Game Rant's Jason Weissman reviews Deadly 30
Deadly 30 is the product of two individuals, programmer Ignatus Zuk and one of Newgrounds' favorite artists, Gonzossm. This 2D side-scroller shooter offers a single-player zombie killing experience with some tower elements thrown in.
Did these newcomers bring anything fresh to the zombie genre or was this a concept better left dead? Read our review to find out.
The first thing you'll notice when you boot up Deadly 30 is that German indie publisher Headup Games is bringing this title to the PC. The company is responsible for publishing big indie hits like Limbo, The Binding of Isaac, and Super Meat Boy on the PC. With such an impressive track record, it's understandable why gamers may be quick to get excited over this newest offering. Unfortunately, Deadly 30 just isn't in the same class as those other titles.
Deadly 30 begins with a single WWII American soldier trapped in Germany with, you guessed it, Nazi zombies. The soldier starts out in a two-story safe house where he has an electric generator that lights the area, a trunk where he can buy ammo, weapons, armor, and other helpful items, and a bed that accelerates time to dusk. Each night, this home base is accosted by zombies of various difficulties and the soldier must kill them or be killed. Fences, boxes, and turrets help the soldier stem the constant tide of zombies, and as the game progresses, the soldier receives help from two other AI-controlled characters. The goal is simple: survive all 30 nights.
What does an American soldier use as currency to buy items when he is in the middle of nowhere? Basically, each day he and and any AI buddies venture out of the safe house and collect metal fragments scattered on the ground while fighting less aggressive zombies. Find a vehicle, and the controlled character can destroy it for even more metal pieces. Thus, the basic game formula is to leave the safe house, grab as much metal as possible before nightfall, and then fight the zombies at the safe house. While each round presents more challenging enemies, it's a rinse and repeat process that can become old quickly for those looking for some depth in their gaming lives.
The players are technically tasked with guarding their generator when the zombie onslaught begins. If they fail to do so, the generator will crash causing a portion of the screen to fall into darkness. Repairs to the generator come at a steep cost... unless the player simply waits until daybreak when it is magically repaired. Because there is no penalty, the early part of the game can be exploited from the second floor of the safe house next to the door. Zombies will exit the door and face one of the AI characters and the controlled character can hack the zombies in half without spending any ammo.
As for presentation, Deadly 30 started as a flash game and it shows. The game suffers from poor resolution and occasionally game-stopping lag, which is likely why it initially opens up in a window rather than filling the screen. The resolution can be scaled upwards, but in full display mode, it's not a pretty sight, especially if played on a large screen. The Dragonball Z-influenced art style makes up for the lack of technical presentation, but the music and sound effects add little to enhance the experience.
Despite the above issues, Deadly 30 is not all bad. Those who prefer a retro style of gameplay may find plenty to like here. As the nights progress, the game's difficulty does ramp up significantly, so anyone looking for an old school challenge may be satisfied. With all three game characters onscreen at once, the fighting can become quite chaotic and entertaining to watch. Additionally, there are lots of items and weapons to unlock as the characters level, which can be a motivating force itself. After certain time intervals, Gonzossm offers some cutscenes featuring the game's characters, which fans of his art and humor will likely appreciate.
Still, Deadly 30 seems better suited to handheld devices rather than the PC. Indie PC games have raised the bar over the last few years with innovative retro gameplay but Deadly 30 feels more like your standard iOS or Android game, offering simple straightforward gameplay during moments of down time. Admittedly this can be addictive for some, but many will grow tired of the repetitive formula. Retro gamers, especially those who are fans of tower games, may want to give Deadly 30 a look but, for many PC gamers, there just won't be enough content to satisfy - unless the title comes with a mobile game price tag.
Deadly 30 is available now on PC.