Zombies have spread throughout a massive spaceship and you're the only gun-toting commando who can stop them in Dead Effect, a first person shooter from Bulkypix that strikes an impressive balance between humor and fear, along with plenty of weapons and blood to go around.
You play as one of two characters tasked with unraveling the mystery of a zombie virus that ravaged the ESS Meridian's crew. Part of this involves hitting switches, hitching rides on elevators and hunting down hidden items. The bulk of the game, however, deals with slaughtering a handful of different zombie types with a variety of cool weapons, from an electro shock gun that temporarily stuns/kills flesh eaters to an assault rifle, shotgun and pistol that packs a satisfying punch, all of which feature upgrades to boost ammo, damage and reload speed. You also possess the ability to slow down time - the old action game staple - to put zombies in your sights.
The gunplay is both methodical and fast-paced, depending on the enemies you encounter. Some shamble in your direction, while others quickly scramble along the floor or run. It's difficult to predict their behavior, and this only serves to increase the intensity. Suffice to say, you'll backpedal for much of the game while at the same time spraying the environments and creatures with bullets; word of warning, zombies will suddenly appear behind you. Throw in a variety of creepy sound effects, and you have one of the scarier games for iPhone and iPad.
At the same time, Dead Effect has this cheesy dialogue and voice acting from the playable character and his/her human companion Wagner, who communicates via comm-link and does a terrible Arnold Schwarzenegger impression; so bad it's great. Under normal circumstances, such comedy would kill the game, but here, it eases tension. Sometimes, it's good to laugh after narrowly avoiding the undead.
The campaign is enjoyable, and when you beat the game there's a Survival mode that'll keep you busy. There's also those aforementioned collectible goodies to track down, if you're the type who prefers 100 percent completion.
Negatives? We didn't like the weird touchscreen prompts to get back up after getting knocked down. In addition, we missed some head shots despite having perfect aim, so there appears to be a slight collision detection issue between a zombie's head and bullet, though most times, it was the result of the gun kicking upwards, which it should.
We'll gladly forgive these miscues, however, since Dead Effect entertains despite following the same route we've seen in countless zombie games. Bottom line, it's a good start to what should become an even greater experience in the months ahead. Zombies in space? Sure, why not?
Review code provided by Bulkypix.
Download Dead Effect: iOS
What's Hot:Cornball yet satisfying dialogue and voice acting, upgrading weapons, hunting for zombies and secret items, satisfying gunplay, genuine scares, Survival mode.
What's Not:Strange mini-game to stand up after getting knocked down, collision detection issue with headshots, does nothing we haven't seen before.