What was it they said about Halo again? 30 seconds of fun that happens over and over again.”

That’s what you need to bear in mind when playing Dead City. On the face of it, the game is limited to 49 levels (that’s seven weeks each with seven days) and each is much the same – walk along a straight road from left to right shooting stuff.

It’s a zombie game, which is hardly original, we admit. It’s yet another twin stick, too. The level automatically scrolls but players can move freely within the window using the left (virtual stick), with the right stick taking care of the shooting.

But honestly, don’t let that put you off.

Where Dead City gets it right is the fantastic upgrade system, assortment of weapons, armour and vehicles and interesting enemy types. Each level rewards the player with cash that can be spent on upgrading said items.

Of course, IAP is there for those with a lack of patience and an abundance of cash. But having downloaded the regular free version of Dead City, this author made a point of making a couple of purchases because, frankly, the developer observed it. At no point did it feel compulsory in order to progress.

That’s not to say grinding can be completely avoided. The game is pretty generous with cash hand outs – it gets the balance just right, in fact – and the likelihood is that players will be glad to replay earlier levels in order to upgrade their current weapon or obtain that elusive new model.

Enemies are reasonably varied and players will need to prioritise their attacks, as well as aim for the head, in order to survive – particularly during the later levels.

Different weapons require a different approach, too, and two can be carried at any one time. A well-levelled machine gun and rocket or grenade launcher is recommended.

It’s a great package that combines a solid gameplay mechanic with decent visuals and a sensible compulsion loop. And the best bit is that IAP feels well and truly optional.

Dead City is published by Com2uS. It can be downloaded for free from iTunes. Dead City PLUS is available for 69p and includes a number of IAP items available from the start.

Have you got a game you think we might be interested in covering in Game Of the Day? If so then we’d bedelighted to hear from you.

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