Dead Head Fred review

Lose your mind in this terrifically twisted head-swapping horror show

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Different heads with different abilities

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    Full of gore

  • +

    dark humor

  • +

    John C. McGinley rocks as the voice


  • -

    Trading system is a little wonky

  • -

    Combat isn't varied enough

  • -

    Maybe too "cult" of a title

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Aug 29, 2007

Nobody is going to want to swap heads with Fred, so fans of gore and macabre humour will be happy to know, our Fred is content to steal heads by yanking them off the shoulders of enemies. There are eight different craniums which you can switch between at will, each granting unique abilities once worn to better deal with certain enemy types, objects and solve puzzles.

For instance, the default jar head allows Fred to charge up a special meter and turn invisible for a short amount of time, and it also weighs less than others so you can jump higher. The corpse head emits a toxic green spray causing enemies to choke, and is also capable of swelling to twice its size to suck up liquids such as oil and water - the former making a great flamethrower and the latter useful for putting out fires. The stone head has powerful ram and ground pound attacks, and is the only head that can survive underwater.

As well as swapping heads, there's a trading system that feels completely out of place. Defeated enemies leave behind pointless items such as gold spectacles, electric irons and Dead Head Fred figures - spot the unsubtle marketing ploy! - but it's never really clear whether you should sell these items or hold on to them in case you need them in a later level. Equally confusing is the different coloured worm juices Fred can drink for various benefits and the worms used to upgrade your heads. We'd rather the whole trading system was done away with altogether in favour of simple combo upgrades.

See, for all the heads at your disposal, the combat is a little disappointing. Fred only has one standard attack [which sets up combosusing the other buttons- Ed.] and one special attack, plus a couple of Rage moves for dealing with bigger enemies or a group, but they never feel powerful enough.

More info

DescriptionStrangely, this doesn't revolve around following a certain jam band around on tour. Instead, you're a private eye who wears his enemies' heads to gain their powers.
US censor rating"Mature"
UK censor rating"Rating Pending"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)