How many of you folks remember “River City Ransom” from back in the NES days? Well, take said game, add zombies and guns, and you’ve got “Dead Pixels.” By no means is the latter a clone of the former, but they are similar in that you can fight, buy/sell items, and upgrade your character. In “Dead Pixels”, a toxic spill has caused the dead to reanimate. The army was unable to contain the situation, so that leaves you to reach the evac point on your own before becoming part of the undead yourself. Before we begin taking a look at this game in further detail, I’d like to thank John Common from CSR-Studios for providing me with a free review copy.
The game’s launcher allows you to adjust the screen resolution, toggle fullscreen, and configure the controls before the game boots up. Keybinds can be customized and features controller support, should you have a PSX, PS3, or XBox 360 controller handy. Once in-game, you can toggle music, sound effects, vibration, and some other things in the options menu. There aren’t audio sliders or graphics quality settings, but the game does cover the basics. When you’re done with your game options, you can start a new game, continue an existing one, view achievements and high scores, and check out unlockables. There are multiple save slots available, so you won’t have to worry about erasing games should you want to start over.
Starting a new game allows you to choose between the classic mode or try out the “The Solution” and “Last Stand” modes. In classic mode, you can play single or local co-op, though there isn’t network or internet support. You’ll also be able to choose between easy, normal, hard, and hardest difficulty modes. Once the game starts, you’ll find yourself in the middle of a street with some buildings in the background. Health and ammo indicators are displayed along the top left corner of the screen while health and throwables are displayed on the bottom. The controls are simple enough: “WASD” or arrow keys to move, left and right mouse buttons fire your primary and secondary weapons respectively, mouse wheel changes weapons, and the “I” key brings up your inventory menu.
The idea behind this game is simple…stay alive and make your way to the evac point. To do that, you’ll need to equip yourself appropriately. Some of the buildings in the background can be entered, allowing you to loot items for free or purchase/sell items by doing business with a trader. Zombies drop coins, so you’ll need to do some exterminating if you want some cash. Finding valuables inside vacant buildings is another great way to earn some extra dough. The trader also allows you to save your progress and upgrade your character, so you’ll want to stop in as you see them just to keep your save file up to date, if anything. Upgrading your character is a nice addition to the game, as it gave me a sense of progression and a reason to keep dispatching those zombies (not that I needed a lot of convincing).
Your inventory menu might seem overwhelming at first, but it won’t take long to get accustomed to navigating its information. Weapons, items, ammo, and other menus are displayed along the right for you to navigate while a snapshot of your character (money, HP, ammo, carrying capacity) is displayed on the left. The game includes an encumbrance system, so selling weapons that you’re not using to the trader is generally a good idea. Not to worry, you’ll be able to see a weapon’s stats to get a feel for what you want to keep and what you want to sell off. Different weapons have different ammo requirements, so there’s that to consider too. For as much as the game offers, I found this inventory menu to sum up your status and items nicely.
I must say, “Dead Pixels” is an incredibly fun and addicting game. It’s a game I can jump into for a few minutes if I don’t have a lot of time, though I usually find myself being sucked into longer sessions anyway. The game features over a hundred weapons, grenades, and items, so you’ll always have something new to look forward to. The city randomly generates as well with every new game, bumping up the game’s replayability quite a bit. The $2.99 price tag is probably what appealed to me the most, and I can safely say that you’re getting a good deal if you decide to purchase this game. If you’re looking for some mindless, 8-bit zombie slaying fun, then look no further than “Dead Pixels.”
Final Verdict: 9/10
You can learn more about and purchase “Dead Pixels” by visiting the following websites:
You can view gameplay videos here: