Unfortunately, I spent about as much time trying to get Dead Ahead to work as I did actually playing it, but I’m sure as hell going to write about it.
Long story short, I quickly encountered a problem on my third generation iPad whereby Dead Ahead would frequently crash, to the point where it wouldn’t open at all. Brilliant.
I tried all the usual stuff – double tap Home and swipe up to close, reset the iPad, long press Home and Power – to no avail.
On further investigation (I’m seriously incapable of letting things go), I discovered that my iPad had in fact 0MB of storage left, and suspected that maybe Dead Ahead was trying to write to or create a data file that didn’t – or couldn’t – exist.
As such, I deleted a bunch of stuff on my iPad, but still no change. Last resort: delete Dead Ahead and reinstall it, losing all my progress in the process. Nope, still constant crashes. What the…?
Over in the App Store comments section, I discovered that many users are giving Dead Ahead 5/5, with only one recent comment suggesting that the game was unplayable. Much strangeness.
Continuing my diagnosis, I installed Dead Ahead on my iPhone 5, and again found that the app crashed at a completely unacceptable rate.
Absolutely flummoxed, I realised that the crashes quite often occurred when the “Welcome back” message popped up from Game Center. At that point something clicked and I decided to try Dead Ahead in Flight Mode. Success.
Likewise, on the iPad, disabling Wi-Fi meant I was able to play Dead Ahead. Well, kinda. See, there are certain things that make it crash, like attempting to go directly to the Garage after a run, but it does work. Sort of.
EDIT: On further investigation, I’ve found the following statement from Mobirate: “Dead Ahead update is being finally tested. iOS 7 support is there. For now you can disable the Internet on device to play without crashes.”
Anyway! Crashes aside, what we have here in Dead Ahead is a left-to-right endless runner, with the protagonist riding a motorbike and a horde of zombies approaching from the left.
You control the motorbike’s position on the road with your right thumb, while the left plays host to both a fire button and an accelerator. The latter is useful for zooming away from approaching zombies, with the downside being that it’s more difficult to avoid hazards such as abandoned cars and buses when you’re flooring it.
And seriously, other than the occasional boss, that’s all there is to Dead Ahead. I love endless runners and zombies, so this should’ve been a no-brainer, but even pushing the technical problems to the side, I found it woefully generic.
I managed to save up for a significantly better bike, but seriously couldn’t tell any difference between it and the default machine, and it certainly didn’t yield any better runs.
The freemium curve is fairly hideous too, with the more expensive guns, motorcycles and levels taking ages to save up for.
On the whole, while I’d hoped to be serving up a 5/5 review, Dead Ahead is a major disappointment.
- Daily tasks
- Constant crashes; almost unplayable
- The harsh freemium curve
- Ultimately pretty dull
Summary: Zombies? Good. Endless runners? Good. Yet somehow Dead Ahead fails to impress. Maybe I’ve been spoiled by the likes of Robot Unicorn Attack 2 and Time Surfer, or maybe the crashes tainted my experience, but in any case, I’m thoroughly unmoved.
Price: free @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.