Evil Dead Review

There’s no reason an Evil Dead game should be boring. The forest comes to life to kill you as you slaughter zombies galore using a hatchet, a shotgun, and a chainsaw. You even murder your friends when they become infected by the deadite bug. There’s nothing in the source material that’s even a little bit boring. And yet somehow Evil Dead for iOS manages to be fairly dull.

The game is split into two sections. The first half is based on Sam Raimi’s 1981 cult classic film. You play as Ash, an everyman character who wants nothing more than to spend a few nights with his friends at a cabin in the woods. His plans go to hell when he accidentally unleashes a powerful force of pure evil. The second half of the game tells a new story with the same characters– even though most of them died in the first half. There’s nothing wrong in theory with making the game longer, but this second story feels out of place.

Don’t run with sharp objects’¦ unless zombies are after you.

The levels are generally short, with goals like getting from point A to point B or killing a certain number of zombies. It’s nice that they try to give you a variety of goals, but since you’re basically just mashing one button the whole time, it becomes repetitive very quickly. Also, there’s no continuity between levels, so the weapon you have equipped when you beat a level with isn’t always the weapon you begin the next one with.

When you have a shotgun, the game is set up like a dual-stick shooter: you move around with the left stick and shoot with the right. When you’re equipped with a chainsaw or hatchet, the right stick becomes an attack button. The controls work well enough that you generally won’t curse at them, but the game doesn’t feel nearly as tight as something like Minigore. Also, your shotgun and chainsaw have limited ammo and fuel, so you have to use them sparingly, which seems unnecessary.

A relaxing night by the fireplace.

Killing deadites at close range spatters their gore onto the screen, covering part of the viewing area until you wipe it off. But wiping is unresponsive, and you have to take the rest of your fingers off the controls for it to have any effect at all. The occasional platforming parts are equally annoying.

The graphics aren’t very good, either. The characters are super-deformed and cartoony, but not in an appealing way. Another unfortunate feature is that, unlike its decidedly terrifying trailer, the actual game hardly uses any audio from the movie at all. Instead, to push the narrative forward, it uses boring text between levels. For instance, ‘After reading from the Book of the Dead, my own wife tried to murder me. I dismembered her in the tool shed. Creepy.’

Evil Dead isn’t a totally incompetent train wreck like Kick-Ass. But unless your love for the movie is enough to make you look past a very lackluster gameplay experience, this is one horror experience you can skip.

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