While there are plenty of endless running games out there with zombies, few actually manage to be more than just well-made time sinks. Corridor Z on the hand is a complete game. Sure, at first glance, the difference seems superficial: the only thing innately different about this game is that you play from a very different camera perspective (your characters are all running towards the screen, instead of a from-the-back view or a typical side scroller). But as you get further in the game, the sense of progress is marked by more than just having longer runs, new enemies, or even better upgrades -but instead, an actual change in the flow and shift of the narrative. It may seem ironic, but for an endless runner, the sense that an actual end may be in sight is actually a really great thing.
Trapped but not Helpless
You start out the game with three basic survivors, all of whom are stereotypes. The first two are your typical pretty boy and pretty girl characters, both are students in the school who have been lucky enough to have managed to not be eaten by the undead but are unlucky enough to be locked inside. The third character is a military type -who ended up getting stuck inside the school when they were setting up the quarantine. In terms of performance, the three different characters have their own specialities, but the play experience mostly remains the same. So choose a character depending on your aesthetic, instead of functional, concerns.
The gameplay is straightforward and simple: they need to get out. To do so, they must make their way to the school exit while avoiding the zombies in the halls. This cannot be done in one fell swoop, so it will take a lot of effort in order to survive. To get to the exit, players must run as fast as possible to the next possible safe room -slowly making progress to the very end. Stages are basically separated by days, and players must make the most out of each day making runs get as far as possible.
The cool part about this entire game is that you can actually make it to the exit. Sure, it will take a bit of time and a lot of running -and all those stages need to be finished. But this game has an actual ending instead of being one of those never-ending games that never quite manage to give complete satisfaction.
Look Behind You
It is an interesting thing to see an endless runner where you are not too concerned about the obstacles that are in front of you. Instead, the focus is on the zombies right at your heels. There are two ways to slow them down: put obstacles in front of them, or use a weapon to shoot. Obstacles are naturally more common and easy to use -they are what you trigger while you run. Shooting is more of a last-minute option when you are having a bad run. In any case, the whole point is to get as far as possible without the zombies forcing you back from the original room.
This is actually a pretty nice detail: getting caught by zombies. While the visual imagery of zombies leaping on your runner may seem like they have been eaten and are dead, the game quickly shows that you always manages to crawl all the way back to your room of origin and manage to do so without being bit. It is a small detail, but one that we appreciate as it helps establish the logic and mythos of the game.
On These Hallowed Halls
Despite the fact that the zombie outbreak has only been going on for a few days, the school is a total battliefield. The hallways are strewn with junk and debris. A lot of things are basically falling apart. It is a good thing that the power has not been cut off and that despite the school's very-easily run down construction, the doors for the rooms are solid and secure enough to keep the zombies at bay.
Little details like that aside, Corridor Z is a great endless runner. The gameplay and challenge levels will appease even the most hard core of gamers and the visuals look great even on a mobile device. The has gotten a next gen port on the PS4 (which looks even better), but those playing on mobile are not missing out on much. Best of all, all the extra content (like new costumes and other such), are also available and that really increases the value of the game. If you are a fan of zombie-themed games and have been wanting for a good endless runner, then this should certainly be on your must-play list.