Escape from the Dead HD: Fun But Not Scary (review)

My first experience with Digi-Chain Games was Dungeon Of The Damned, which sadly showed lots of promise but in my opinion failed in execution. Since then, the company has stuck to good old-fashioned, point-and-click adventures and has produced some wonderfully entertaining games in the process. Its latest is Escape from the Dead HD ($0.99), and while the overall design choices prevent it from feeling like a true horror game, it still does what Digi-Chain does best—provide the end user with a solid, thoughtful, adventure game experience. I was only disappointed that the game is easier and more straightforward than past efforts, making it a shorter overall journey.

Can We Play?

In the game, you are a survivor of a zombie apocalypse coupled with the military’s attempt to fix the situation with mass bombings. In this particular part of the tale, your job is to escape from the farmhouse you find yourself cornered in. To do that, you’ll go through the usual adventure game activities: collect items, solve puzzles, and watch a couple of cut scenes that further the story. There’s no NPC interaction here since all the other characters are dead, but given the circumstances, that’s a livable compromise. The one thing that suffers a bit is the lack of a feeling of impending doom, likely because the game plays at an adventure game’s pace.  You can’t make mistakes, and there is no way the zombies can get you. *SPOILER* Hopefully the developers can change that a bit in “Chapter 2,” which was mentioned at the end of this game.

Control is pretty straightforward. You tap on items to pick them up, tap on arrows to move between locations, and tap to select an item from your inventory before tapping on the screen somewhere to use it. Because the inventory system only shows one item at a time, there is no way to combine things in your inventory, but the game manages well enough without that feature. There is one basic mini-game and a few locks to open, which require you to find the solution somewhere amongst the other rooms in the game. I will say that this particular adventure seems a bit more straightforward than previous efforts from Digi-Chain, so even with the inevitable traipsing back and forth, it felt fairly short. It was still an enjoyable romp, but I wanted to just keep going when the game told me it was over.

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Hope That's Not Dinner

The graphics are on par with other Digi-Chain releases, which means they are good in a cartoony sort of way. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work quite as well when you’re dealing with a zombie-infested wasteland, but I’d rather have good graphics in a less adequate style than poor graphics that match the genre. The cut scenes have a bit of a graphic novel edge to them, which suits that atmosphere more appropriately. The sound effects are well done, and the short voiceovers at the beginning and end of the game are decently cast.  nlike the visuals, the eerie music is perfect for the setting.

From what I understand, the Telltale interpretation of The Walking Dead set a bar for zombie adventure games that would be hard to beat. If that’s what you’re looking for, this game probably won’t interest you. If you just crave a solid, enjoyable adventure game that happens to have the undead as a backdrop, I would certainly give this a try. It could stand to be a bit longer and certainly lacks intensity, but otherwise, it’s a good effort.

Overall Score: 7/10

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<p>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 <a href=""></a> and TouchMyApps. Ultimately he hopes to eventually develop games himself for whatever the hot mobile device is when he finally gets moving.</p>