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Review: Dead Trigger — Zombie Survival

Available On: Android, iOS
Price: Free. $0.99 on iTunes
Download: Google Play | iTunes

This is a long post. Dead Trigger has tons of gameplay options, features, thus there is a lot to say. The final verdict is located at the bottom.

Dead Trigger is one of those games that you just fall in love with. This is coming from someone who really does not like first-person shooter’s on smartphones and tablets. I’ve always thought it didn’t fit well with the device and was a bit more of a nuisance to play than anything. Yesterday, I actually had aton of fun playing Dead Trigger throughout the day. Madfinger Games created the zombie survival game and has done a wonderful job with it. The controls feel nice while others feel a bit clunky and awkward (this could be because I’ve only played a first-person shooter on my phone once before).

Upon installing and launching the game you’ll instantly notice some similarities to a Call of Duty game in zombie mode. Dead Trigger is much like any Call of Duty game just optimized for phones and much smaller in size. It has the survival for x amount of time objectives along with some other objectives that consist of finding the Gun Shop and stolen photos. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to be like Call of Duty, I just found that that game will probably be the one most people will relate to.

At the heart of Dead Trigger is something everyone has loved to do over the years. Blowin’ up zombies. The amount of zombies there are are amazing. Slaughtering them as they come from all corners and in some cases even from behind. I found it all to be very exciting and difficult at the same time. It was great! If you ran out of ammo, there was always a nearby zombie to drop a pack of ammo for some reason. I couldn’t understand why they were trying to help me kill his own kind, but I gladly accepted and began firing out of my Scorpion pistol again. A fairly weak pistol, but it’ll do for a good while.

More hordes of zombies began to head towards me. Great. There was no rushing to my objective this time. I quickly turned my scope on and began picking them off one by one. Why was this so thrilling? Was I going mad or have I just finally lost it after all of these years? I didn’t know, but I continued to pick off the zombies until I realized there were about four more coming at me from behind. Thank God for radars.

Finally, I was able to finish them all off. I noticed that there were no more zombies on my radar. I looked around and was able to confirm that. I decided to just continue on towards my objective until finally, they all start spawning again. This was definitely not the mission to have such a weak Scorpion pistol. I managed to get by most of them so I could get out in the open, I took a couple hits though. They started falling like flies, that’s the great advantage of normal difficulty. Great. I’ve now ran out of ammo and the ammo package is straight behind the hordes of zombies. Why I didn’t pick it up earlier, I don’t know.

I managed to do what I did earlier, get past them, but again, I took a couple hits. Quickly grabbing the ammo, I reloaded my pistol and began firing again until they were all gone. This time, there were no more spawning. I assume that’s because I was about 30 feet away from my objective. Either way, that was a good thing because I had about one life left and my gun wasn’t doing me a whole lot of good.

The piles of zombies looked absolutely disgusting and amazing at the same time. The detail on the character models was truly amazing, but at the same time, disgusting. They are zombies after all. It was all great fun. It was a great time going through the map destroying all the invading zombies. I’ve only played Call of Duty Zombies a couple times, so this style of game may get old for some, but as a fairly new player I found it to be great. The overall design of everything was fantastic. I’ll get back on to design later, I’d first like to talk about the gameplay.


The gameplay is probably the best part of Dead Trigger, to be honest. Earlier, I said the controls were near perfection and they are. There is one control that activates your scope though. Scoping is difficult on the average smartphone, I can imagine it would be a tad easier on the Galaxy Note or even a 100x better on a tablet like the Nexus 7 or ASUS Transformer Prime. A bonus to those tablets is that the performance would be better with the Tegra 3 chip thus allowing you to scope in and out better. On the average smartphone, going into scope lags a bit and so does going out of scope. This is quite a nuisance when you’re trying to watch your radar for zombies coming behind you. It’s almost like you have to time it for the delay too.

The moving is sometimes awkward also. If you try to turn to far to the left with your right hand while your left hand is controlling your soldier the camera abruptly spins around into the opposite way you were going. It’s a terrible thing when your playing a survival mode and floods of zombies are just massing around you. I’ve lost missions a couple times because of this. I don’t know if there is a fix for that or if its just where the touch sensors are on the Android device. If they can fix it, great. If not, it’ll make the game a bit more difficult but not to the extent where it’s broken and you can’t play. I probably just wouldn’t try harder modes instead of normal in that case.

