Games reviews roundup: Death Road to Canada; Human Fall Flat

Death Road to Canada

PC, Mac, Linux, Rocketcat Games/Madgarden, cert: N/A★★★★

So popular has zombie fiction become that the variety of themes in the genre has become surprisingly expansive, but it is a bounty of lore that has been ruthlessly plundered by game designers. The indie team behind Death Road to Canada, however, appear to have found an relatively untapped seam in the archetypes of the undead on which to hang a captivating new game.

As the title suggests, this energetic blend of action-RPG, survival adventure and interactive fiction focuses on the moment in the zombie apocalypse when the protagonists must undertake a daring road trip to sanctuary.

Here the gameplay focuses on plundering small towns for resources while fending off the hordes and making decisions in the text adventure tradition. Each play-through presents a randomly generated road trip, and when the lead survivor and any tag-alongs succumb to the undead, it’s back to the start for a different adventure. Charismatic and balanced throughout, with a charming retro aesthetic, this is a trip well worth taking. WF

Human Fall Flat

PC, Curve Digital/No Brakes Games, cert: 3

This is not a grandiose affair. Indeed, it’s really not much to look at, with simple floating environments and a blobby, nondescript main character. A good thing, then, that Human Fall Flat is, for the most part, a gem to play. A physics-based environmental puzzler, the aim is to guide almost amorphous charge Bob through various worlds, always looking for the next exit, and its precipitous drop to the next level. To get there, there are fiendish challenges to conquer using only Bob’s sticky fingers to move objects or clamber over obstacles, creative use of perspective, and some basic platforming.

Despite the simplicity of the controls, the game offers plenty of freedom in how to solve puzzles. Past the first few there’s rarely only one solution to a conundrum, making replays rewarding. However, it is let down by the lack of urgency to Bob’s quest: no reason is given beyond some faux philosophy at the start. With no incentive and some increasingly tricky puzzles, sheer frustration may drive some away. MK

Powered by article was written by Will Freeman, Matt Kamen, for The Observer on Monday 1st August 2016 07.00 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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