Running Dead review: Running Dead

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars 1 user review

The Good Running Dead is a unique running-game concept, with upgradable weapons and varied environments.

The Bad It takes too many games to make enough money for new weapons -- it feels like you're being pushed to buy your way out in the store.

The Bottom Line If you want to try a running game that's a little different from the rest in the genre, Running Dead is a good option, but be ready to grind through levels to make money for new weapons.

$0.99

8.0 Overall
  • Installation and Setup 8.0
  • Features and Support 7.0
  • Interface 8.0
  • Performance 9.0

Running Dead is an escape/survival game in which you guide your survivor through the ruins of a town infested by zombies. There are four control layouts to choose from, but I found the tilt controls for direction and touch screen shooting to be the best of the lot.

As you run through broken-down houses, past wrecked cars and other debris, a horde of zombies follows not very far behind. But it's what is in front of you that you need to worry about most. Zombies appear in front of you often and you'll need to use the weapon at your disposal to shoot them before they slow you down. You start with a regular pistol, but you can upgrade it with better bullets and other perks, or buy bigger, more deadly guns in the in-game store once you've earned enough money. It takes quite a few plays to be able to afford the next gun up the ladder (a submachine gun), so be prepared to grind out a few levels before getting any relief.

Running Dead has a sort of 3D top-down perspective, where you view your running character from up high, but also from behind. This view lets you see the zombie horde creeping up on you -- and if they catch you, you're finished -- but holding them off is often times as easy as weaving in and out of cars. Other times, you won't be so lucky, but a couple of perks you'll find along the way will help. Boxes that give you extra bullets and coins appear randomly on your journey, but when you find a rarer blue box, you'll either get a Savior Shot or a landmine. These are special weapons designed for when the horde is catching up to you, letting you get off a blast of your gun or drop a bomb that gives you a bit more time to continue on.

Like many games these days, Running Dead lets you spend real money to get ahead; the amount of time it takes to earn coins will certainly push some people to take the easy way out. If you have some patience, you can earn coins the hard way, but you will spend a lot of time early on just going through the motions for cash.

Running Dead is a perpetual-running game in an App Store stacked with games from this genre, but the title stands out with great-looking graphics, a combat mechanic with upgradable weapons, and special weapons that keep the game interesting. If you like zombies and want a uniquely styled escape game, this is a great option.

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