of the characters have a unique trait or characteristic. The traits do things like make you better with medicine, a better fighter or some mobility. Whoever you choose will help you survive and provide different specialties to the team. Be careful on your adventure because you need to keep your group healthy and supplied.
The game gives you many choices during your adventure. Choosing a place to go could get you killed or keep you going, adding plenty of variables to add complexity and depth to the game’s difficulty. I liked having the option to go where there should be the supplies that are needed at the moment. Having the ability to regain control after a misplay is great for new players.
Death Road To Canada starts with one or two characters with a car and a weapon. It is easy to find some new weapons, with a variety of guns or melee options available around the maps. All you have to do is destroy some furniture if you’re ever in a pinch. Even using objects just to throw as projectiles feels great and can get a good laugh. The cars all function just the same, but with different and fun looks.
This game has plenty of fun Easter Eggs throughout. Dogs can be found as characters and used much like people, using weapons and driving cars. There is even a car that looks like a dog! Other things, like the ice-cream truck on the cover of the game, can be found throughout. They had even more opportunity to put in more, but they have a fair amount.
Gamepad controls work very well with this game, making it easy to learn and adapt from PC. I was able to play and get things done rather quickly. If the controls are not to your liking, you can change things around for what you like.
Death Road to Canada is a fun pickup and has plenty of opportunities to expand, however, no game is perfect. The faults in Death Road to Canada are minimal but noticeable.
The most notable fault is the difficulty curve. It will take a few failures just to adapt to the environment. It is fairly easy to get trapped when you think you had room to move. Sometimes running into things, namely giant hordes, that you are truly unprepared for.
Many zombies will horde you even though the description says that there will not be too many. Sometimes you can also get stuck in areas that you think you can easily leave. Such areas are easy to get trapped by a giant horde. Be cautious of junkyards and blocked off small rooms; I have been caught in those, and it’s nearly impossible to get out of the room.
The game is also very punishing with its events. Many events can just happen before you can even restock on what you may lose. Sometimes these events take all of one supply or most of it and change the game completely. Even what seems like the right choice for the situation could lead to disaster. Some of the choices that you can make can lead to a worse situation.
One example of this is the constant stops from bandits where you can give in or risk injury and still lose the supplies (i.e., food, fuel, etc.). I lost ALL my fuel just taking the option to go around a flooded area and caused me many issues further on down the path.
The one thing that seemed out of place was the med-kit and healing. Even with good traits for it, you have issues with characters regaining health. Even when there was an attempt, it is very unlikely to succeed. It is also difficult to keep track of health because the health bar only shows after taking damage. The healing is overly complicated and something you have very little control over and can easily just waste supplies.
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The ranged weapons are hard to aim and control sometimes. This may just come from how the game works, but it makes the mechanics feel very clunky. This can make difficult situations even worse when it is hard to depend on the best weapons. Being in an enclosed space can mean death if anything notices you because of the lack of aim control. Even though the game mentioned that rifles were good against hordes and lines, I saw few of the results.
It is overall not that complex of a game and doesn’t go that in-depth with much. This lack of features is both a strength and weakness. The depth seems to be in the wrong spots while the surface mechanics are the things they can make more in-depth. The character traits have an effect, but not as much as other mechanics. Having a character that is good with medicine that really can’t heal anyone makes no sense. Having the trait should be more useful than a huge surplus of medicine.
A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.