Dead Strike review

One of the best gaming experiences I have had in my lifetime is running around the foggy streets of Silent Hill. The protagonist Harry Mason runs around in the fog finding bloody smears, horrid dead dogs on the prowl and a strange radio rumbling with static whenever a presence is near. What Silent Hill gave me then I hoped Dead Strike would give me know. Just looking at the screen captures it is easy to see the heritage of Dead Strike. Dead Strike doesn’t go for the minimal scare approach found in Silent Hill but rather go for an all out killing spree experience akin to modern classic Left 4 Dead.

img_5027You select one of the four playable characters, and depending on which you choose some basic characteristics vary. Physical ability to withstand pain to power of bullets fired affect the game somewhat but the largest difference is the basic looks of the hero you control. A couple of pages of text set the scene before you are thrown into a city overrun with the dead.

Dead Strike is a third person shooter with a virtual analogue stick that has been discussed in forums across the iPhone gaming world. I really like it, and find it easy to use and aim with but a lot of users have had trouble with it. The developer wanted to create something akin to Silent Hill, and as you might know Harry Mason wasn’t the best marksman or quickest most agile mover making him feel like an Average Joe thrown into a nightmare. The characters in Dead Strike are created in a Harry Mason kind of mould, and not into a Masterchief mould.  On the right side of the screen there are a spin 180 button and aim button. Once you aim you get two new buttons beneath the aim/lower weapon button. The left button lets you reload, and the right fires chosen weapon. I often feel that the fire button is unresponsive, and even more often I manage to spin 180 instead of aiming my gun at the zombies running at me. An aspect of the controls I dislike is the fact that you control the camera by touching, and dragging across the screen. Often I manage to set the camera strangely at the side of my character making it hard to aim with the least bit of accuracy. A special camera button would be appreciated, and really there isn’t much need to move any camera at all to be frank.

img_6028While running into the mist  zombies keep attacking, and even jump out of windows to get to you. The sound effects are really good giving the best of zombie movies and games a run for their money. It is on par with the great sounds found in Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies for the iPhone. Other effects such as weapon fire, and breaking glass are decent. The music is great adding to the dark haunting atmosphere of the game.
Graphics are ok, and at times it feels like I am back in Silent Hill on the Playstation One. The zombies move in a varied manner from sitting down conserving energy to pelting at full speed at you. There are a lot of graphical glitches though when for example walking to close to a building you can see through it.

The AI of the zombies are ok I guess, I mean zombies are braindead aren’t they? And thus it isn’t too strange if a zombie runs on the spot when stopped by a car or another slower zombie. They tend to swarm though making it hard to get out of the situation unharmed. There are bandages to use at the inventory screen to give you some extra time to live. Between levels you can also buy extra medical supplies as well as new weapons. There are nine different weapons to be found in the game, and no less than 46 levels. One problem though is the fact that it is hard to understand how and why a level is cleared. At times I have met larger zombies that I have killed to progress, and at times I have had to restart a level when I haven’t found anything else to kill. I would like to have some sort of indication to how well I am doing on a level. As it is now I find myself not gravitating towards starting Dead Strike as I feel it is a bit random whether I will make any progress in the time I put into the game.

deadstrikeDead Strike is a competent shooter filling a void in the zombie killing genre. It isn’t scary as Silent Hill, and it isn’t as hectic as Left 4 Dead but it is still a killing feast at times when the zombies cooperate to swarm you. It can go in two directions in my mind, either fleshing out the story to add a bit of eeriness or skipping the story and throwing double the amount of undead at you. The middle road it takes now gets boring when you have been running around looking for stuff to kill for a couple of minutes. The developer seems really eager to update, and depending on choice of direction the game might become an iPhone classic. As it is now I can recommend you to try the lite version to see if the pacing is ok for you, and if you find the controls abysmal or ok as I do. I find the game to be a bit too slow, and the level goals too unclear. If you are looking for the best zombie shooter this is not it, actually Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies is, but Dead Strike is worth the $1.99 asking price for the screaming running zombies alone.

