Dead Pixels is a side-scrolling survival/shooter with some lite-RPG elements set in a zombie apocalypse. You take control of a human survivor making their way to safety through undead filled streets of a city. The basic aim of the game depends on the game mode.
There are three game modes; The main mode is you standard Escape the hordes. Survival is an arena mode where by you have to survive countless waves of hordes. Timed attack is a variant of Survival where by you must last as long as you can. You need to either; get from one side of the street to the other until you reach the end or kill as many zombies as you can. The number of streets to traverse depends on the difficulty setting.
Gameplay is representative of the standard zombie survival genre. Find guns. Acquire ammo. Destroy zombies. Dont get killed. In addition you can loot some deserted buildings grabbing medical supplies, explosives and other useful items. Periodically shops appear where you can sell items that are not needed or cant be used. Shops allow you to upgrade character stats such as: Running, Weaponskill, Bargaining and Melee which to help you get past the next few stages of the game, You can also save your progress in shops.
Gameplay consists of manoeuvring your character across streets full of zombies avoiding making contact with them or the vile bile they fling at you. You can shoot, bash or throw explosives to destroy your opponents. If you are low on ammo you can dodge and flee the nasty hordes, skills that become invaluable the further you progress. There are number zombie types from slow moving zombies, to faster ones, soldier types, zombies that can attack at range by firing bile at you, and the uber strong mutated zombies which are hard to kill. In additiona every so often you must defeat a boss enemy which special powers in order to progress.
There are many weapons to choose from, the most common being shotguns, rifles and handguns. There are also a good number of equipment items to use along your adventure such as medkits, grenades (explosive, incendiary, freeze, shock) fireworks to distract, adrenaline boosters to speed your movement and though the listings are in text form it can be particularly satisfying when you pick-up and use a chainsaw, flamethrower or minigun.
Graphics are in 2D and are basic if functional. While the soundtrack and audio effects add to that overall retro feel. Together they generate a wonderful ambience and give you an old skool feel providing some nice nostalgic overtones, if you played games in the eighties.
Though gameplay is repetitive in nature I found the experience to be as enjoyable as playing other zombie survival games such as State of Decay. Real fun though be warned you need fast reflexes and nimble fingers (and luck) to complete the game on the Hardest difficulty setting. Controls are really well coded and easy to use.
Just note that only local coop is available unfortunately. If any bad can be said about the game its that the inventory is text based, the graphics arent for everyone and the game can run a little too fast in some places when you could really do with slowing down the action to think your next move through.
Dead Pixels has to be one of the best made indie games Ive been fortunate to find. Infact it could well be "the game" I would make if I could code. I suggest you pick this one up now in the sale but if you miss it then its well worth the full price. Note also that a sequel has already been announced for next year.