All around me is dark. Somewhere in the distance I can hear the drag of feet, dead legs scuffing the floor. I pump my shotgun and fire off a round, but my aim is off. I listen again, trying to discern the exact location of the undead, when my phone rings. I answer, ready to plead for help, only to hear the screams of the unknown caller. It is too late for them. I hang up.
It is closer now, I can hear its groans, but where? I flip up my mobile phone and put it in night-vision mode and suddenly I can see all around: woods, an abandoned petrol station, my crashed car… and a zombie. It is close, reaching out, so I pull up the shotgun and-
-my girlfriend turns on the living room light, distracting me just as I needed to take the shot. There I am, standing in the middle of my flat, mobile phone in hand and headphones plugged in. I’m not dead, I’ve merely been devoured yet again in the new mobile app game by Paul Hayes, “Dead Of Night”.
Dead of Night is a zombie game like no other. Yes, there are a million zombie mobile games out there, but hear me out. This one is not a shoot em up (even though you do, technically shoot them up) nor is it a cutesy side-scroller. Dead of Night puts you in the action, allowing you to view the world through the night vision on your phone in a full 360 panorama. When a zombie is located, you flip your phone down and it becomes your shotgun, one that needs to be loaded, pumped and fired. It is innovative, exciting, and the future of mobile gaming.
I was approached by creator Paul Hayes to write dialogue for the app back in early development, and even then I could see how immersive the game would be. Dead of Night is not about beating a system, or gaining points, it is about creating an experience that feels real. You play it in the dark, so your mobile phone screen becomes the window through which you can catch quick glimpses of the world around you, but beware, the battery is low and you’ll mostly have to rely upon your hearing to discern where the next attack will come.
The game is available on Android and iPhone, and at the very low price of £1.99 is worth it for the experience alone.