Finally, it's "going up" again with the zombie genre!
In “Dead Ascend” by “Black Grain Games”, it’s your quest to escape a horde of zombies by ascending up through a tower full of puzzles and riddles. Whereas the zombie genre has lost pretty much of its coolness lately (I mean, just watch the current season of “The Walking Dead” and you know what I mean), this seems to be a unique and fresh approach on the genre and I’m excited to give it a shot!
I think you need three things for a good point and click adventure: a pleasing scenario, interesting riddles and a lot of humor. Luckily, “Dead Ascend” has all of them and succeeds in providing a holistic gaming experience. The riddles are easy enough to provide any streak of frustration but difficult enough, that you actually have to think and try a lot before you’re able to proceed.
Also, the scenario adds a lot to the tension of the game. Knowing (and hearing) the undead hordes following you on your way to the top of the tower is an intense and thrilling experience, that is rather comparable with the tension of other horror games than with the coziness (or boredom) of point and click adventures.
Speaking of boredom, I guess we can all agree on the fact, that it’s the humor that keeps you motivated to play adventure games, as it almost completely absorbs the missing action. Imagine “Simon the Sorcerer” without the Swampling. It wouldn’t work. Like “The Whispered World” didn’t work outside of Germany, as the rest of the world wasn’t able to stand a point and click adventure without the slightest sense of humor. “Dead Ascend” again does inhere some funny texts and riddles; just enough to keep you entertained, when you’re not busy fearing the brain-eating intruders.
Actually, I am not even sure, if “Black Grain Games” is fully aware of the fact, that their users will identify their game as a (point and click) adventure and therefore expect a few features, that are essential nowadays:
Additionally, it would also help to have some more crazy characters juicing up the interactive experience. Even in a zombie apocalypse, because every adventure lives from its characters. Imagine Monkey Island without “Herman Toothrot”! Impossible. The developers could also think of taking the final step to becoming a point and click adventure by adding a main character. When the crunch comes, Guybrush Threepwood beats Herman Toothrot.
No matter if it’s a classical point and click adventure or not, this game is gorgeous. And you should download it here.
All pictures are in-game screenshots.