I’ve been quite lucky with my app reviews this week. Hot on the heels of Paper Titans and Type:Rider, it’s time for Chillingo’s latest (them being the guys behind Superman, Feed Me Oil and loads more), Mega Dead Pixel.
It’s described as the “world’s first Addictive Arcade Retro Pixel Endless Faller”. Yep, sounds about right to me.
Thinking cynically, Mega Dead Pixel is yet another endless/survival game, though even the simple act of falling – as opposed to running left-to-right or into the screen – feels surprisingly fresh.
And while it’s free to download, the inevitable freemium element rarely feels like an imposition; everything is nicely balanced for the most part.
So! Mega Dead Pixel has you controlling – yes – a pixel, as he falls down the screen. Along the way, you’ll see an array of other intentionally crude shapes formed from pixels.
There are two – actually, three – things you can do with those shapes. Firstly, you can colour them by passing in a column adjacent to the shape’s left or right; or simply avoid them altogether.
Option number three is to blast right through the shape, which is possible if you a) have a mass greater than one pixel (white dots increase your mass, but also your speed), or b) hit Mega Pixel mode – triggered by colouring or smashing a number of shapes consecutively.
In Mega Pixel mode, you become a giant pixel moving at ludicrous speed, though every shape you hit reduces both mass and velocity.
As for score, it’s based on the shapes you colour or destroy, with the number of pixels in the shape added to your total. The length of time you survive and the distance travelled are largely irrelevant.
Mega Dead Pixel ends if you collide with a shape while you have a mass of one single pixel. And that’s pretty much it. Make sense? Good.
In classic endless runner tradition, you have three missions active in Mega Dead Pixel at any one time. At present I’m tasked with buying a new shape from the shop, destroying 175 pixels while using the Destroyer power-up (essentially makes you invincible temporarily), and destroying 40 shapes in a single fall.
Completing a mission gives you cash (there are coins scattered around the playing area too), and with said cash you can hit up the obligatory shop.
In the shop, you’ll find all sorts of stuff, in six categories: Shapes, Hats (each with its own modifiers), Bonuses (like the aforementioned Destroyer, a bomb, a pistol…), Worlds (each with its own soundtrack), Coins and Megatokens (continues, effectively).
And that’s Mega Dead Pixel in 400 words. It’s really easy to get to grips with, but incredibly challenging, and there’s tons of stuff going on in the shop without the need to get your real-life wallet out. I like it. I like it a lot.
- Simple but challenging gameplay
- The insanely retro presentation
- The music – brilliant
- Yeah, it’s another “endless” thingy
- Saving up for some things can take a while
- Intrinsically a bit samey
Price: free @ App Store
Compatibility: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.