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Touch the Dead

Developer: Secret Stash Games | Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 05/16/07 | Genre: Action

touch.jpgZombies are invading your Nintendo DS once again and this time it is up to you to shoot them all down in the first Zombie Light Gun game for the handheld platform. However, instead of being armed with a light gun, you will utilize the almighty stylus to shoot every last Zombie out of your path. Despite the fun that one would associate with a Light Gun title on a handheld, Touch the Dead suffers a few fatal flaws that might ruin your gaming experience.

What do you do if you find yourself in a prison, a gun on the floor, and a mysteriously open jail cell? If you are our hero, Rob Steiner, you grab the gun and start shooting your way to freedom. As you progress through each level of the game, Zombies appear in front of you and you have to take them down. The most effective way, as in other Zombie titles, is to shoot their heads off. Regardless of where you shoot each Zombie, it is done by simply tapping on the screen. If you hold your stylus down, a rapid fire shot will occur. This mechanism is flawless. However, the real frustration begins when your ammo is depleted.

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In other Light Gun games, the player is asked to shoot off-screen in order to reload their ammo. Eidos decided that since Nintendo DS users don't have a way to shoot off-screen that they should perform one of the most tedious and frustrating gameplay mechanics ever seen on the platform. Players are asked to drag the ammo onto their weapon. At first, this sounds like a very cool concept and makes great use of the stylus and touch screen. In a real world test, this does not work well and it gives the Zombies an unfair advantage as you will spend the vast majority of your time in Touch the Dead reloading your weapon. Trust me--nothing is more fun than having your game end because you were busy fiddling with dragging ammo on your gun.

The only thing more frustrating than dragging ammo to reload is when a room full of Zombies that you just killed reappear in a room as your character circles the room instead of just running out to the exit. Another annoyance are the relatively low-res textures and poor graphics. These are some of the blurriest graphics I have seen on the DS in quite some time. The sound effects also do not win any awards either.

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Each difficulty level is relatively easy and despite this being one of the only Light Gun games on the platform, Touch the Dead offers no replay value and tedious gameplay that will probably leave you more frustrated than having fun. That said, if you like Light Gun games or just want to try something different on the DS, Touch the Dead might offer a few hours of fun and enjoyment. Hopefully the formula can be retooled to offer less annoying reloading features. Proceed with caution.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 06/25/07
ESRB Details: Blood and Gore, Violence
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Screenshots for Touch the Dead

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