Steamrolled: Dead Pixels Review

Quick review of Dead Pixels. It's like a little sliver of my gaming childhood... with zombies.

I ended up picking this up on Steam almost immediately after declaring to my friends that I was finished buying games until next paycheck, on the basis that it was three dollars and I could write a review about it. 

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Plus, 8-bit zombies.

 My lack of self-control and poor financial planning aside, it turned out to be a great decision (at least from a gaming perspective).

 The Premise: Sidescrolling Retro Action (With Zombies!)

The game has all the depth I expect from, and love about, an 8-bit game.  The story I’ve seen so far boils down to “Things happened.  There are zombies.  You need to escape.  Get to it!”  When it comes down to it, that’s all I need to know.  

 You start out with a shotgun and a few shells, and have to keep going until you get past the number of streets you’ve selected based on the difficulty, and escape from the zombie-infested city.

The Gameplay: Shooting And Leveling Up (With Zombies!)

Each new game you create has a brief tutorial – you just keep running to the right and it tells you how everything works.  Once you get through that little level – making sure to pick up the spare goodies, of course – it’s on to Zombie Central and the real meat of the game.

When you aren’t running from or gunning down the zombie horde, you collect money from the recorpsified enemies and loot houses and stores to get better equipment.  Occasionally this means a new gun or something ‘splodey like a grenade, but it’s more often general supplies like food and water (apparently my character pulled an entire computer out of an office complex) that you can use to barter with.

That’s right.  From time to time, you come across a merchant that’s braving the zombie wasteland in order to extort provide valuable services to your character.  You can sell them your hard-looted supplies for cold, hard cash… 

…that you can then spend on better guns, more ammo and even skill upgrades.  These guys are also handy dandy save points, so if you get overrun in your race to escape, you won’t lose all of your progress.

And you will get overrun eventually.  

The Awesome: Why This Is Fantastic (With Zombies!)

Dead Pixels is quick, it’s fun, and it’s cheap.  You don’t invest so much time in it that you feel terrible when you die (or want to rage at the screen), but you start to sympathize with the little pixelated fella just trying to make his way to freedom.

Plus, cannot stress this enough: the game looks like Zombie Megaman.

 Steamrolled Score: 8/10

This has been an installment of Steamrolled, a semi-regular column about impulse buys on Steam that turn out either very impressive or very… not.


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