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A homage to Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, and countless other zombie games, how does this bizarre 3rd-person action-puzzler play out?

Posted by Staff on Sep 13, 2011 10:53 (Sep 13, 2011 10:53)

Written by: Ian
Dead Boring?
A homage to Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, and countless other zombie games, how does this bizarre 3rd-person action-puzzler "Dead Block" play out?
Zombies. Everywhere. Dead Block has a pretty standard/ generic plot where the zombie apocalypse has taken place. Thankfully, this time round, the survivors can kill the brain-munchers by rocking out to rockabilly tunes.
However, whilst the game could have more of a plot- you just see a samey bunch of characters go through the same motions in every single level over and over again until you run out of maps.
Dead Block XBLA screenshot #1
Dead Block is a really odd game- it’s a 3rd person game, with combat, but it’s also a puzzler/ hidden object game in real-time. You have two ways to complete each level. You can either find the three hidden guitar parts, and then go rock out by the jukebox (playing a guitar hero string of notes), or you can kill all of the zombies in the level. To do this, you can either melee them, or damage them with traps which you can build.
Either way, you need resources, which are gathered by smashing up items around the level- containing either an item, or raw materials. However, smashing stuff is no fun- it requires you to smash the B button for several seconds, then there may be an additional puzzle to claim the item.
Traps rarely kill zombies, however, and the melee combat is flat and uninspired, whilst you have very little health. Even on easy I found there was little option but to find the parts to actually complete the levels. Some levels have 100+ things to smash up, so the levels can take quite a long time, and there are no checkpoints when you die.
Dead Block XBLA screenshot #2
Whilst you play as new characters as you progress, and you also unlock new traps, the gameplay doesn’t ever really change following the tutorial, beyond getting much harder, and some small upgrades to existing tools, that make little difference in practice. There’s plenty of content, but I was bored and frustrated after a couple of levels- I don’t play games to spend hours pressing B in the hope I might find an amp, only to die straightaway afterwards.
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Dead Block
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3888. Dead Block
Xbox Live Arcade

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Dead Block
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