The perfect way to avoid being zombified isn’t to shoot your way out of it, or to simply drive your way across the country to avoid the trouble, but instead use a combination of the two in order to produce a game like Earn to Die 2012. Toffee Games have landed a very addictive and somewhat challenging sequel on the internet in the form of this abridged version of the iOS-based title. Earn to Die 2012 involves getting from point A to point B by using a car that can be upgraded using money that you earn from travelling certain distances and killing zombies en route. With some noticeable improvements from the original, this game has more variety and most importantly more upgrades than ever before and it is ready to entertain you at short or even virtually no notice.
You won’t notice too much of a difference between the gameplay of Earn to Die 2012 and its predecessor as the basic (and successful) premise is kept as it was. You simply have to use your car to get from the start of the level to the safety point on the other end, with your progress now being displayed with and indicator at the top and limitations such as your fuel, ammo, and boost levels being displayed at the bottom. The directional keys control your car’s movement and X allows you to use your nitro or boost function if you have purchased and upgrade that allows you to use it. It is still simply a game of drive, smash, upgrade, and repeat, but with this consistency it retains its core appeal.
The most significant improvement you will see since the last game is in the upgrades themselves. Among others, you will notice new and improved transmission, tyres, and boosts as well as various ‘anti-zombie’ bumper/body attachments that will mince up enemies in no time. The vehicles have also changed, with a bog-standard car being used at the start that can be eventually upgraded to a full-on yellow school bus. You may notice that the menu system has changed a little in its layout, feeling much easier to use and more aesthetically pleasing than in the original where the upgrades hovered around the vehicle. The garage is where you will be spending a significant amount of your time, though, since you won’t get anywhere without upgrading the elements of your car, though this does mean that the time you don’t spend in the garage you must use to grind for the money to be able to afford to make improvements.
Earn to Die 2012 has noticeably improved upon the original, though the driving can quickly become monotonous when you realise that you are almost entirely reliant on the upgrades and that driving skill really doesn’t count for very much in the game. It would be a greatly improved title if there were some actual stunts involved instead of simply crashing through a few crates every now and then, and most people will notice the games extremely short length, even when taking into consideration the fact that it is merely a demo for the full iOS version. This is another impressive but disappointingly short title from Toffee Games and falls short of the achievements of other zombie killing franchises such as the transition of the Last Stand with a far improved sequel – the Last Stand 2 which saw a much more jam ram packed second version.