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Deadman’s Cross – Android

Deadman’s Cross – Android

deadman's cross thumbPlatform: Android

Developer: Square Enix

Publisher: Square Enix

Release Date: February 12, 2014

Genre: Trading Card, Role Playing

Rating: 7.5/10

Written by ChronoSloth

Deadman’s Cross is quite an odd game. Following in the footsteps of Square Enix’s other mobile trading card game, Guardian’s Cross, Deadman’s Cross has players collecting zombie cards during an FPS minigame that are used to progress through the game’s story and rise through the ranks of the game’s player vs player arena, the Boneyard. As with all good trading card games, there’s a story framed around it to give some context to the cards and the reason that you’re using them. However, in Deadman’s Cross, it’s never acknowledged that you’re using cards. Just as in most zombie media though, the game’s zombies aren’t referred to as such, and are called Deadmen, regardless of gender/species/etc. The premise of the game is that after “the Turn”, people have started capturing Deadmen and using them for whatever they see fit. The card battling itself isn’t done by having players take turns and select moves or effects, however. Each card will have its own set of moves as it levels up, but the “Hordes” (sets of ten cards) will battle each other automatically, with the cards stats, order, strain (think Pokemon types), and attacks determining the outcome.

deadman's cross hunt

Capturing Deadmen is done in a rather unorthodox fashion, but it results in an entertaining minigame. Deadmen become docile and will fall under your command after you fill them with enough bullets or hurt them enough. Players can go hunting for Deadmen once a day for free, or through the use of hunting passes. Looking through the scope of a rifle, players use their touchscreen to aim and a button at the bottom right to fire. While rather fun and rewarding blasting enemies regularly, there are bonuses and other factors depending on which area you’re hunting in. Enemies in the casino have dressed up silhouettes and there’s a chance for power-ups with a slot system, and in the military area there are chances for quick reload power-ups and enemies will sometimes parachute in. There are also enemies who will appear yellow or red, allowing you either ten more seconds of hunting time or being killable in a single shot. You’ll usually grab plenty of common Deadmen and a few uncommon Deadmen. Rare and ultra rare cards are quite hard to get, but your phone will vibrate and chime with joy when you down one of these illusive Deadmen, and it feels great.

After capturing yourself some Deadmen, there’s a multitude of things you can do with them. You can feed one of your Deadmen other Deadmen to level it up and make it more powerful. You can feed it items like shoes or dictionaries to make it faster or smarter. You can sort ten of them into a team to take into battle in dungeons or in PVP. You can ogle them in your catalog and view their stats, flavor text, and see how many Deadmen you’ve yet to capture. After you’ve reached player level 10, you can also trade items and cards with other players. You increase your player level by doing jobs that send you off to a dungeon. Dungeons in Deadman’s Cross present players with a view of a 3D modeled area where they can move a certain number of times based on how much energy they have while a pretty smooth jam plays in the background. Players have 50 energy, and it takes 5 energy to move to another area. If there’s a room or path to explore in the one area you’re already in, you can do it free of energy charge, however. These dungeons have traps like bombs you have a 50% chance of disarming successfully, pits you’ll have to jump with carefully timed taps, and rubble you’ll have to clear by tapping extremely quickly. You’ll encounter roaming packs of Deadmen as well that you’ll have to battle with your horde. Successfully defeating them will earn you hunting passes, Boneyard passes, EXP, and hardware, which serves as the game’s currency that allows you to feed your cards.

deadman's cross page

Your reasons for exploring these dungeons, and which dungeons your in, depend on the job you’ve taken. These jobs give the player a chance to learn about the world of Deadman’s Cross and meet some pretty interesting and fairly well written characters. There are some that fall flat like slang-spewing DJ who needs to be rescued from the station he’s broadcasting from, but the bartender of the game’s job center and the scarily realistically portrayed stereotypical underage Call of Duty fanatic are entertaining. While I haven’t reached the end of the game’s available missions, because energy running out prevents you from rushing through every dungeon in the game without spending lots of money on restoring it, I can see that the reason behind the Turn will be revealed at some point. The atmosphere of the game is pretty interesting, as it portrays the Deadmen as truly grotesque and dangerous creatures, but there’s plenty of humor.

deadman's cross doomtrainThe Boneyard is where all parts of the game come together and allow players to battle others with a team they’ve built with hard work hunting, feeding, and exploring dungeons. You enter a certain class based on your player level (Amateur, Rookie, etc) and battle other players’ teams for points that will allow your raise up in the leaderboards. There is a new Boneyard tournament with a different set of rewards each week. Last week the prize for those who finished in S+ and S rank (1-200 on the leaderboard) was a card of Doomtrain, of Final Fantasy VIII fame. This week, it’s a zombified version of George Washington himself. The competition is fierce, and getting to the rank you want with hours left before the tournament ends is intense and gratifying. However, it can be argued that those who pay for Elite Hunting Passes (passes that give players a greater chance of capturing rare cards) and energy refills have an unfair advantage and this can sometimes make the fights feel lopsided when you encounter someone with a full set of Ultra Rares with a Legendary or two. In most cases though, your rank will reflect the time you put into the game, and someone who plays often and levels up their cards at any opportunity will overcome even those who have a large number of rare cards. Besides collecting the cards themselves, this is my favorite part of Deadman’s Cross.

The game also rewards you for playing with friends, or making friends within the game. When hunting, you will sometimes encounter “Silver Chicks”, that are very good for leveling up your Deadmen. When you capture one, you can send a friend of yours one for their use, while keeping yours. Going to your friends list once a day and tapping “support” will also give you assist points that can be used to enter a lottery that awards players with rare cards, passes, or hardware. Players can invite friends as well, and if they install the game with your invite code, you’ll both be rewarded with rare Deadmen. Once I became hooked on this game, I urged a coworker of mine to join in and we’ve been playing and swapping rare cards ever since. With a solid core gameplay system, lots of cards with excellent art, and exciting events like the weekly tournaments and the current Resident Evil crossover allowing players to catch Deadmen from the series, players will definitely stay hooked with Deadman’s cross. Even the in-app purchases are reasonably priced, though they can make the game feel unfair at times in PVP. Also, I’ve had the game crash a few times do to signal loss and cost me both valuable hunting passes or ultra rare cards in the middle of a hunt, as you have to always be online while playing. Despite these issues, I’ve had a lot of fun with Deadman’s Cross, and it’s even more fun with a friend to compare your Deadmen and share resources. It’s free to download, and always expanding. Definitely give Deadman’s Cross a try if you’re a fan of TCG, zombie lore, or collecting things. If you do, don’t forget to enter JF7L9CD for a rare card, of course.


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Written by ChronoSloth


Video game reviewer with a specific love for the fourth and fifth generation of consoles. In an exclusive polygamist relationship with Nintendo and PlayStation. Fluent in Al Bhed and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 combo notation. Follow him on Instagram to see lots of pictures of video games.


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One Comment

  1. Justicescooby
    Justicescooby says:

    I’ve been enjoying this game for quite a while – nice review!


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