September 25, 2011
Dead Pixels

"Oh, here’s a load of cool shit that I can later sell at a procedurally generated vendor."

At first I fail to notice that my pixel-art avatar has slowed to a crawl.

"Oh, another three tins of mystery meat and crate of bottled water! That will turn a pretty penny in the next store."

Bam. Barely able to move, I am then savaged by the shambling, spitting mob. 

I am over-encumbered because I am greedy.

At its heart, Dead Pixels, is a side-scrolling shooter that tasks the player with traversing a set number of randomised locales in order to escape an infected city. At the game’s start, regularly situated shops (many that make reference in their titles to other zombie franchises) ease the player into thinking that ammo is plentiful and that life is good.

A couple of streets later, when stores suddenly become less frequent, Dead Pixels moves from the straight-forward to the strategic. Comfortable with the controls, the player is now asked not only to stroll the linear map, but also to manage inventory and ammo in a throwback to early editions of Resident Evil where storage space was at a premium, and each zombie encounter had to be assessed to ascertain the relative benefits of fight or flight.

Your character’s carrying strength is finite and as such, derelict buildings move from being ultra profitable, smash and grab, ‘hammer Y to take all’ affairs, to teetering moments of umm-ing and ahh-ing as player must decide whether to risk encumberance for a few short blocks in order to turn a trade and afford an increased, but still limited, selection of ammo.

Despite its playful visage, Dead Pixels is a taught, extremely well balanced experience.

*CSR Studios kindly provided me with code for review. Buy Dead Pixels HERE.*

  1. gamesirl posted this