Zombies are on the attack! Why? Who knows — it’s just what they do. But you can vaporize them before they takeover the city and turn it in to their smorgasbord.
Mixing strategy and shoot-‘em-up attacks, Dead Stop declares you the protector of the people. The gore factor is low and the art cartoonish, making this one game that’s as appealing to all ages as it is simple to play. (Don’t confuse simple for easy, though. These flesh-eaters put up a fight!)
Is Dead Stop a feast or famine when it comes to being fun? Find out after the break.
From Catching Z’s to Zombies
An unnamed scientist is awakened by a phone call. On the other end of the line, the caller reveals that an army of the living dead is terrorizing citizens at campgrounds, in the city and at the graveyard. Not one to take the situation lying down — literally — the scientist rushes to his laboratory, where he creates weapons of warfare.
Good thing, too, because you as the hero are going to need every piece of artillery you can arm yourself with to push the zombies back into the crypt. Along the way you’ll also need to save town denizens, who have boarded and blocked their doors and windows to prevent the walkers’ entrance.
Gearing Up to Game
For most rounds of Dead Stop, the goal is to stop zombies from reaching nearby survivors who are cowering off screen. Periodically, a round will involve the zombies trying to escape from you as you trap and zap them before they make a getaway.
There will usually be a “survivor count” in the top-left corner of the screen, indicated by a heart icon with a number next to it. In order to move on to the next round and to score high points, make sure to stop the zombies from reaching survivors and reducing your count.
In most stages, you’ll know exactly where the zombies’ paths will take them, as their trail to human targets is marked with footprints.
As with any good game, the further you go, the tougher your enemies become. Thankfully, the further you progress, the more advanced the weapons will get and the more you’ll have at your disposal to trash zombies. In order to fight them, the scientist has provided you with some real state-of-the-art tech.
The first Tower (piece of weaponry) you are given is a machine that shoots bullets. Whenever waves of zombies come within range of the gun, an automatic slow spray of ammo will continue to harm the toughies until their life meters are empty or they walk out of range.
As the game moves forward, you’ll be offered guns that shoot in multiple directions, fire lasers, launch ricochet devices, as well as snares that destroy or stun zombies, and more. In most stages, you’ll only have access to a few pre-selected pieces of gear at a time.
Your Towers will automatically fire on passing zombies, but you can make them fire on nearby obstructions, such as benches, tents, rocks and signs. Getting such items out of the way can increase the reach of your weapons — and maybe earn you a few coins.
Throughout the game, you’ll be able to buy upgrades to your Towers. For example, the basic Star Gun is able to fire in multiple directions at one time. By upgrading, you can make its cannonballs faster, more powerful and more effective in defeating the zombies.
Be warned: Advanced technology disappears once you’ve completed a stage and will have to be purchased again. You can also have multiple weapons on the screen at a time, so map them out strategically.
Gifts from the Ghouls
After successful zombie slaying, you will earn coins depending on how difficult they are to eliminate. Sometimes they’ll drop additional coins, which you can tap and collect. All this dough lets you purchase weapon upgrades. Keep track of your cash by checking out the coin icon in the upper-left corner of the screen.
Zombies will occasionally drop gift boxes. These contain more power-ups, which are featured in the top-right corner of the screen. Here’s a breakdown of how they can help you on your mission — for a few seconds, at least:
- Lightning – Movable beam zaps enemies
- Block – Freezes opponents in place
- Fist – Improves efficiency of weapons
- Turtle – Slows down zombies’ walking speed
- Tube – Teleports some enemies to earlier part of walking path
You may also score stars. These shiny gifts can be used to buy powers, coins and even extra survivors (which you can also get through some fortunate zombie stalking).
In addition, stars can also work toward buying your way past a difficult stage.
If you want to earn some more cash during a battle, you can sell back Towers and their upgrades, then turn around and buy stronger devices to help you during the fight.
Lively or Dead On Arrival?
Dead Stop is some of the most frustrating fun found on iOS in recent months. But not frustrating in a bad way. It’s more of that “I know I can do better” frustration, which will play out internally with every win and defeat.
Each level ends by rewarding you a “star grade” in a way similar to Angry Birds. That being the case, if you only score one or two stars, you know there’s room to grow to try and obtain three for each stage. The zombies are also a highlight, coming in every shape and size. They’re mostly green, but some wear hats, sunglasses, intertubes and a variety of other accessories so players can differentiate their strengths and abilities.
Instead of each round playing out the same way, Dead Stop tosses in a few “field” stages. Here, the characters are smaller, but the action is a little bit different as you utilize some of the power-ups to become the ultimate zombie slayer.
Using crazy contraptions to fight zombies with science is a worthy cause and a worthwhile investment for your entertainment.