Other than that the controls are superb and perfectly placed, Madfinger Games did an excellent job with the UI.

When it comes to shooting zombies, the only thing that I would really consider difficult is the aiming capabilities in Dead Trigger. Trying to move and shoot at the same time makes it very difficult to aim. If you do get the aim correct, sometimes you’ll have to scope to actually get the hit. For some reason when your moving and shooting bullets miss the zombie. I’ve gone back and tested this tons of times and each time the same thing happens. I don’t know if it’s a game bug or if I’m doing something completely wrong that I shouldn’t be doing. I do feel like it’s a game bug as I have gone in and tested it numerous times before writing up this review.

Other than that issue, I found it extremely fun to go around kill the zombies. There wasn’t much rest before waves of zombies continued spawning though. Playing on the easiest difficulty may eliminate that problem if you’re not looking for a challenge. I also found it rather hard to get ammo. When you get low on ammo, a box of it drops off of a zombie (how is that logical?!). The only thing is, due to the many zombies colliding it’s near impossible to get to that ammo box if it’s behind the wall of enemies. If it’s in front of then, it’s a tad easier, but you risk getting mauled and slaughtered to death. You’ll have to restart the mission all over again.

One thing they could improve upon with the gameplay is adding checkpoints in case of death. Especially on the really long missions. When there’s about a 20 minute mission I do and I die right before I hit the goal and am then required to spawn where I started and completely restart the mission, that’s really frustrating. If there was a sort of checkpoint system in place, that would help a ton because often on the missions you’re given you have to be really careful not to die or take a wrong step, otherwise you’ll be starting the mission over again. If its one of the more difficult missions you may experience death and resetting the mission many different times. A checkpoint system is very much needed.

As for completing objectives, there isn’t much to it. As I said earlier, at Dead Trigger’s core is just killing zombies. There isn’t much reward in finishing objectives and often the goal is to walk from point a to point b. There’s no examining the photos for background story or anything. I was disappointed in that because it felt like the objectives were then rendered pointless. Honestly, I would of much rather them made this a kill as many zombies as you can game because there isn’t much story to it all and it’s very generic.


One of the largest features you’ll come across in Dead Trigger is it’s extensive store. Often the weapons cost real money, but there are some really good weapons you can purchase with the in-game currency. To get the real-money items, you’re going to have to spend a few bucks on gold to be able to purchase those real-money items. This is all done through Google Play, so if you have your credit card on your Google account, with a click of a button you’ll have some gold to purchase items in the store of Dead Trigger. I should mention that you have to unlock the store by doing two or three missions first.

Feature-wise, you won’t come across much because the gameplay is really the main focus of this game. Upon finishing missions you’ll get a window popup with some background story, but again, at Dead Trigger’s core is the gameplay. The story is really not that well done, I thought. Honestly, all the zombie-themed stories are fairly generic anyway.

The last feature that really stuck out was the map. On the map you can select from a bunch of different missions that consist of main quests, challenge missions or side missions. There is literally an unlimited amount of side missions, so after you finish the main quest (that is, if you’re really interested in the story) and still want to kill zombies, there are tons of different side missions for you to play through. The random missions are great, but really lack something. It may be that I feel this game is really missing co-op, multiplayer or something similar to that.


One thing that have people up in arms is that Dead Trigger used to cost $0.99. It is now free, so a lot of people are angry that they were charged for the game and get no special bonuses because of that after making it free. Will Madfinger Games do anything about this? I hope so, otherwise their reviews are going to be literally flooded with hate. There’s already a ton of negative reviews because of this switch from paid to free.

The game is very realistic, I had a lot of fun with it, but I don’t know if I will play it a whole lot. After the thrill of killing zombies where’s off, the game really begins to lack a lot of substance. It’s a fun game and the perfect option to play if you get that urge to kill zombies at random moments of the day, but again, it lacks a lot of substance.

Dead Trigger is a pretty big file. It varies per device. On my Atrix 2, it was around 114MB, which honestly, isn’t too bad compared to the 2GB’s Batman costs to download. You should also be warned that when patches come out for the game, you’re going to have to re-download that 114mb thus it is suggested that the game gets downloaded OTA (over-the-air) via Wi-Fi.

Go to the next page to get the final verdict and overall score on Madfinger Games’, Dead Trigger.


