One of my guilty pleasures in 2013 was Square Enix’s Guardian Cross, a card collecting game set in a Final Fantasy-esque fantasy world. Following Guardian Cross: to delete, or not to delete? I vowed to go cold turkey, successfully giving the game up for good. Er, until Guardian Cross v2.0.
Square Enix is back to dig its claws into my brain yet again, giving Guardian Cross a zombie makeover and calling it Deadman’s Cross (App Store, Google Play). It’s actually really good. But then I would say that.
As much as “Guardian Cross with zombies” serves as an apt description, I’m duty bound to go into a bit more detail. It’s also probably a good idea to assume you haven’t played GC.
Like Guardian Cross, Deadman’s Cross is comprised of several distinctly separate – but interdependent – elements. Ultimately you’re trying to put together an awesome collection of zombie cards, but there’s loads of other stuff going on, too.
Deadman’s Cross Hunts
This is where you get your new cards, essentially. Hunts go down in first-person mode, and basically you get to keep any zombies that you shoot within the 60-second time limit. If you’re lucky, you’ll come across rare zombies.
This is the only place you’ll shoot your rifle, however, as all other Deadman’s Cross combat goes down in card form.
Zombie types are indicated by their silhouettes, whether it’s a flying zombie (i.e. a bird), crawling zombie, animal zombie… or whatever. Incidentally, there are over 100 zombie cards in Deadman’s Cross, including a sexy nurse, and an even sexier stripper. It’s very Japanese.
Deadman’s Cross Boneyard
In a nutshell, the Boneyard in Deadman’s Cross is the equivalent of the Coliseum in Guardian Cross. It’s where you battle other players’ cards – or CPU representations of them, at least – for prizes.
More specifically, you fight three times for each Boneyard entry ticket you find, and bonus points are awarded for things like consecutive victories. Prizes are determined by your rank at the end of the allotted time – usually a week.
Deadman’s Cross Jobs
There are two job types in Deadman’s Cross: searches and hunts. The hunt jobs add a bit of spice to shooting zombies; you might be tasked with shooting X zombies in one hunt, or catching Y zombies of a particular type.
As for searches, this is where the story comes in. People will post jobs looking for fellow survivors and items like water. There’s one main storyline, but also sidequests that have nothing to do with anything.
The characters in Deadman’s Cross are completely bizarre. There’s the little kid who swears all the time (“Hey, how about you shut up? You’re not my f**kin’ dad, man”), and a guy who speaks purely in videogame talk. Very close to being annoying, but I’m actually laughing internally thinking about them.
Oh, importantly, jobs are a good way to get tickets for the Boneyard and hunts, in addition to other items that can be used to enhance your zombies. Bonus.
Deadman’s Cross conclusion
And those are the basic Deadman’s Cross mechanics. All in all, it’s pretty good. I wasn’t sure how the zombie makeover would turn out, but I quite like the tone of it all. The story is oddly intriguing, too, and I like the way everything is laid out on the main screen.
Minor gripes include occasional crashes (where the game inexplicably jumps back to the title screen), the fact that you have to manually claim gifts, and the lack of input in the card battles (you’ll mostly just hold your finger on the fast-forward button as the cards take turns at whacking each other).
Otherwise, I really like Deadman’s Cross.
- Over 100 zombie cards
- Lots going on, but well laid out
- Oddly amusing at times
- Occasional crashes
- Card battles play out automatically
- A separate menu for claiming gifts?!
Summary: Deadman’s Cross is – predictably – pretty much just Guardian Cross with zombies aplenty, but it’s far from some lazy undead makeover. Most definitely worth a look.
Developer: Square Enix
iOS compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s, iPad 2 Wi-Fi, iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G, iPad Wi-Fi (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (3rd generation), iPad Wi-Fi (4th generation), iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular (4th generation), iPad mini Wi-Fi, iPad mini Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad Air, iPad Air Wi-Fi + Cellular, iPad mini with Retina display, and iPad mini with Retina display Wi-Fi + Cellular. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Android compatibility: Requires Android 3.0 or above.