Earn To Die 2
From the moment you fire up this game, it's evident that it's a direct mobile port. The buttons are generously sized and clearly tailored for touchscreen interaction. While playing, you'll notice an abundance of empty screen space, a telltale sign of its mobile origins. Fortunately, Toffee Games has thoughtfully included keyboard controls straight from the web version of the game.
Your mission in this game is to journey from the west coast of America to the tip of Florida on the east coast, plowing through obstacles like boxes, concrete barricades, and zombies along the way. With ten levels, each featuring two checkpoints and a distinctive vehicle, you'll find yourself bidding farewell to your previous ride at the end of each stage. This can be a tad frustrating, especially after investing 30 minutes to an hour in earning money to upgrade your current vehicle, only to be compelled to start anew, often with a slower set of wheels.
The levels are thoughtfully designed, offering multiple paths to explore as you progress. Each level introduces its own theme, with the early stages being relatively straightforward and sparsely populated, gradually evolving into complex and densely populated environments. The variety of zombie designs is also noteworthy, ranging from the typical shamblers to individuals clad in riot gear relentlessly pursuing your vehicle, not to mention the colossal monstrosities. During your journey, your vehicle can sustain damage, to the point where significant sections like your roof, door, or even the entire back chassis may go flying off.
Earn to Die 2, which could easily have been dubbed Earn 2 Die, centers around a continuous upgrading mechanic. After each run, you accumulate money to enhance your vehicle. Subsequent upgrades become progressively costlier, and the improvements for later vehicles are even more exorbitant. By the final level, you'll find yourself raking in billions of dollars for obliterating zombies under your wheels. While the concept of progression is essential, some may find the upgrades uninspiring and the overall cost inflation excessive.
That is, of course, if you manage to reach the end. It took me a whopping eight hours to get there, and that felt excessively protracted. The online version of the game seems to offer a more streamlined experience, making the Steam version appear unnecessarily drawn-out. Toffee Games gated off the Missions mode, which could have potentially injected some much-needed variety and challenge into the main story.
By the time I unlocked the missions, my enthusiasm for continued play had waned. Undoubtedly, the game delivers moments of amusement, such as when my back chassis detached right at the start, forcing me to continue with just the front of my car, my rear scraping along the ground. Or that memorable instance when I boosted diagonally upward, shedding parts all the way, ultimately landing on the checkpoint with just a front tire and my steering wheel intact.