By – Mike Andre
Yes, yes. We all know the zombie theme is not exactly new. Okay, most gamers are fed up with anything featuring walking dead people. But, and pay attention, Metal Dead is different. Well, sort of. It’s a point and click adventure game in the vein of Sierra’s and LucasArts games. It’s also unusually cartoonish and upbeat, despite the fact it presents a rather morbid scenario. But I can’t stress this enough, there are metalheads in the game. Metal. Heads.
Metal Dead, Metalhead…Oh I get it now
Metal Dead is Walk Thru Walls Studios’s debut game and also the first in a planned series of similarly zombie themed, point and click adventure games. If that means more games of this quality, then they are more than welcome.
The story starts off with the main character, metalhead Malcolm and his mate Ronny, another metalhead, driving around town in a car. While Malcolm initially thought Ronny’s plan was to flee from the zombie infestation, he soon finds out his roommate has a morbid fascination with zombies and is actually driving them towards the epicenter of the whole crisis. They have a fight causing the car to spin out of control and crash, killing Ronny and leaving Malcolm by himself in the middle of a crowd of zombies.
The story develops at a decent pace and is well thought out. In addition, there’s plenty of humorous bits and some interesting characters making Metal Dead a very solid, if not memorable, adventure game. The ending is a bit…well you’ll see for yourself but it’s definitely not what I expected. It leaves room for a possible new game in the series, but it doesn’t exactly end in a cliffhanger. It’s more of a “what the hell just happened?” moment.
Most puzzles are intelligent and well designed. They are usually challenging enough to keep things interesting and never difficult to the point of frustration. Balance is the key word here, the creators obviously put a lot of work into this particular aspect.
Pretty on the Inside..
Sadly, I suspect not a lot of people know about Metal Dead, which is a shame.
There are a couple of reasons why I’m afraid it won’t be a big hit, namely the saturated theme and the fact that, these days, point and click adventure games are almost always outside the radar of the mainstream public. But more than anything, if there is something that will put a lot of people off, that’s the poor presentation.
…But Ugly on the Outside
Most sprites and backgrounds are amateur-looking. While I find a few of the character designs rather charming, and the animations well done, Metal Dead is far from being a good looking game. It looks as though everything, even the menus, were drawn in MS Paint. That causes a bad first impression, especially for people who play mostly big budget titles and aren’t used to bad or old looking games. To make things worse, the MIDI soundtrack and basic sound effects don’t do much to shake off that feeling either.
Conclusion – Is It Worth Your Money?
Simply put, it’s worth every cent of the $4 asking price. Despite its poor looks and sound, the story and gameplay shine through. It’s a really charming game. Even if you’re not much into the adventure genre, I recommend you give this a try. Plus, there are zombies and metalheads in it. What else could you possibly want?