Reviewing Death Road to Canada right after doing the review for State of Decay 2 seemed weird on the schedule, but it turned out just great. Indeed, Death Road to Canada is a zombie-themed survival game, but it’s not in the genre to be compared to State of Decay 2. I think that Death Road to Canada is great fun and I got instantly hooked on the gameplay and the music. Can’t have enough zombie-love, right?
Death Road to Canada is good random rogue-like retro zombie action
So, what is Death Road to Canada about? It’s cute and fun. You could say it is somehow 80’s/90’s retro-styled. They put a lot of effort into the soundtrack and atmosphere, and it really paid off if you ask me. The game has rogue-like elements as well as elements from Japanese style RPGs. I think the screenshots don’t do the atmosphere and flow of the game justice, so you best check some videos with sound. It’s worth it.
The first game release for PC was in 2016, but ports on iOS and Android followed. Now the developer team at Rocketcat Games and Ukiyo Publishing have also released the title on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. New on the console version is the couch co-op mode so you can do multiplayer locally if you own multiple controllers. This is a remarkable feature that unfortunately not many games offer anymore.
The True North strong and free
In Death Road to Canada, you play a group of survivors in the post-apocalyptic US and help them to escape to Canada, where it’s apparently safe because Ice Hockey sticks make excellent zombie defense weapons. The characters are mostly generated randomly along with name, look, traits and perks but you can also design and save your own characters if you want to. Just like with many other rogue-like games, progress is lost when you die, but there are ways to improve your characters abilities by spending skill points permanently.
The gameplay consists of driving scenes, where the characters tend to their wounds, engage in sometimes weird conversations and have curious encounters along the road trip. At night they usually put up a camp, but anything can happen really. If there is any kind of confrontation in this mode, you will be briefed about the situation and offered to make a decision on what the crew should do. Sometimes there’s a good result and sometimes s*** hits the fan.
Of course, the other central part of the game is the exploration activity that is a little bit more active. You jump out of the car and take your pixel-art character to explore the area or maraud buildings for food, medicine, ammo, weapons or other useful things. Sometimes you even encounter another survivor who will join your crew (if you allow him/her to). Based on the various perks and traits of your team, they can be an awesome dream-team, or they all hate each other and will eventually split or die. Overall, anything can happen between an easy-peasy scavenging mission and an impossible to survive ambush of up to 500 zombies attacking you at once.
Overall I find this a quite fun game with a lot of replaying potential. Even if you’re not a fan of the retro video effects, you can just disable those in the settings. The price of around $15 is justified in my personal opinion, but you can also check out the trailer below or visit their website to make sure it’s what you think it is before you purchase the game. You can play Death Road to Canada on PC, iOS, Android, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.
YouTube: Death Road to Canada is coming to Console! (May 8th, 2018)
Photo credit: All shown material is owned by Rocketcat Games.
Editorial notice: We were provided with a press copy for the Xbox One and tested the game for about three hours before writing this review.