A road trip from Florida to Canada sounds like a nice way to spend a couple of weeks, but what if you were forced into the journey to escape from the impending zombie apocalypse? In Death Road, the USA is overrun by flesh-eating monstrosities, but for whatever reason the undead have yet to breach the northern border. Canada is now the only known safe haven, and with only 15 days to get there we'd better get a move on!
DRTC is a game of two halves - part road trip text adventure, part exploration/looting zombie-hacking action/RPG. While you're on the road, text boxes update you about what's going on and offer various courses of action. This usually involves stopping off somewhere to gather supplies, because after all, you're not going to get far without food or fuel or ammunition... These supply stops are where the real excitement happens, as you explore your surroundings and collect anything that might be useful while attempting to keep the approaching hordes at bay long enough to get back to your vehicle in one piece.
The entire game is randomly generated, from the options available on the road to the characters you encounter to the layout, weapons and supplies you might find when you pull over for a spot of looting. Even your starting character can be left to chance if you decide to let the game create one for you, but we'd recommend making your own custom character as it really adds something extra to the overall experience. Losing a pixelated version of yourself or an actual real life pal can be truly harrowing!
Every character has their own traits and abilities that make them better (or worse) at certain things like healing, using firearms, or interacting with other characters. Every decision you make (or, more likely, every situation the game randomly throws you into) has an effect on your chosen character's traits and abilities, adding a layer of light RPG mechanics to the whole thing. Upgrade points can be collected during the game, allowing you to unlock further traits and skills that can be applied to any newly created characters in subsequent playthroughs.
Featuring a bouncy and memorable soundtrack alongside some colourful (during daylight hours, at least) almost cute-looking graphics, the randomly-generated nature of DRTC means that even if you do manage to get to Canada (we haven't, yet) there's always going to be plenty of reasons to go back for more. The game isn't difficult, but it can often feel that your success is more down to the luck of the draw rather than your own skill. The humour in the writing prevents failure from getting too frustrating, as you're quite likely to get a laugh out of whatever fiendish fate finishes you off. All in all, it's rather good fun and an enjoyable way to spend an hour or two.
DEATH ROAD TO CANADA / DEVELOPER: ROCKETCAT GAMES / PUBLISHER: UKIYO PUBLISHING / PLATFORM: NINTENDO SWITCH, PS, PS4, XBOX ONE / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW