Dead Block is a hunt and search tower defence game, developed by Candygun Games and published by Digital Reality Publishing. It is available on PC, PSN and XBLA.
Dead Block is a based on a zombie invasion that has happened during the golden age of Rock and Roll and you are one of three survivors’. Dead Block is a third person tower defence, where the object of the each level is to find three part of a guitar to eliminate the zombies using Rock and Roll!
Dead Block contains ten levels that progressively get harder, with more and stronger zombies appearing each type. As you progress through the levels you gain new traps to kill the zombies. Traps are character specific and require items to be found in each level to be constructed. There are three characters in the game that get found as you go through the levels; with the first character you play as in the tutorial level being Jack Foster. Each character as its own skills and dis/advantages . There are levels where you are in control of two of these characters. This is a well-planned feature in the game as the AI in the character you are not playing is very intelligent, and continues to board up windows and find items to use in traps. However the items found by each character are not shared as a collective rather they are held by the character individually, which can cause problems whilst playing the game, as you can think that you have loads of trap parts, only to find yourself caught short with a room full of zombies approaching. There is a Co-op mode, with an additional 8 levels.To finish the level, you are required to go through and search for three items of a guitar set; which you need to play rocking riffs to destroy the zombies in that level. These items are hidden in boxes or items that around in the level environment, some items such as new traps require very simple puzzles to be completed in order to gain the traps or additional weapons.
Whist the story to the game is a good one, the game itself is still lacking something; it can become frustrating at times, due to a complex control system, especially when switching between the traps. Also when in a rush from an influx of zombies, putting up the wrong trap by accident can not only cost you materials it could cost you your characters life. Also when the AI collects the vital parts that you require for a certain trap is very, very annoying. The control for switching character and calling an AI character in to the same room is the same button. The only distinction between the two is the length of time that the button is held down, which for someone who has a ‘well loved’ controller could cause a massive problem for the game to distinguish which command you want.
The graphic style of the game is very nice, and is 50’s B-movie styled in theme and art. All the graphics reflect this extremely well, especially with the choice of colours in the game. The sound is an important factor in this game. The main focus of the game is the Rock and Roll element, and the fact that you make your character play a guitar riff at the end of the level is a nice touch. The cut scenes in the game add humour and have a 50’s B-movie touch to them, including the shouting out every second word.
The gameplay of Dead Block is good, with intelligent AI playing with you, however the controls of this game make it more difficult than it needs to be, especially with the trap selecting, control and the character change/calling control being the same button.
Presentation and Audio
The graphics are very stylized to the B movie/ 50’s style and has a great cartoon look and feel to the game. All the characters look great and play very well. The music is an important part of this game, and they have done a great job with the soundtrack to fit the 50’s rock and roll theme that goes with this game.
Even though this game only has 10 levels in the single player mode, there are three difficulty modes to go through, as well as 12 achievements to gain in the XBLA version, plus and extra 8 levels on the Co-op levels with the same difficulty modes.
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.