Final Rating


Dead Strike $1.99
Version: 1.06
Seller: Jorge Paz/Psychoz Interactive
Dead Strike Lite

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  • ZE

    Great review- better than the one at STP. But, are you guys ever going to decide on the winners of the last 2 freebie Fridays from last year?

  • Tim

    Yeah, I had trouble with the controls too, and as for the contests, did anyone ever win the Super Juicy contest?

  • Tim

    That is to say, I was one of the people having trouble with the controls, unlike Torbjorn. I was a big fan of Silent Hill, but I still found the controls very frustrating in this game.


    Not a bad effort.

  • http://PsychozInteractive Georges Paz

    Hey guys, Georges Paz from Psychoz Interactive. We are proud to announce you that the next Dead Strike version (v1.2) coming this week will bring out to table:
    - New FPS controls.
    - Ragdollz Physics.
    - Bullet-time (slow-mo) adrenaline drink.

    We are also hard at working with Forgotten Memories, a pure psychological survival horror for iPhone/PC/Mac, (theres few videos around the net). This one is in the Top 10 iPhone Games To Look out for 2010:

    If you have any question/sugestion, email me directly a-T: tatoforever a-t psychozinteractive d-o-t com


  • Tim

    That update should be out any time now, eh? I’m definitely looking forward to it as it could really change the complexion of this game.

  • JacobRonin

    Thank you for the news on the update,Georges! This is a good game, but I think the next version will make this an excelent game! Well worth the $1.99.

  • Tim

    In fact, the controls have definitely improved since the initial version already, but once the 1.5 version arrives I’m convinced this game will be a 4/5 at least.

  • http://PsychozInteractive Georges Paz

    Hey guys, great news for you.
    The new version is in review now. Here is some of the new features:
    - New improved and ultra smooth FPS controls, yes FPS controls!
    Strafe, walk/run-and-shoot, crosshair (aim any direction)!
    - Play with your own music! If no music detected the default game music will play on.
    - Ragdollz physics!!! Recommended on iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 3G (32/64GB).
    - Ragdoll mode on/off. In case you are running an old iDevice you can turn ragdoll physics off if you wish.
    - Bullet time drink. (Blast your zombies and watch them fly physically realistic in slow-motion!).
    - Characters and zombies difficulty/progression balance.
    - Overall game difficulty changed (according to the new FPS controls).
    - On street random crash fixed (caused by a reference exception).
    - Spelling error found on a game texture (“closed road”).
    - Street items rotates on the Y axis and are now bigger/visible.
    - World-objective compass.

  • http://PsychozInteractive Georges Paz

    Here is the new v1.2 update gameplay video.
    Enjoy! :)

  • Tim

    Ahhh, so that’s what a “bullet time drink” is. I thought that was a typo or something. Anyway, looks great, I can hardly wait for it to come out. Also looking forward to Forgotten Memories although I don’t have a 3GS. :(

  • Georges Paz

    Dead Strike v1.2 is already out guys.
    And is free for threes days.

    @Tim, we have a cut down version of Forgotten Memories but it will provably be out a month later the 3GS/iPad version.
    Cheers, :)

  • Tim

    Great news about Forgotten Memories.

    As for Dead Strike free, that is a steal, especially with the new controls!

  • Tim

    So apparently this is not getting any more updates nor is Forgotten Memories going to be released on the iphone after all. The devs were scared off the platform by poor sales. Very disappointing.

  • Georges Paz

    Not anymore,
    We just parner with a publisher.
    Forgotten Memories will be on the iPhone/iPad platform. :)

  • Georges Paz

    Hey Tim,
    Theres an other studio that will take care of Dead Strike updates soon.
    We are right now hard at work on Forgotten Memories.
    By the mean time, I’l suggest you, to take a look at Dead Strike v1.2.