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iPad  header logo

Earn to Die

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Zombie run (over)

Product: Earn to Die | Developer: Toffee Games | Publisher: Not Doppler | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Racing | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Earn to Die iPad, thumbnail 1
There are some things in life that you can't do in one go. You need to slog through, pushing closer to your goal with each try. Occasionally you might even need an '80s rock montage to reach the finish line.

Earn to Die tries to capture this fevered battle of attrition, but it fails to realise that it's not the slog alone that we find rewarding. It's the thrill of surviving jeopardy. To be rewarding a game needs to be somewhat difficult.

And Earn to Die ain't difficult.

Pimp my ride

The game is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and casts you as one of the last survivors of a zombie plague. The undead roam the barren earth and the only way to get past them is side-on vehicular zombie-slaughter.

An 'accelerate' button sits on the right of the screen, and on the left there are two buttons that let you shift the weight of your vehicle forwards or backwards. You rarely need to use the tilt buttons, though, and you'll constantly have your thumb jammed down on the accelerator.

You start off with a small amount of cash and a battered old family car to spruce up. Soon you'll be fitting it with machine guns and front-facing zombie ploughs to clear yourself a path, as well as powering up the engine and adding ostentatious propellers to give you a much-needed boost.

Every attempt at a stage will end in failure to begin with, as your limited top speed and puny amount of fuel just aren't enough to get you to the next safe haven. But you'll rake in enough cash from running over zombies that you can add something new to your car and get a little bit farther next time.

He cut me up

A lot of the time you don't even have to look at the screen - the slopes and obstacles the game throws at you can all be conquered by driving quickly - and it rarely feels like there's any skill involved on your part when you complete a level.

By tweaking your centre of gravity and adjusting your acceleration to make best use of the terrain you can probably manage subtly better performances, but there's almost no penalty for just holding down 'accelerate', and almost no reward for trying any harder than that.

Earn to Die is average through and through, and while adding new weapons of mass destruction to your vehicle is strangely compulsive for a while, there isn't enough real gameplay to recommend it.

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Earn to Die
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 25 September 2012
While it might be a nice idea, Earn to Die is an oddly uninspiring experience that prizes slog over everything else
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