Sometimes it’s nice to play a game that doesn’t need twitch-skills or technical smarts. Games are the most fun when they are easy to pick-up and operate exactly the way they are advertise. Earn to Die is a free app game that allows players to live out their Walking Dead fantasy of mowing down zombies with vehicles on their way to a straight-forward goal.
Title: Earn to Die
Developer: Toffee Games
Publisher: Not Doppler
Genre: Driving, Zombie
Platforms: Browser, Mobile
Earn to Die uses slick flash-based cartoon artwork to depict a barren wasteland of post-apocalyptica that is populated by your traditional ugly, green zombies. You get an opening sequence that tells the story before putting you into the main menu hub, where you’ll do all your shopping for the most efficient zombie mower on the market.
The developers do a good job of providing tool tips on everything upon the first time playing, both in and out of the driving portion. Text and gauges are all easy to read and understand without needing to read a help menu.
Earn to Die’s background music and sound effects are also well done. They don’t feel out of place or too cheesy like most free apps or games.
The goal is to get your guy to the helicopter that is on the other side of the stretch of road, filled with sandbags, crates, and various zombies in your path. It sounds simple, but you’ll quickly figure out that your gas tank breathes fuel and every bump in the road puts you further away from your goal.
You start with a rundown VW Beatle that can barely get through the first handful of hills and zombies in the way. Each attempt nets you at least enough cash to make small upgrades, like fuel, tires, engine, a rocket booster, and even a mounted gun to eliminate the impact of the zombies.
Driving the vehicles uses the arrow keys, with ctrl key as booster when you unlock it. I like the fact that the gun is automatic to keep things simple. There is enough control to allow for some strategy on using the throttle to speed over ditches and control your traction.
What makes Earn to Die so much fun is that it keeps things simple, yet satisfying. Once you upgrade your Bug to the next vehicle, you really start to enjoy mowing zombies and rocketing over the ditches that once ruined your fun. The game is balanced enough to where you won’t be able to realistically leave the wasteland until you’ve unlocked the baddest mother-trucker of them all and upgraded it fully. Overall, it will take the average gamer about 15-20min to complete, if you are upgraded each vehicle to its potential. This is perfect for a little carefree fun on the road or being stuck in a lobby somewhere. It’s fun to go back after maxing out your ride just to mess with flying your truck in the air like a jet, too. At the end of your playthroughs, you are periodically offered to try out developer’s other releases, which contain much more premium options than this one, but it’s nice to play a game to get a feel from the gameplay without having to buy more time or progress to keep playing.