20 Aug 2013
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Android App Review: Death Drive

By Eddie Monotone

It feels like this game should have an exclamation mark at the end of its name, but that would suggest a sense of playful fun that is obviously missing here.

This is ostensibly a car racing game with added weapons (sort of vaguely like Wipeout or that sort of thing I guess). But that’s a generous description.

When I installed and opened DeathDrive the first thing it presented me with was a screen asking if I wanted to receive notifications about products and offers from the app makers.

The ‘I accept’ button was blue, the ‘I decline’ button was yellow. On a yellow background. This initial manipulative incident set me up with suspicions that the rest of the game subsequently confirmed.

There are just far too any ads – in some cases even partially obscuring the menu button you’re trying to push. But I guess the more the ads hide, the less of the game you actually have to make.

If you shoot a missile there’s a reasonable sound of a missile firing, but no animation to go along with it. Am I just supposed to imagine there was a missile being fired from my car? I’m willing to do some of the work, DeathDrive, but I feel like actually drawing in the weapons is your job.

Having said that, in all the time I played I only saw one other vehicle to shoot at. Mostly it’s just fences, and the controls are so bad that you’ll pretty much continually be driving into them.

It’s like your car loves fences, and the purpose of the game is to keep the two apart, like the grumpy dad in Romeo and Juliet.

The music is everything you hate about pub-band covers of Guns N’ Roses. There’s an option to turn the music down but to do so you have to use a slide bar so small that I couldn’t get it to work (although I did get the whole icon to twitch a bit, which was interesting but utterly useless).

When you finally get so sick of unresponsive controls and watching your car make out with a fence that you try to quit, it asks you to first rate an entirely different game from the one you’ve been playing.

Because what, you think my car racing experience has filled me with so much good will that it can spill over onto your other products? I’m afraid not, ICloudZone, I’m afraid not.

It’s not that I’m against ads in apps. I understand that app makers are businesses and this is a potential income for them.

But DeathDrive isn’t a well-crafted, fun game made by people who love games, with a little advertising tucked in the corner so they can continue to do what they love and make games.

Instead this is an ugly, broken, thrown-together embarrassment made for the sole purpose of exposing people to ads and gouging out what little cash they can.

Don’t get this app. If you’re anything like me it will only fill you with rage and resentment.

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