Parents' Guide to

Dead Island: Survivors

By David Chapman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Tropical zombie survival game plods at an undead pace.

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The survivors of the Dead Island games may have escaped the zombie outbreak on consoles, but now they've stumbled into a new set of undead threats on mobile devices. Dead Island: Survivors has dramatically changed the gameplay of the franchise in its move to mobile. It drops the familiar first-person shooter gameplay in favor of a tower defense style of play, with some hack-and-slash elements tossed in for good measure. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though, because you're still fighting off the zombie hordes, and it's still a battle for survival ... something the Dead Island series is known for.

But while the controls are effective, they manage to feel unresponsive. For starters, your view is sorely limited. This makes it a pain to see how well your defenses are holding up. Plus, since some traps and objects require direct interaction from the player, you're frequently forced to run back and forth from one side of the map to the other to trigger them. The biggest issue, though, comes from the suitcases you earn during play, which contain items, characters, and materials you need to progress. These require anywhere from five seconds to eight hours (or more) to unlock. What's worse is the fact that you can only store four suitcases at a time, and only one of those can be in the process of being unlocked, unless you spend more real money to hire "workers" to unlock them for you. This means you can only play a couple of rounds before being forced to wait (or pay) to move on. While this feature stops just short of being a "pay-to-win" formula, it makes Dead Island: Survivors shamble along at its own undead-like pace.

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