Imagine being tossed into the middle of nowhere and suddenly finding yourself in surrounded by zombies? Do you lie down in surrender and wait to be consumed by walking rotten corpses, or will you run and try to survive? Into the Dead is a good balance of both: you run, you run as far as you can. Avoiding zombies and assorted environmental obstacles like trees and broken fences. You pick up weapons and try to take down a few of the dead that stand in your way. And most importantly, you keep running. Still, no matter what you do, how skillfully you play, and how powerful the weapons you get, in the end, you will always get grabbed by a zombie and die. Then you do it all over again because it is so darn fun.
What is Into the Dead?
Into the Dead is an endless runner game by Pik Pok. Unlike other conventional endless runners, Into the Dead does not limit you to a few lanes or specific paths. This game lets you go all the way to the left or right (there are stage boundaries of sorts, but they're hard to bump into), the only thing that matters is that you avoid the zombies at all costs. The game is as much about fast reflexes as it is about being able to think fast on your feet.
Spotting zombies through the fog can be deadly, and especially since some of them will rise up from the ground quite unexpectedly. The game balances this randomness factor by triggering the animations at a certain distance –not too near for you to get killed by default, but not quite far enough to prevent you from getting a little panicky. They appear just at the right distance to force you to rely on quick thinking. It is this and many other subtle details in the game that makes it so fun and so tense to play.
Zombies are Worth Killing, Again
With the sheer number of zombie-themed games, yes, it is easy to feel oversaturated with the concept and just say "no, not another zombie game". But Into the Dead separates itself from the mediocre, cookie cutter titles with its impressive gameplay. You run, you dodge, and you hope that there's no zombie hiding in the cornfield. The game is intense and leaves very little room once the run begins.
In between, you use perks –passive abilities that allow you some boosts (weapon crates, more ammunition, even a dog that helps take down zombies), and some more permanent bonuses in the form of unlocked weapons. The weapon crates will appear in the game will randomly hold one gun from your currently list of unlocked items, as expected, the more guns you unlock, the better.
There are also varying game modes; classic survival will have you running as far as you can, while another mode measures how many zombies you can kill in a single run. In between all of these are permanently active side-objectives that you can fulfill. Each objective you unlock grants a small cash reward while finishing a set of three will provide you with a weapon unlock.
Don't Stop Running
Into the Dead is meant to be played in small bursts. Any more than that and it starts getting repetitive as an endless running game. Still, the amazing presentation, and challenging gameplay will keep you coming back to this game indefinitely. It certainly is not your typical endless runner –which often requires complex screen swiping sequences, this one is about being able to keep you cool even as the volume of zombies start closing in. There will always be a small enough path for your to run through, the only question is whether you can manage to stay sharp enough to find it, or if the panic will weigh you down.