Review: Deadly 30

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An American, a Nazi, and a Soviet walk into a bar and… wait, no, it’s a shack and I’ve fucked the joke up. Well, they walk into the shack and then zombies start attacking and they shoot them all. Then the next night they do it again. Maybe in the middle they wander around the countryside for scrap metal. Okay, it’s not a very funny joke and it’s not much better of a game for its hordes of zombies, repetitive shooting, and bargain-basement voiceovers recorded on someone’s Yak Bak.

Deadly 30 is set during World War II, casting you as a US Marine isolated from his unit. In the dark forests of Europe something undead is afoot, lots of something, and you take up refuge in an abandoned house to ride out the horror. Venturing out by day you find scrap to keep your fortifications fortified and upgrade your equipment, and by night you hunker down to blast the rising zombie tide before they wash away your little castle.

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Along the way you’ll score two companions to help you survive, a lady Nazi with a mean shotgun and a Soviet sniper. They’ll follow you wherever you go, blasting away at the largest concentrations of undead and attempting to safeguard the house as best as their limited AI allows. You can switch to any of the three at any time to keep them all alive as long as possible and to hear more of their terrible dollar-bin stereotype-joke-book voice lines, and in hectic fights it does pay to swap out for the one with the best weapon for the job.

The game only consists of five maps, the forest map you start on and then two more to the left and right. Every time you enter these lengthy areas there are new piles of scrap to find, your key resource for mending fences, building turrets, unlocking new guns, and staying flush in medkits and ammo. Scrap also upgrades your run speed which gives you a better chance of reaching the end of an area and turning back before night falls, because your odds of staying alive in the dark dwindle fast after the first week or so.

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You need to stay alive and keep the generator running for 30 days to win, and every few days some new zombie type will appear to muck up your plans. Zombies won’t attack the house if you’re not there but the waves of undead can get overwhelming without defenses at night. This gives the game a strong element of tower defense but it’s not one I really appreciate that much, as wandering the fields and scoring scrap is far more engaging to me, linear though it is.

Ultimately Deadly 30 is only going to appeal for as long as you enjoy blasting zombies and accumulating junk. There’s no exploration outside of running over more scrap piles, and while there are leveling and achievement systems they only add small or infrequent unlocks to the game. Every minute in this title is going to be the same, shooting zombies and collecting scrap so you can better shoot zombies. Oh, and listening to terrible, terrible voice acting. It’s also weak on the technical side, with unbearable slowdown setting in after just 30 minutes or so, inexcusable for a game that looks like it could run in Flash. I’m enjoying it more than something like Dead Pixels thanks to the mounting difficulty and zombie variety but if you absolutely must have a 2D zombie murder sim, there still has to be a better one out there than this.

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