As the title of this game suggests, you have to block the dead. You are one of the survivors struggling to fight back the hoards of zombies. The game is set in the 50’s, the birth of Rock’n’Roll has come straight from hell and reanimated the dead. Now the dead roam, and they are hungry for brains.
There are only 10 levels for you to play, but if you purchase the DLC ‘More Dead to Block Map Pack’ it will add in another 4 levels. Clearing the majority of the levels is only a matter of finding the three pieces of guitar equipment hidden throughout the area, and then playing the guitar mini game. This mini game is like a Guitar Hero game, hitting the relevant buttons when their symbols pass through the fret area. The mini game only last for a little bit, about a riff of the song. Playing Rock’n’Roll will cause zombies to dance themselves to the point of exploding. The levels that don’t require you to find the guitar equipment need you to kill a certain amount of zombies to power up the Zomb-O-Matic 9000, a machine that once switched on will wipe out all of the undead in the level. I found these levels much harder than the collect items ones because I couldn’t just run through and trap them in parts I had to actually kill them.
The game has a tower defence styled game feel to it, but with a third person twist. You need to run around constructing the traps in doorways and windows to stop the undead. There is a focus on this style of game play, however you can face the zombies in melee combat if you really want to, but there is really no point to it seeing as the combat isn’t the best.
There are three survivors that you can play as, each of which is better at one thing than the other. They also each have different traps that they can deploy to help hold back the zombie hoards.
To construct traps you need to have enough materials. The materials needed are wood as well as nuts, the ones that go on screws not the ones you eat! To get wood you need to break down furniture and for the nuts you need to search items. Breaking the furniture is simply done by pressing ‘B’ a couple of times and the searching of items is started by pressing ‘A’ on the object then can be done a few different ways depending on what is being searched for. If it is just for nuts all you need to do is rapidly pull the left and right triggers. For upgrades you need to align the broken cycles, so that the hand can grab the upgrade without being obstructed.
The three characters that you play as are:
Jack Foster, a construction worker who wields a hammer. He specializes in the breaking of furniture. He wields a hammer which can be upgraded to a sledgehammer, and a nail gun which can be upgraded to a freezer ray gun.
Mike Bacon, a boy scout who is prepared to cook some food by having his handy fry pan at the ready. He is best at searching for items. Mike throws hamburgers which attract the zombies to them, and can be upgraded so that the zombies fight over the burger causing damage to each other.
Foxy Jones, a traffic cop. She has the highest attack skill. Her special weapon is a taser and can be upgraded to a shotgun which can kill up to 12 zombies in one use.
Each of the characters start out with a single type of trap, but others a found throughout the game. Everyone can construct blockages to help stop the zombies to getting into the building, but traps are specific to the character.
Frost Trap – Freezes all zombies that pass through for a short period of time. Once frozen these zombies are a one hit kill causing them to shatter.
Hard Hat Trap – Drops a hard hat onto zombies, these zombies then continue to break furniture, the best part is, you get the wood.
Impenetrable Wall - Zombies cannot destroy this wall, it is great if you want to close off a section of the level. Only down side is it take a lot of material to construct.
Toilet Trap – A toilet bowl suspended at the top of the doorway/ window waiting to drop waste on zombies below. This waste poisons zombies until they die. Zombies in spaceman suits and military uniforms are immune to this trap.
Sunbed Trap - Ages zombies who pass through into weak old zombies.
Box Trap - Drops a cardboard box with Mike’s face drawn on it onto zombies. Zombies that are around will confuse these zombies for the real Mike and attack them.
Bomb Trap – A small atomic bomb held in a blockade, when the zombies destroy the blockade the bomb goes off. The bomb is powerful enough to wipe out all the zombies around the window.
Rolling Pin Trap – Reduces zombies health by 50%, this trap lasts for a while.
Laser Trap - Instantly kills any zombie which passes through it. Because of how much damage it does, it runs out pretty quickly.
In addition to the traps that the characters can set up, the levels themselves have a few things that can be used to kill/hold up zombies. Television sets can be used to stop the zombies in their tracks, that is once you have found the aerials for them. Juke boxes cause the zombies to dance themselves to death once you have put a coin in them. And because zombies aren’t the cleverest of things, they go for steaks that you have placed on heaters and get electrocuted.
If you find zombies scary you don’t need to worry about a thing, because the ones in Dead Block look quite comical, however there was one type that I did find rather scary it was the large “carny” ones. They simply just look creepy. The music is pretty good, a nice Rock’n’Roll theme through out the entire game, unfortunately it is constant and doesn’t react to things that are happening within the game, say if you are being attacked it doesn’t hype up as such.
Having only 10 levels means that the game is pretty short, only taking a few hours to complete it entirely. You could spend more if you really want to endure it again to collect those achievement that you missed. Personally I’m not going to bother with this one. After the first level or two the game doesn’t really change and it just gets repetitive, the only things that change are the characters with their upgrades. On top of that, it only has local co-op which is a shame as I think it would be much nicer having other people play as the character instead of having to try control all of them. So all in all, I wouldn’t rush out to buy this one, but it may provide some entertainment if you have a four people playing.