Now for those of you who are of the PC master race, you may have come across Death Road to Canada or even picked it up in the Humble Bundle games of 2017 like I did however the majority of my gaming is on the Switch or PS4. So when I heard that Death Road to Canada was heading to console, I was determined to finally give it a try!
If you’re a fan of the strategic survival games that tick down the days until rescue/inevitable death while managing your groups health, food and resources situation then Death Road to Canada may be a game for you to consider. I’ve pondered the best way to describe the game and the quickest way I can is to say that it’s a pixelated zombie apocalypse survival action game with witty situational undertones. At least I hope that best describes it!
The choice to have the game in the pixel style is interesting and nostalgic in my opinion. While it took my eyes a moment to adjust, once I was stuck in, it was just thoroughly enjoyable and charming. Your characters can be randomised with their name, appearance, traits and personality. Alternatively you can custom design characters if you prefer. For the purposes of this review, I went random just to see what would come up and some of the combinations were fun and a little silly. The berserk mechanic, the whinging medic and many others were on offer as I tried to decide who would be my starting pair. If you play enough to earn Zombie points you can unlock perks and traits to open up you character choices a little. Once you’re in, the game tells you about why you’re on the Death Road to Canada and your first stop is to find supplies. The game offers you choices. These may be good, they may turn out badly but once you’ve picked, the game will provide an outcome and you’ll carry on.
You’ll start off in a car so you’ll need to keep an eye on your gas as well as food, medical supplies, ammo and the weapons. If you’re good at strategy, survival, hitting zombies and handling poor choices then you probably will do well. If, like me, you’re a bit of a novice then you might end up learning from your mistakes…. or not in my case! When the game presents a situation, it will give you some decisions to make, this could be between which place to visit to look for much needed resources or making a choice about what action you take. I’ll use an example of one I had. Your group is camping in the woods when a deer walks by. What do you do? The options were leave it alone, feed it or shoot it. I thought, well I can’t feed it or that’s less food for the group and leaving it alone could mean we miss out on a valuable food source so I’ll shoot it as I had many bullets. I neglected to take into account that the member of the party who was shooting it was not an experienced gunfighter and therefore missed the deer, shot another member of the group who was then dead and actually shot the other member of the group and killed them too! I was shocked that my choice had escalated so quickly to the worst kind of scenario as my morale was then decreased! So beware of making hasty decisions as it could lead to everyone dying.
Combat in this pixelated adventure is pretty easy. You pick up weapons including guns, knifes, bats, pipe among other things and swing away at the zombies. You can also pick some items up and toss them at the zombies which will knock them down, out or maybe even blow up depending on the item. Swarms can overrun you so sometimes it’s best just to run through only fighting when you need to. It can be best to focus on looting by looking out for the shiny objects calling you to check them out. Once you finish in a room, it’s also a good idea to shut doors to slow the zombies down a touch. They will break down the door eventually but it will give a few seconds to allow you to figure out where you’re heading next.
Your party of characters can lead, follow or rest. So if someone is low on health because you took them into a swarm, you can leave them in the car to look after the supplies while you battle alone or with someone else. Your followers can also have their actions determined so they will automatically defend or be offensive in combat. There are some weird and wonderful creations in this game, including Burble the Octopus looking guy, there are animals and crazy characters who could be incredibly useless or the best people you can find to get to Canada. I’m hoping that unlocking more traits will help but I can only apologise to my pixelated companions as I offer them up as brain food for the zombies!
I really like Death Road to Canada for a couple of reasons. It’s a pretty easy game to pick up and play but I could also lose hours of my day trying to get to Canada. I’ve not been successful yet… hey, I never said I was good at survival games! I am determined to get there and hopefully I will make it without making terrible choices or spreading my resources too thinly and maybe I need to be more ruthless. The added bonus is a second player can join in as well and you can both take on the zombie hordes! Who knows, I may recruit someone better at survival games to help us win! While this game is great fun on PC and console, I can’t help but feel it really is ideal on the Switch as you can take it with you and try to get to Canada on the move! I would certainly recommend for those of you who are determined to survive the Zombie apocalypse with a horse head and shotgun with dogs in tow. You can make it!!!!