Fast food has long been adored by the unhealthy and obese. It’s the scourge of all health professionals and causes no end of problems. Yet, I’m not here to talk about the implications of your diet, mainly. I’m here to suggest a conspiracy theory. What would you do if your local eatery cut corners and contaminated their food supply? How would you feel if this caused the end of the world and a zombie outbreak? Pretty pissed off I’d imagine, and so would I! Deadly Days tells this story using a retro look with hints of comedy.
Developed by Pixelsplit and published by Assemble Entertainment, this is a rogue-lite zombie survival game. It’s a title that’ll make you laugh, cry, and scream as you control your band of survivors. The aim is simple, yet achieving your goals is anything but. You must take on missions, loot buildings, and collect segments of a map. You’ll battle hordes of undead beasts as you go about your business.
Deadly Days is simple in design but addictive as hell!
Constantly dying should be enough to put you off, however, it only serves to toughen your resolve. Deadly Days tests this theory as it pushes you to your limits! Your hapless survivors follow orders blindly, and they rely on you to lead them to safety. Your group lives in a small base that can be improved over time. It comprises your loot, a few buildings, and a yellow school bus. Here you manage your team, select weapons you wish to use, choose items and power-ups, and level up your people.
The game’s main premise is straightforward, and each day follows the same routine. You must organise your survivors, select from procedurally generated missions, and aim to get back alive. Your missions comprise different goals, and some have specific zombies or tasks for you to complete as a bonus. You’ll scavenge the locations you visit, hoping to find food supplies, weapons, and scrap. The more enemies you kill, the more XP you earn. Stronger survivors increase your chances of success, but this is no guarantee! You must know when to keep going, and when to retreat to the safety of the bus and to return to the base. You’ll quickly learn there is a fine balance between bravery and foolishness, and it’s your responsibility to get it right.
Nighttime woes, and threat levels.
The simplicity of the gameplay is spiced up nicely as time wears on. You have plenty to focus on with a day and night cycle to consider and increased threat levels to be aware of. The weak and pitiful zombies quickly gain strength and health and this makes your foes superhuman. The madness of the gameplay and the bizarre story ensure this is more than your standard rogue-like zombie survival experience.
The immediate risk to your success is the increased difficulty once your mission ventures into the darkness of night. As tradition dictates, the zombies are more aggressive and pose a bigger threat once the sun sets, so you must consider your approach. This goes hand in hand with the increased threat level as the days melt away. Larger and more powerful zombies appear and your task of finding the map and shutting down the source of all evil becomes much harder.
What kills you makes you stronger.
You’ll take risks and death is certain, but you are helped by items and special powers. The abilities are selected at the start of a run, but they are not set in stone. Once your playthrough is finished, you are awarded XP based on your success and more powers are unlocked. This is a standard rouge-lite/like mechanics and fans of the genre will be familiar with its impact on the gameplay.
At the start, you are allocated your items and weapons. As time passes a wide array of new goods become available as you loot houses and cars. Every ability, item, or weapon can be upgraded and repaired using the scrap you find. This can be the difference between death and surviving, so equipping yourself with the best gear is essential.
Most importantly is the supply of food! You can have badass fighters, legendary weapons, and all-powerful abilities, but they mean nothing if you starve to death. Each survivor requires one item of food per day and if none is provided, they promptly die. It’s infuriating, unfair, but adds a layer of complexity that’s essential. You’ll raid supermarkets, loot trees, and steal from vending machines to keep your team going. No one cares where the food comes from, as your concern is staying alive.
Deadly Days has GTA vibes and a retro world.
Deadly Days imagery is reminiscent of the early GTA games. It has taken inspiration from old-school retro titles and I adored the style. With a brilliant mixture of zombie models, colourful and dark environments, and a clean UI, it’s wonderful to look at. Sadly, though, for all its positives, there is one humongous drawback. Each level has a distinct feeling of deja vu. With little variety in design, you constantly explore similar environments. This was disappointing and I hope the developers will add a further selection of maps to the mix.
The usual blend of moans, groans, and sounds accompanies the action. The tried and tested audio will make you chuckle and helped to create a doomed atmosphere. I loved the change of tone as nighttime came and the distinct moments created a worrying experience. Weapons blast out over the music as you shoot and slash the undead beasts. It was loud, in your face, and matched the theme perfectly.
Patience and planning and simple controls are key.
There was such potential for this to be complicated, fortunately, Deadly Days is really simple. With a fun and thorough tutorial from a zombie teacher, you’ll learn the basics while chuckling away. The well-labelled UI helps and the simple button layout enhances the user-friendly approach. Getting to the end is difficult, but at least the controls don’t hinder your progress.
Rogue-lite games are addictive, packed with replay value and Deadly Days is no different. Though its maps add a repetitive feel to the gameplay, this is quickly forgiven as the array of missions is good, and the changes in tactical approach keep things fresh. There is then the range of challenges against other players that add a competitive edge. Mix this all up with a large and difficult achievement list, and you have a game that keeps on giving.
Deadly Days is fantastic, tough, and will make you scream.
It took little for me to fall for Deadly Days charms and I loved the look, sounds and brutal gameplay. Sure, it has its shortcomings, but these were quickly forgiven. You’ll grow attached to your virtual survivors and will do anything to keep them alive. I loved it and recommend you to buy it here! Fast food has long been the downfall of mankind, yet no one guessed it would end this way. Rescue people, loot for goods and destroy the source of the foul burgers.