Death Road to Canada (Switch) Review

Death Road to Canada (Switch) Review 3
| May 8, 2018

When I first saw Death Road to Canada, I wasn’t exactly sure what to make of the game. At first glance, Death Road to Canada appears to be a simple top-down brawler with retro graphics. Not even the game’s tutorial would have you thinking otherwise. Fortunately, Death Road to Canada brings much more to the table that kept me coming back for more.

Death Road To Canada (Switch) Review 5
Death Road to Canada (Switch) – image for this review provided by Rocketcat Games and Madgarden.

The best way to describe Death Road to Canada is to call it a randomly generated road trip simulator featuring zombies. There isn’t much of a main story to the game beyond the fact that the world has been overrun with zombies and with Canada supposedly being the only zombie-free area, players are tasked with making their way to the border over the course of a couple of weeks. Every other part of Death Road to Canada’s plot is either customizable or optional, including the characters involved. Many of the random events that occur are either weird and hilarious or reminiscent of plots you’d find in a horror movie or a season of The Walking Dead.

Death Road to Canada uses a unique pixelated art style. While the game looks great, certain visuals can be hard to make out, especially when a ton of corpses are piled up across the screen. As for the audio, although Death Road to Canada has a limited number of musical tracks, each one is catchy and memorable.

Death Road To Canada (Switch) Review 3
Death Road to Canada (Switch) – image for this review provided by Rocketcat Games and Madgarden.

Death Road to Canada has a deceptively simple appearance. Even the game’s tutorial focuses on teaching players to hack through zombies at the press of a button while exploring a rundown house. In truth, Death Road to Canada becomes a much more strategic and difficult game once players get started. Where Death Road to Canada shines is in the way it forces players to plan ahead while making difficult decisions. To make the trip to Canada, players will need to choose which locations to stop off at to gather supplies such as food, gas, medical tools, and weapons. Even character creation becomes a careful stage of planning where players pick one trait and one perk to grant their characters stat bonuses along with unique personalities.

Death Road To Canada (Switch) Review 4
Death Road to Canada (Switch) – image for this review provided by Rocketcat Games and Madgarden.

It’s safe to assume that most players will die during their first road trip. Even with careful planning, there’s always the potential to end up in a very bad situation with the game’s RNG elements. Fortunately, this rarely feels like a bad thing. Death Road to Canada is a game designed with replay value in mind. Of my multiple attempts to get through the game’s campaign, many were largely different when it came to events and characters I came across. Players are even able to choose from a variety of different modes that will further affect what kind of event can occur. Each death can also feel like a learning experience as well. I started the game mindlessly attacking zombies but as I played through more and more, my approach towards situations evolved and I would survive longer because of it. Between my character’s growth and my own, my playthroughs felt like wholly original experiences.

Death Road to Canada suffers from a few quality-of-life issues that can cause slight frustration and even confusion at times. A good example of this would be the game’s weapons. For a game with such a high number of weapons that players can and often need to collect, it would make a lot of sense to be able to compare which ones are better than others. Not only can players not compare weapons to each other, but they can’t see how good any of them are at all. The game even offers a hint that certain weapons can break while others can’t, but there’s no way to find out which ones will without testing them for yourself. Small problems like these can make the learning process of Death Road to Canada feel longer than it should by forcing players to try everything for themselves.

Death Road To Canada (Switch) Review
Death Road to Canada (Switch) – image for this review provided by Rocketcat Games and Madgarden.

Death Road to Canada is a special adventure with a lot to offer. I’ve lost count of just how many times I’ve tried to journey to Canada but I’m still running into a ton of new event scenes and making characters is a blast. Being able to unlock new perks and traits make me even more willing to go back and create more characters to run into during my next trip. If you don’t mind difficult games with a lot of surprise elements to them, I’d strongly suggest picking up Death Road to Canada.

Final Thoughts

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Death Road to Canada (Switch) Review 2
Developer: Rocketcat Games, Madgarden Publisher: Rocketcat Games Played On: Nintendo Switch Platform(s): Nintendo Switch , PlayStation 4 , Xbox One , PC (Microsoft Windows) , iOS , Linux , Mac Genre: Role-playing (RPG) , Adventure ,  Indie ESRB Rating: T (Teen) MSRP: $16.99 CAD Release Date: 08/22/1970
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