ReviewsReview: Ultra Pixel Survive

Review: Ultra Pixel Survive


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Eat, sleep, die, repeat! This has to be the motto for Ultra Pixel Survive. It is the latest in a long line of survival RPGs that have hit the indie market. However, this moreish and simple affair somehow keeps you playing even when you’ve died for the nth time! Moreover, with a range of characters at your disposal and some brutish creatures to defeat, this isn’t going to be an easy completion.

Developed by Gold Skull Studios and published by Ratalaika Games, this is a survival RPG. What’s more, there are elements of base building, some resource management, and a dungeon to explore. Furthermore, there is a day/night cycle to tackle and a plethora of angry monsters to endure when the moon rises. Yet, disappointingly, the developers haven’t added as much content as I would have liked and maybe this will hold it back.

Ultra Pixel Survive follows a familiar formula.

I like RPGs and adventure titles to have a strong plot. But, unfortunately, Ultra Pixel Survive has no story to mention. Furthermore, the vast array of characters has no backstory, and there is little to no lore to speak of. As such, it doesn’t play out like a traditional title from either genre. However, this doesn’t mean that it strays wildly from the path. No, instead, it follows a familiar gameplay model, and this was just fine by me.

The action opens with a low-level adventurer. This hero cannot be customised and is as weak as piss. Yet, he is armed with a sword and boomerang and dives right into the action. As the 1st day begins, you spawn outside of a house. This wooden shack forms the core of your base and no monsters dare to pass through the door. The aim of the game is to survive for as long as possible while killing wave after wave of nasty creatures. As each day rolls into night, the hordes become stronger and you’ll have to fortify your base if you wish to survive.

Ultra Pixel Survive allows you to use a range of tools and weapons.
It is hammer time.

Exploration and gold.

Death is an all too familiar experience and you shouldn’t let this put you off. Instead, you should embrace the rogue-lite elements as you can improve your character at the beginning of each run. By picking up gold from every fallen monster, you’ll upgrade your hero, or unlock new characters. Furthermore, a chest is dropped at random and this contains gold and a red ruby. As such, the chests are vital, as both of these valuable commodities will unlock and improve new heroes.

Once you feel comfortable and you are strong enough, you can explore your compact surroundings. To your left is a desert/beach and to your right, you can enter a cave. Disappointingly, this is the extent of the exploration and this was frustrating. Moreover, there is little variation in the content of each area and this enhances any negative feelings. However, as you explore, you must hack down trees with your axe, destroy rocks with your pickaxe, and slay creatures with your sword. Each of these activities rewards you with resources and they are key to your success.

Your base in Ultra Pixel Survive is simple and small.
Welcome to your new home.

Building your base and upgrades.

Exploring your surroundings is essential. Yet protecting yourself, cooking food, upgrading equipment, and improving your base is important as well. As you undertake each journey, you’ll harvest grass, berries, corn, meat, wood, ore, stone, and much more. Each of these items can be used to build traps, walls, weapons, and campfires. What’s more, as you level up, you can improve your health, sword, pick, or axe. Alternatively, you can improve the health and attack prowess of each structure.

Accordingly, you must strike a balance between upgrading your hero and improving your base. Additionally, the traps are essential to slow down your foes whilst causing maximum damage. However, the monsters aren’t stupid, and they will attack your structures even if it means sacrificing their lives.

Alongside this, you can alter the way you tackle every playthrough. By unlocking each hero, you’ll arm yourself with new weapons, spells, and different strengths and weaknesses. Consequently, some of the characters are excellent at resource gathering, but they have low health and no strength. Alternatively, you’ll pick a powerhouse fighter who can’t gather goods for toffee. Accordingly, you must decide how you wish to play and pick a character to complement it.

Ultra Pixel Survive looks brilliantly pixelated.

The action is as rudimentary as the pixelated art style. This basic approach is similar to Terraria, and that was fine by me. The 2D visuals and side-scrolling navigation are easy-to-follow. What’s more, the sprites are interesting and the colours are earthy, dark, and oppressive. On top of this, the animation is smooth, and the UI is simple to navigate.

Ultra Pixel Survive has a familiar look, but this wasn’t a problem. If you love old-school pixelated games, then you’ll adore the selection of monsters on display. Furthermore, the lighting is excellent, and I liked how the day/night cycle altered the atmosphere. Additionally, the juxtaposition between the airy beach and the dank cave was fantastic. However, it’s a shame that the eerie nature of the cave wasn’t matched by the enemies you encounter.

The daunting atmosphere was enhanced thanks to the audio. As night falls, sinister music plays to add drama to the occasion. Alongside this, you’ll endure crunching blows from your sword. Alternatively, your axe thwacks against each tree and your pick thumps against every rock. Consequently, the noises are great but nothing more than I expected.

Explore the mine in Ultra Pixel Survive and get some ore.
Visit the mine and get some ore.

Roll and attack!

Thanks to the simple concept, Ultra Pixel Survive is easy to play. However, a guide is available if you need any extra help. Alongside this, you are assisted by responsive inputs and a simple layout. Moreover, the excellent UI helps when you upgrade your equipment or improve your base.

Though much of the action is repetitive and there is a lack of depth and content, Ultra Pixel Survive is moreish. With plenty of heroes to unlock and never-ending hordes of monsters to battle, you’ll be kept busy. What’s more, you must adjust your approach depending on the strengths and weaknesses of each character. Subsequently, there is some replay value and longevity, despite the shortcomings.

Ultra Pixel Survive is a great casual title.

Pixelated titles are two a penny these days. However, I never tire of the retro art style. Thankfully, Ultra Pixel Survive’s old-school graphics help to make it a great casual title. Moreover, the unlockable heroes, base-building mechanics, and challenging monsters keep you coming back for more. However, a lack of environments, content, and missions prevents it from excelling. Despite these issues, I enjoyed it and I recommend that you buy it here! Can you survive every monstrous wave? Upgrade your character, improve your equipment, and take down everything you encounter.


Ultra Pixel Survive is a survival RPG with an old-school aesthetic. What's more, there are plenty of characters to unlock and loads of monsters to fight. However, a lack of content and repetitive action holds it back. Yet, it is oddly moreish, and I enjoyed my time with it.

+ Excellent pixelated graphics.
+ Daunting audio.
+ A variety of backdrops.
+ The sprites are interesting.
+ Base-building is refined but well thought-out.
+ Good controls.
+ A simple UI.
+ Oddly moreish.
+ Great for completionists.

- No lore.
- A lack of content.
- No plot.
- It is too simple.
- Not long enough.

(Rating: PEGI 7 Mild Violence Release date: 14/04/2023 Price: £4.99)

(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)

Daniel Waite
Daniel Waite
My gaming career started on an Amiga and spans many consoles! Currently, I game using an MSI laptop and Xbox Series X. A fan of every genre, I love to give anything a go. Former editor and reviewer for, I'm loving my new home here at Movies Games and Tech. I can be contacted for gaming reviews on the following email:

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<p class="has-text-align-justify" style="font-size:14px"><em>Ultra Pixel Survive</em> is a survival RPG with an old-school aesthetic. What's more, there are plenty of characters to unlock and loads of monsters to fight. However, a lack of content and repetitive action holds it back. Yet, it is oddly moreish, and I enjoyed my time with it.</p><br/> + Excellent pixelated graphics.<br/> + Daunting audio.<br/> + A variety of backdrops.<br/> + The sprites are interesting.<br/> + Base-building is refined but well thought-out.<br/> + Good controls.<br/> + A simple UI.<br/> + Oddly moreish.<br/> + Great for completionists.<br/> <br/> - No lore.<br/> - A lack of content.<br/> - No plot.<br/> - It is too simple.<br/> - Not long enough.<br/> <br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(<b>Rating:</b> PEGI 7 Mild Violence <b>Release date:</b> 14/04/2023 <b>Price:</b> £4.99)</p><br/> <p class="has-text-align-center" style="font-size:10px">(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)</p><br/>Review: Ultra Pixel Survive