Three Dead Zed – What We Think:
Three Dead Zed by Gentleman Squid studios is a zombie puzzle/action platformer in which you take control of a zombie to save cats. Cats with tinfoil hats to be exact. As the game’s title explains – you control Zed, a zombie with the ability to change into three forms: normal Zed, agile Zed and hulk lady Zed. The challenge comes in predicting which Zed is best suited for whatever challenges lay ahead.
Zed Dead Revolver
Here is a quick run down of each Zed: Normal Zed can attack, small-jump and climb. Agile Zed can’t attack, but can move fast and jump a long way. Hulky lady Zed can deal a lot of damage, especially to your captors, absorb a lot of damage and destroy certain walls and cameras.
I love the comedic side to the game – whether it’s the one-liners delivered by the captives, the voice that tells you to save the cats, or the lovely sound of getting dissected by a saw blade that you didn’t jump over correctly – the action is over the top and as hilarious as it is brutal.
Do the Mortal Coil Shuffle
The keyboard controls are distracting to the point of being detrimental. They’re not overly difficult per se, but the layout makes them hard to pull off quickly. It requires some real rapid thinking and finger work.
One example of this involved having to use agile Zed to jump to a ladder and change to normal Zed to climb. Sounds easy, but if you changed to hulky Zed by accident you just fall, meaning you now have to jump back up and try again. And again. And again.
Personally, I loved the challenge of trying to complete these small tasks, but I anticipate some gamers getting frustrated with this aspect, and quickly. Taking some downtime between snag sections before going back into the fray is often a good solution. If you are the type of gamer who isn’t adverse to picking up a controller, this game may be type that benefits from the peripheral option.
Questionable control “fairness” aside, the game worked like a treat, no hiccups, glitches or other complaints! With the power of a dollar these days, it is good to finally get something that works as intended, rather than waiting for post-release fixes to get you through.
Pulse Pounding Tunes for the Pulse-Challenged
The uptempo score felt very well-suited to the action; it isn’t repetitive, and it doesn’t overwhelm. The quirky sound effects were befitting a 2D comedic side-scroller, from the sound of Zed splattering due to whatever untimely demise, to the hum of laser beams or the satisfying thudding of bullets firing. Also of note was the script and voicework for the character of Mr. Meowgi that I found quite hilarious.
The Walking Zed
Puzzle games face the challenge of not becoming repetitive. Sadly, this game fails to pull it off. It does try by using language and little verbal sound bytes through an intercom, but these elements could not, ultimately cover a lack of novelty. Fortunately, an adequate number of checkpoints mean you don’t have to complete entire levels from scratch each time.
The one thing I truly enjoyed was the degree of gameplay challenges overall. If you want an experience that you will lead you to roar at your screen after trying to complete a level for a while, finally reaching a goal only to get squished, resulting in having to go back to the last checkpoint, then this game is for you. The rage quit option is there as well (and I used this option more than I would have expected.) There is something in that.
Watch the official trailer for Three Dead Zed below: