Trapped Dead is a tactical real-time strategy, developed by Crenetic and published by Headup Games, but with a whole new swing. Rather than controlling a team of characters that are, for example, military specialists, you control a few average people, each with some sort of special skills, through a zombie apocalypse in the 80s! Yes, you read that correctly, and yes it does sound totally awesome. The game is set in a small town named Hedge Hill located near Kansas City, and takes place in the early 80s. The storyline is inspired by the classic zombie movies of the time, featuring locations such as a garage, a hospital, and of course a mall, alongside weapons such as the classic baseball bat. The game is rated 18 which means that you can certainly expect a fair share of blood and gore, which is exactly what anyone who jumps into a zombie game such as this should expect and desire! The game can be played locally in a single player mode or the story can be followed online as a team through the multiplayer option.
The game is played from an overhead perspective like most strategy games. The camera is controlled using the w, a, s, d setup alongside other buttons for rotations, zooming and panning. The mouse buttons are used to make simple commands to your characters, but diverse enough ones to make the game interesting. The controls are relatively easy to learn, and can be customised, however the player may experience some difficulty in making their personally defined button setup work. There are also settings for graphics, sound and general game features which can be edited. The graphics settings however are not as deeply customisable as many games are, but if you have a relatively high capability computer to play on then this should not be a major problem for you. The graphics themselves are very good. As a strategy game most players will likely not expect super high-detail visuals, but even if you do you will not be overly unimpressed with what you are presented with. Objects are clearly visible in terms of being able to tell what they are, the maps are well drawn and relatively detailed, and the people look pretty much like people should, so no major complaints to be made in this department. A nice little graphical feature is the comic-strip style cut scenes that take place in the game. These are entertaining in themselves but also add to the movie and 80s themes the game is based around.
Although controlling the it is pretty simple, a tactical mind is definitely a requirement of the game. It is not unfair to say that the game is challenging and in some cases difficult. To start off with, killing zombies appears an easy task, as you simply pick up a baseball bat and hit them in the back. Whether or not this was intended to make you think that the game would be a doddle, do not fall for the illusion. You are quickly thrown in at the deep end with multiple zombies coming at you and quick thinking being needed to survive. With a very small inventory which takes into account the size of the objects you carry, you may quickly find that you cannot carry an arsenal quite big enough to handle every situation you are faced with. This is however a nice feature compared to the god-like carrying abilities of characters in other games. If you like realism in what you play then this will bring a smile to your face. Then in this case you will most likely lose it for not focusing on the incoming mass of flesh-eating monsters… In some cases, as cool as smashing and shooting zombies may be, you are forced to hide and sneak around the hordes; a more difficult task than it may sound. These zombies may not have operational brains but some part of them knows what it’s doing and they will eat you if they see you, so keep you eagle eyes open because sneak attacks are almost always in action before you even realise a zombie is about.
The sound effects in the game are well produced, or at least are very classic and fun. A nice effect is that as you move closer to a zombie you can hear them moaning and eating flesh, which at least gives you some indication of how much trouble you are about to get yourself in to. The sound made by weapons may also be described as classic in that where realism is not prefect here you know what you’re using from the sounds because you’ve heard them make that sound in games or movies in the past. The voice acting is good, with understandable characters and real emotions in their voices, which is very necessary in the environment these guys are in. The narrator who gives a friendly voice over of the situation at hand is also clear, as well as entertaining and again a reminder of the time in which this game is set. The selection of music used in the background is also accurate for the time. The songs are not real records but the style is there. If you are an 80s kid then you may well feel right at home playing. If you are younger than that then you will at least feel your stereotypes of the era being confirmed!
Overall, Trapped Dead is certainly an awesome zombie killing strategy game, just as the synopsis of the game claims that it is. It has the looks, the sounds, the story, the fun, the gore and the anticipation of a great zombie movie or game just as it was aimed to, and fits its 80s theme very well indeed. Although not always fast paced throughout, danger is never far away in Hedge Hill and you will not have to look far to find a flesh-eating zombie coming your way. A challenging, engaging and exciting story and a set of scenarios well built to test the mind of the player, Trapped Dead is not only a welcome twist to the strategy game genre, but is also another great zombie game to add to the collection of any fan, or to begin the journey of others!
Eexciting, gory, tactical and challenging; everything a zombie genre and strategy game coming together should be! Everything sticks well to the 80s setting.
By no means cutting edge, but good for a strategy game and certainly not bad enough to be complained about. You can tell what’s what and it all looks good.
Good sound effects, voices and music used, closely fitting to the setting of the game and at the same time maintaining clarity and accuracy.
An excellent strategy game with a welcome twist, and an excellent zombie game from a different perspective, Trapped Dead is a game well worth playing for a fan of either or both of these genres and is a genuinely fun game to play!
A note to the developers – I noticed a spelling mistake in one of the text boxes on the second part of the game at the hospital. Although this does not affect the game overall it may be worth just checking out these boxes in case of other mistakes.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.