Game of the week: Into the Dead 2

When it comes to games that I always download on every new iPhone or iPad, Into the Dead has long been on that list. The visuals to the sound design to the unique endless runner/FPS gameplay, there's no secret that Into the Dead is one of the best shooter games available for iOS.

Needless to say, I had high hopes and some extremely high expectations for Into the Dead 2 and the game lived up to almost all of them.

What's new?

It's a valid question to ask with any sequel to a game; after all, plenty of sequels are just a new paint job on an old product these days. I'm happy to say that Into the Dead 2 does almost everything right, as it adds to a familiar experience in impactful ways. The biggest and newest change is Into the Dead 2 actually has a story mode.

How Story mode works

Instead of being an endless runner where you're only competing to top your own high score, the game has added a narrative and some progression to the run and gun gameplay. The story is fairly simple: you play as a man named James who gets into a car accident in the middle of the road while trying to get back to his wife, Helen, and his daughter, Maggie. Of course, James is immediately swarmed by zombies forcing him to run and shoot his way to safety. Armed with a handgun, a walkie-talkie, and a strong desire to return home, James starts running through the hordes of zombies. While it may be a pretty simple story, the voice acting is surprisingly well done, and as I have been playing through the story I find myself invested in getting James back to his family.

Due to the fact that there is actually a story, the main game is split up into chapters, and each chapter is split into different missions. You can complete objectives during each mission to earn stars, which allow you to earn loot boxes and keys. Loot boxes give you rewards like weapons, perks, and other items to help you survive, and keys unlock the final mission in each chapter. This progression gives the entire game a sense of purpose and upgrades the experience from simple endless runner to a more refined auto-runner experience that has heart.


Into the Dead 2 screenshot

Into the Dead 2 screenshot (Image credit: PikPok)

Gameplay overall hasn't changed much from the first game, which is more of a blessing than a curse. You'll automatically run through the wilderness that's filled with zombies, needing to move left and right to avoid getting eaten alive or tapping on the screen to shoot your equipped weapon.

At the beginning of the game, all the zombies only take one shot to kill; however, as you progress you'll run into stronger living dead creatures that require more than one shot. Of course, you can always upgrade your weapons by finding weapon parts at the end of missions which will help you as you encounter or powerful zombies. The real challenge comes into play when you realize there's seemingly no way of telling which zombie will die with one shot and which won't. Choose to use your weapons sparingly, or find every ammo crate and blast your way through the entire mission, it's really up to you. Just know if you make the wrong choice (and you will at some point) you'll be treated to a fantastic visual of a group of zombies feasting on your innards.

Overall impressions

Into the Dead 2 improves on just about every aspect of the first game, and delivers a solid and exciting gameplay experience.

The addition of a story mode and a more prominent in-game progression scale has given the shoot-em-up zombie runner a breath of fresh air making it a delight to play. The visuals and sound are absolutely outstanding, and the game does an excellent job of really setting a spooky tone.

All in all, Into the Dead 2 is a fantastic experience and whether you're a fan or not of the prequel, you should be able to enjoy the game for hours on end.

Other games this week

Campfire Cooking: This tasty puzzle game tasks you cooking the perfect campfire recipes. Rotate the marshmallows, boil the soup, and cook the steak all in the right order and the right way to achieve the best meal possible. Campfire cooking isn't only a workout for your mind, but it will make your tummy grumble too! $3.99 on the App Store

The Talos Principle: You're an android who wakes up in the middle of some ancient ruins as an omnipotent voice tells you he has planned a series of tests. The beautifully rendered 3D puzzle game reminds me a lot of Portal making you think outside the box to complete each task. $4.99 on the App Store.

Kick Ass Commandos: Another game full of explosions and gun, Kick Ass Commandos tasks you with blowing up the bad guys any way you want. With plenty of guns, ammo, and rockets at your side, this 2D retro top-down shooter is a ton of fun. $2.99 on the App Store

What do you think?

Have you checked out Dragon Hills 2? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment down below!

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 

Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.