Cuddly art style; Ash’s sparse characterisation; good basic mechanics; running or platforming levels offer a nice change of pace
Offers little beyond story mode
Classic gorefest the Evil Dead has for some reason been refashioned as a cutesy, bobble-headed dual stick action game. The game follows the events of the first film and then tacks on some extra story as a semi-sequel. Basically you run around and kill Deadites as Ash, and that’s really all there is to it.
This latest gaming take on Evil Dead was made by TriggerApps, an iOS development company responsible for such titles as the Couples Retreat iPhone game as well as tie-ins for G.I. Joe, The Green Hornet and 2012. They know their way around movie licenses, at least.
What works well enough is the bizarre, cuddly art style, which ratchets Evil Dead’s charm level up to 11 and then soaks it in splatters of appropriately cartoony viscera and gore. Ash’s sparse characterisation is also a nice touch—you can tell when he’s starting to lose it from all the PTSD-inducing violence thanks to some in-game text bubble speech—and the game’s basic mechanics are decent enough. Occasionally the developers break up the action with running or platforming levels, which are a nice change of pace.
Sadly, Evil Dead makes something of a mockery of its presentational strengths with gameplay that needs a bit more polish. Movement can be either overly stiff or awkwardly unresponsive, which gets old after accidentally running into the five hundredth health damaging poison oak plant.
Your fun weapons (shotgun and chainsaw) have limited ammo or fuel with little hope of finding more per level, and facing the right direction to attack can be finicky. On top of that, no stage in Evil Dead lasts more than five minutes, making it a good bite-sized snack to play on the go—space that out over 30 levels and you’ve got a few solid hours of gameplay.
For a goofy little action game Evil Dead isn’t terrible. The juxtaposition of the art style and the gore (which you have to wipe off the screen with your finger) is fun, though once you’re done with story mode, there’s not much else to do. Some additional game modes might go a long way in making this a more rounded-out experience.