Dead Pixels is a grindhouse themed 8-bit zombie shooter with light RPG elements. CantStrafRight are the developers and publishers to this addicting little zombie shooter available on Xbox Live Indie Game Marketplace (XBLIGM). It released September 15, 2011 and goes for 80 msp.
I immediately felt at home since i played these type of games as a kid in the “80s” and watched zombie movies during that same time period. Dead Pixels’s presentation screams “80′s” from its grindhouse 8-bit presentation. The main menu screen featured Single Player, Co-Op, Load, Options, Free DLC and Credits. I clicked on the Options so i could get a glimpse of the button layout: LS-move, A-action, X-item, B-melee, Y-inventory, RT or LT-shoot. Growing up i played games like Double Dragon, River City Ransom and a gang of others so the controls were practically natural for me. They are good that is all you need to pretty much know.
Dead Pixels upon start up shows a cutscene featuring pictures and text detailing the story. The story isn’t super fleshed out, afterall its a zombie shooter game. July 15, 1983 toxic waste spills reviving dead humans. I swear i watched a movie as a kid with that exact same plotline. Anyhow, the Army gets involved but fails to help evacuate the few stranded on the other side of the city which is where the protagonists of Dead Pixels are located. You guessed it, you have to fight your way to safety.
Gameplay is part shooting zombies and leveling up your protagonist. You accumulate money as you kill zombies frolicking the streets of the deserted city. The Inventory screen is your hub of sorts and where you keep track of your location on the map. You can also see how much money you have and also your HP, ammo and equipment load. There are some layers of information to keep track of regarding this indie zombie shooter. Its not a one trick pony of just shooting and nothing more.
Traders are side stores that you can enter from the streets. I entered a few during the demo to take a break from shooting zombies. You can buy many items like weapons (guns) as well sell items, equipment and guns. You can buy weapon upgrades at the Trader providing you had enough coins dropped from killing zombies. As far as gameplay is concerned its pure nostalgia. If you played any type of videogame from the “80′s” you would know what i mean. There is 2 player offline co-op available although i didn’t get to try it out.The gameplay is addicting and simple yet fun.
The music was really good giving off infectious tunes at the main menus and in-game. The sound effects were decent and never got on my nerves from feeling repetitive. The sounds from the guns and zombies as you blow them apart were clear enough. The visual design is pure nostalgia featuring lush 8-bit graphics which brought the city to life in 8-bit glory along with the zombies and protagonist’s design.
Dead Pixels boils down to simplicity in its presentation and gameplay. The grindhouse inspired 8-bit zombie shooter was fun albeit in demo form. It was also a blast from the past in some ways with me being an older gamer. If you have an Xbox 360 i suggest you give Dead Pixels a go. Thanks.