iPhone Life magazine

Review: The Tossing Dead by 21st Street Games

When The Tossing Dead came out I included it in a weekly article called “10 App Store Games To Watch” where I discuss new releases that I think are worth keeping an eye on (or possibly even outright buying).  As no one is perfect, I’m sometimes wrong about my choices.  In this case, however, I’m definitely not.  If you’re a fan of Fruit Ninja style games, you’ll really enjoy this.  If you dig obliterating the undead, why not trying tossing them?  If you like both of the previously mentioned things, you’ll be in seventh heaven with this game.

Subway Splatter
 

You play a man with a monkey and a mission: rid the world of all its undead inhabitants.  To aid you in your quest you’ll always have your trusty chainsaw, but along the way you can also pick up a shotgun, grenade launcher, and assorted other weaponry.  The different guns are limited in the amount of ammunition they offer, and the katana upgrade is active for a few seconds after acquisition.  You swipe the screen to use the chainsaw and katana and tap it to fire any of the guns.  Just be sure not to hit any of the vials, because that’s an instant game over.  Personally my favorite weapon is the grenade launcher, because it requires no accuracy and demolishes everything on the screen.

Story mode contains five chapters with great comic book quality cut scenes to tie everything together.  The story is quite humorous and the ending surprising and cool, though a bit of a letdown as it makes future chapters difficult without destroying what they’ve already built up.  Wave mode lets you explore each chapter as well as two bonus levels and one extra special levels until you run out of brains (you start with 3 and get a new one for every fifty points to a maximum of three).  Story mode also has brains, though the chapter also ends on a successful note once you each a certain score.  Sprint mode goes rogue and gives you only 60 seconds on a level but foregoes the brains – vials are still instant death, however.

Funhouse Fanatic
 

There is a nice variety of zombies, though I’m not sure it matters too much since they don’t seem to impact the game play.  At least it keeps your eyes from getting bored.  The biggest problem overall is length of the game.  Sprint mode is almost too quick to be useful, story mode is over too quickly (it shouldn’t take you long to get through all the chapters), and wave mode kind of gets boring after a while because advancing through the waves doesn’t seem to mean anything.  In fact, if you’re not paying attention you probably won’t notice that you’ve moved from one wave to a next.  I really like what’s available; I just think there needs to be a bit more.  Maybe they could even throw in some boss battles.

Visually I’m kind of mixed.  It’s not that anything looks bad, mind you, but there’s definitely a quality difference between crisp, sharp looking cut scenes and the somewhat muddled, almost claymation-like interactive sequences.  Granted you still get blood and guts with every kill, so it’s not a big issue.  The sound effects are decent enough, and I appreciate the fact that there’s a special noise forewarning the arrival of a vial.  I also like the voiceover for announcing combos – it kind of reminds me of Mortal Kombat.  The music is good, and you can play the different tracks via a nifty radio style interface in the options.

Panic!
 

I’m already a fan of this type of game play, but The Tossing Dead managed to impress me even with the slight lack of content.  I wasn’t expecting a witty storyline with a twist ending, and the different weapons were a nice touch.  There’s already a decent amount of fun to be had here, and I’m just keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll see more episodes in story mode and maybe even a new game mode or two.

Overall Score: 8/10
App Store Link

This game was reviewed on an iPod Touch 4G running iOS 5.1.1.

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Eric Pankoke has been a gamer for more than 20 years. He began with arcade games, moving to consoles and eventually handhelds and Pocket PCs. Now he spends most of his time on one of his iOS devices. Eric has written more than 700 gaming reviews, which have appeared on a number of gaming websites as well as several issues of both Smartphone & Pocket PC and iPhone Life magazines. He regularly contributes to iphonelife.com and TouchMyApps. Ultimately he hopes to eventually develop games himself for whatever the hot mobile device is when he finally gets moving.