Video Game Review: Dead Pixels
On the outside, Dead Pixels does not look like much. It uses an 8-bit style and is yet another zombie game in our over-saturated market of zombie titles. It almost looks like it could just be a free flash game you could find somewhere, like newgrounds, but I can safely say that this is not the case. Although simplistic, there is a bit more to this game than meets the eye. Not only does this game make ammo a valuable resource, there is also a leveling system and three different game modes, Dead Pixels, The Solution, and Last Stand.
Dead Pixels Story Mode
The Dead Pixels story is you simply playing a man trying to get to safety. Along the way you can loot houses for valuables/ammo/weapons, buy and sell items at shops, and blow away or avoid thousands of zombies. The length of the story mode is dependent on what difficulty you chose. With easy mode being 10 streets, medium 20, hard 30, and hardest also being 30 but with increased difficulty. On hard it took me roughly an hour and a half to two hours to beat it. Within this mode there is also upgrades you can purchase which essentially equate to a leveling system. From increased gun damage, to health, and even how much weight you can carry. Although there are stores scattered throughout the streets, they have limited stock and their loot also seems to be randomly generated. You get cash from killing zombies and selling valuables you can find and at first you will be quite short on cash. As the game progress and you purchase all the upgrades you will find yourself having a huge surplus of cash about halfway through a hard mode campaign. However, having all that cash won't mean you'll always be stocked on ammo. You will find yourself not being able to blow away every zombie you see and will often opt for just trying to run past them. Ammo is quite valuable and if you waste too much of it, you might just end up dead.
The Solution Story Mode
The second story mode, The Solution, works slightly differently. There are no longer shops and the upgrade system is gone as well. Instead you chose from several characters who have varying stats and are on a mission to melt down the nuclear reactor in the city to quell the zombie plague. Besides getting lucky and finding ammo in various houses, the only way to restock your supplies is with an air drop. At the start you have five radios you can use to call in an order that will be dropped in the next area. The perk of this system is that all weapons and ammo types are available for purchase, you'll just need to make sure you've killed enough zombies to have the cash for them. Ammo also felt even more scarce in this game mode and when making supply drops you have to struggle with the decision on getting a better gun or stocking up on enough ammo. Besides those couple of differences, this game mode is essentially the exact same as the first campaign.
Last Stand Survival Mode
Finally there is Last Stand, a survival mode, which can get rather intense. The first wave you have a handgun with unlimited ammo but it is pretty much worthless. In between each wave you are able to spend your cash in shops which contain every weapon, ammo, grenade, and health items in the game, yet the ammo is still limited to 30 per type. You can also increase your stats just like in the Dead Pixels mode. Each wave gets progressively harder until it seems to plateau around wave 10, I noticed that the enemies stopped increasing in strength but that said I only beat up to wave 13 before finally succumbing to the hoard of undead.
This game has a lot of replay value. I find myself coming back to it every now and then for another 30 minutes of 8-bit zombie carnage. There is also the option of playing co-op but only locally. Currently there is no online mode and I doubt that there will be. Your investment into the game is also pretty cheap, as the game only costs $3.00. At that price, if you are even mildly interested in zombie or survival games, I'd recommend trying it out.