Home to Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and the place where I proposed to my now-wife, there’s a lot to like in Florida. But when the zombie apocalypse hits and salvation is north of the border, it doesn’t get much worse. If you want to keep your brains intact, you have no choice but to make the trek by any means. Death Road to Canada follows your arduous journey to safety. Will you make it out of America alive?
Death Road to Canada is an action RPG with Roguelike elements. Before hitting the road, you’ll have the opportunity to craft your character’s looks and attributes. Personally, I prefer to use the random option and hope for the best. You can play the main game with a friend, and a side mode allows up to four players to play together.
Once the adventure begins, the experience is broken up into two distinct phases. Half the time, you’ll have direct control of your character during the game’s action sequences. While the temptation to immediately flee the scene is high, it’s in your best interest to scavenge each area for food, weapons, med kits, fuel, and other supplies that will keep you and your crew alive.
Between these on-foot missions are story-based interludes that occur as your party is driving or walking north. After reconciling your team’s vital stats, you’ll encounter a number of story beats that you’ll manage through menus. Each time you play, these moments will be injected at different points of your run or not appear at all. One example of such an event could be an encounter with a stranger in need of help. Do you allow them to join your party? Or leave them be? Many of these choices will have dramatic consequences on the game and may impact it in ways you may not expect.
Underneath the game’s retro graphics and simplistic controls is an experience that’s deeper than its initially lets on. During the game’s action sequences, the only things you can really do are move, attack, pick stuff up, and open doors. However, you’re also constantly assessing the risk. Venture too deep or stick around too long and you’ll end the game as zombie lunch. Death is particularly punishing, as you’ll be forced to restart from the very beginning.
Most of the game’s heavy lofting occurs while you’re on the road. It’s so cool to see how many variables are being factored into the experience. It’s very Dungeons and Dragons in how it handles these stats and the story beats that add a lot of flavour to the world. That said, randomization plays a big role during these parts, which cuts both ways. During one run, my party was blessed with a valkyrie joining our party. She even possessed Mjolnir, which could be thrown and retrieved as you’d expect. Five minutes later, she died off-screen due to a bad menu choice.
The outcomes of each interaction won’t always break in your favour, but Death Road to Canada is certain to entertain. Played alone or with friends, its an experience that’s quick to learn and incredibly rewarding thanks to its role-playing hooks. Even if the vast majority of my runs ended in failure, the enjoyment along the way inspired me to keep running for the border.
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