The graphics in this game are very realistic even on my Atrix 2. Playing Dead Trigger on a Tegra 3 device will also boost the rendering process for the graphics making them look cleaner and sharper too. Thus the reason this game has a lot of different software features for Tegra 3 devices like the ASUS Trasnformer Prime exclusively. The graphics were something I would expect in a game on the PC, which blew me away. The graphics were so well done, I was absolutely amazed. I should also probably mention that because of the realism of the graphics, the blood isvery realistic, so this game may not be good for children to play because as far as I know, there is no way to turn the blood off. In fact, even in it’s major update they promised more blood.

The art style they took with the game you’ll probably notice is very much like Call of Duty, Battlefield 3 or really just your regular shooter game. Fairly generic, but as a former Call of Duty player, I thought the style was fine.


Aside from being really crisp and some pretty funny one liners from the soldier you play, there really isn’t much to say about the sound. It wasn’t a thing that really got your attention. The soundtrack? It felt pretty generic, so much so that you barely notice it’s even there. That was disappointing because usually, I love hearing the good soundtracks in games. You can’t beat a good soundtrack, especially the one from Great Big War Game (I will totally reference this until I find a much better one to reference). Nowthat was a well designed soundtrack.


As you read previously, I thought the gameplay was good. It was a bit unstable, which now that I think of it, it might be a ton better on a Tegra 3 device as my Atrix 2 is no where near as good as that performance wise. Killing zombies and everything was super fun. The only thing is, it really lacks substance between the gameplay and story. Things should of been a bit fleshed out more before finalizing the gameplay. It really is your average generic shooter at the core of it all. That’s not much to complain about though considering there hasn’t been a stable game like this on phones since forever.

Story wise, I wouldn’t expect to have much fun with. The real fun is when you get to killing all the zombies whilst setting your own personal high score since really it doesn’t have a very good one. Essentially your high score is all based around money earned to spend in Dead Trigger’s store to upgrade weapons, armor, supplies and etc. At least some local or even online leaderboards with OpenFeint would of helped fix that issue. That’s another thing that I really think was missing from Dead Trigger to really make it “great”. It’s still a good game though.

The game also lacks substance when it comes to side missions. These get boring real fast and I often felt that they were generic levels and weren’t very unique, I guess this is understandable considering they have a “unlimited” amount of side missions to do. Still, a few unique ones would of been welcomed. Basically doing the same thing over and over again often gets boring really fast. I often stopped playing after a couple of minutes after I played for quite a while the other day. It’s like playing the same levels over again, like I already did this, why am I not getting a new one?

Overall, decent gameplay, just don’t wear yourself out on it after playing for a few hours. Killing zombies is fun and all, but the lack of substance really makes Dead Trigger get boring really fast.

I’d also suggest not spending money on it until your initial hour of gameplay to officially decide if you like it or not. Gold to purchase weapons can get expensive really fast. I honestly didn’t think spending money was worth it aside from the in-game currency. There really is nothing you need in that store that costs money, you can get through the game with the in-game currency just fine.


This game has no replay value whatsoever. There is no reason ever to go back and do missions again after you beat it. Again, because of the same levels being generated over and over again along with the same tasks to do every mission, I did not find myself wanting to play the past mission over again. There was not any substance to it as I already said previously. This is really bad for Dead Trigger. Players may pick up the game for a while, buy some gold and then leave the game because there is honestly nothing to keep you coming back.

I felt as if it was more of a take my money and an hour later, never play it again kind of thing. There just simply is no replay value. Sure loading up your guns and going out on a zombie hunt is fun, but not over and over again. Especially not in a video game. They didn’t even add achievements to encourage going back to other levels to earn those. Since almost everyone is doing achievements nowadays, I felt like that is a essential part of the game. At least, to encourage replay value.

If you’re looking for re-playability like you’d fine in Great Big War Game or even your standard arcade game, Dead Trigger will not satisfy that. It’s simply a shooter you can pick up real fast, progress through levels as fast as you can and kill zombies. Again, no substance whatsoever.


Overall, the game was good. Not great, just good. I definitely wouldn’t play it every day, or even every week for that matter. It is a good game though. They did a great job at pushing device’s hardware and even adding some really cool support for the Tegra 3 chips. Things like special water effects and improved physics are among the things that are exclusive for those certain chips.

I really hope they at least try to add something like leaderboards to the game. It seems like more of a competitive thing than anything. It definitely was not a campaign type of thing.

At it’s core is killing zombies. That’s really all Dead Trigger is. Zombies and realistic graphics.



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