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Haven Review: Kill Me Again

   Kill Me Again is a free mobile zombie puzzle shooter. Your character moves on rails, backwards as zombies advance on you. Your job is to match 3 colors of bullet casings in order to damage to them. The more casings you line up, the more damage you do. You level up as you go, and get skill points to unlock new skills. Some of these are straight bonuses to your stats, others are combo and chain skills. If you get 5 of the same color in a row, you activate one of those skills. It’s all fairly straightforward.

Unlike standard match-3 games, in Kill Me Again you can drag colors from anywhere on the board to anywhere else. This is useful for setting up those 5 block combos, but slows you down so that the zombies will have a chance to eat you. At first this seemed like an interesting way to mix up the stale match-3 mechanic, but after a while it became just as mundane.

One fairly interesting feature is “critical hits”. You can hold off on making a match until a zombie is right next to you and starts to glow red. Make the match at this time, and you’re rewarded with bonus damage. I feel like this was a way to switch up the idea that you should make as many matches as quickly as possible, and put a little bit of timing into the game. While this is a great idea in theory, I found that the bonus damage wasn’t worth the wait. It was much more effective to just make as many matches as quickly as possible. There are bosses in the game, and they have weaknesses to specific colors of blocks. This is one of the better mechanics in the game. You have to decide whether or not to go for those weaknesses or go for matches that activate abilities.

My complaints are small enough so that I wouldn’t say the game is bad; rather it’s simply more of a standard puzzle shooter. The place where this garbage really starts to smell is in it’s micro-transactions. For each level you play, you need pills…two pills per level per try (except boss levels, which cost three). At the very beginning of the game you get 10 pills. You get 14 more from the “Day 1” present box. There are present boxes for the first 8 days of the game. These give you pills, money and the occasional consumable item. The game will periodically give you more pills, seemingly at random. So after you blow through all your pills (about an hour into the game) you’ll need to spend some time waiting around until they refresh.

Of course, you can spend money. You can trade real currency for in-game gold bars. You get 10 of these for $1 (USD), for example. You can spend gold bars on numerous things. The first item will probably be pills for 10 gold bars. You get 10 pills. That’s right. Five more fucking levels of play for a dollar. That’s like 5 minutes. You need to spend a dollar if you want to play for 5 more minutes. You can also spend on new weapons and consumables. Weapons will run you about 5 dollars worth of gold. They are also needed in the game to complete rescue quests, which give you jack-all in exchange for your gold bars. Luckily, if you play long enough you might pick up one or two bars from fulfilling challenges and achievements. So these micro-transactions take the game from a standard puzzle shooter to a greedy cash grab.

-Jordan Kamm-

We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

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