Dead Zed is exactly the type of mobile game we love at Gamezebo. It’s a bunch of mindless fun with solid presentation and an unobtrusive monetisation system. It’s also got zombies and guns, which helps.
You play as an unnamed survivor of a zombie apocalypse, and have to try and make the world safe again one location at a time. This involves repeatedly defending a number of key locations from zombies until there are none left.
You’ve only got two weapons at your disposal to protect yourself with, and you unlock a bunch of them over the course of the game. You start off with a simple pistol but soon you’ll have a crossbow, shotgun, or assault rifle to choose from.
The action takes place in first person, and functions much like any mobile shooter. You can’t actually move your character, but there’s no need to. Zombies will stream towards you and you just have to kill them before they get too close.
The Action is Very Similar to a Console First Person Shooter
Slide your thumb around the right side of the screen to aim and tap on the bullet icon on the right to fire. You’ve also got a handy ironsight button and double tapping the fire button when the clip is empty reloads your gun.
This simple control scheme suffices to provide hours of zombie-slaying fun. Each gun feels very different, with the crossbow proving exceptional at long range while your pistol is ideal for panic firing at zombies that step too close.
Zombies do take a fair few shots to bring down unless you pull off a headshot. These are challenging but not impossible, and once you’ve got used to your favourite weapon you’ll be chaining them together with ease.
It’s incredibly satisfying too, as you’ll get the word ‘Headshot!’ splashed on the screen, and the zombie’s head will burst in a shower of blood. Our favourite moment was pulling off a double headshot with a single shotgun shot. It’s super satisfying.
Headshots Are Challenging to Pull Off, But Very Satisfying When You Do
You can upgrade the statistics of each weapon, including accuracy, reload speed, damage, and ammo count. Accuracy is the most interesting statistic as it reduces the weapon’s sway during a level, which is usually the biggest obstacle preventing that headshot.
If we had any complaints about Dead Zed, it would be in the regular need to watch an advert. Each time you beat a level you receive rewards, including cash and XP. As is typical of this type of game, you can watch an advert to boost your earnings by 50%.
This isn’t an entirely unreasonable system, but there is a frustrating element to it. If you opt to not watch an advert and receive that reward, often you have to watch an advert anyway. It kind of feels like a slap in the face when you’ve missed out on the reward for no reason.
You can mitigate this issue somewhat by grabbing any IAP, but that’s ultimately pointless. We’ve comfortably afforded every single weapon and upgrade so far just by playing the game, and have found no real need to grab anything at IAP level.
Our Sole Complaint is the Reliance on Watching Adverts to Progress
We’d gladly pay to remove the ads though, but that would have to come with the 50% bonus automatically included at the end of the level and, sadly, it doesn’t. So there’s no real point in paying for anything just to remove ads right now, as you’re going to have to watch them anyway.
In terms of presentation, Dead Zed is a bit of a mixed bag. The variety of weapons and animations are solid, and could have been stolen from any console shooter. The environments are just low-res static backdrops though, and the zombies don’t seem to be 3D models either.
It’s not an ugly aesthetic by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not particularly nice to look at either. Still, it serves the purpose and we appreciate the minimal screen clutter.
Overall, we’ve had an awful lot of fun with Dead Zed and aren’t finished with it just yet. It’s not going to win any mobile game awards but it does offer a bunch of solid and satisfying zombie-slaying fun each time you’ve got a few minutes to spare.