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Dead Exit (Xbox)

Developed by RadiationBurn, Dead Exit is available now on PC  for £4.59 and Xbox One for £7.99.

Dead Exit is a zombie-infested, apocalyptic card game where you will need to plan ahead whilst managing your base(s) as well as any survivors, vehicles and resources you may have in your deck.

As a zombie game, you’d expect there to be lots of decayed and gruesome visuals but everything is quite plain and it is only when you or your opposition is overrun that you’ll really see a zombie horde. The game is set out in a notebook style with some random doodles and quips which is quite nice but not very in keeping with the type of game. The cards themselves are well designed and easy to read once you get the hang of what the icons mean (there is a pop-up legend where you can check whenever you need to).

I was a little disappointed that there weren’t more sounds in Dead Exit, there was lots of music happening beforehand in the menus but once I was in a game everything quietened down and I was left with just the sounds of the cards. Not terrible but it gave me the overall feeling that there was something missing, especially when the games (depending on difficulty) can last quite a long time.

The gameplay itself was initially confusing even after I played the tutorial and at first I didn’t think it would be a game I’d end up playing as much as I did. Once I figured out what was going on in each game type, I was well away and even managed to complete some of the game types on the harder difficulties! To be fair, it seems like eventually, you will get lucky with the deck of cards in your hand and you’ll get a win. I’ll be honest, it is a little frustrating that the “Event” cards are unavoidable, even if you put them in the trash pile or burn them when sacrificing another card, I feel like if you haven’t personally activated it then they should be discarded completely.  

There are seven difficulties ranging between very easy all the way up to impossible. Each difficulty will have specific setups with regards to how many bases you’ll have to manage or whether there are extra dead cards, all the things which make the difference between a walk in the park or a lengthy struggle!

There are three different game types:

  1. City Escape which is straightforward, you need to collect the required number of resources (food, fuel, a car and as many survivors as you can rescue), which changes depending on your difficulty, and escape!
  2. Survival which is where each day there will be a number of cards available to get from the deck (if you need them) and by the end of the week you’ll need to have a complete set (one of each resource, a car and survivors) in order to progress to the next week. Depending on difficulty, you could be trying to survive for up to 8 weeks!
  3. War which is similar to the online game where you are versus raiders (AI) who will make it their mission to overrun you with zombies so your objective here is to beat them to it and overrun them, instead! If neither of you gets overrun by the time all of the cards have been used, whoever has the most completed sets will win!

Dead Exit does have online multiplayer but in all honesty, I preferred playing by myself switching between the different game types. I did play some online games both co-operative as well as versus but they ultimately felt quite samey in that someone invariably will get overrun and you’ll more often than not, be able to tell who the winner will be from the offset. In all of the games I played offline, I always felt like I would be able to make a comeback.

Overall, once I understood properly what was required of me in each game type and I realised how to go about ridding zombies from my base, I was addicted and spent hours non stop trying out the different difficulties. It certainly makes you think and there is definite strategy needed in your approach to survival which I really liked. I think its probably the type of game that you’ll come back to time and time again rather than continuous play for days on end but for the price (I was surprised that it hadn't been priced higher, to be honest), there is plenty of fun to be had here. If I had to give it a score it would be 7/10, it is enjoyable but there are frustrations and I do feel like something is missing.

Dead Exit has 36 achievements available for a total of 1,000 Gamerscore. There are a couple of trickier, more imaginative achievements where you are required to attain a certain amount of sets or a specific layout which will take some grinding or preplanning. For the most part, though, the achievements are both difficulty and progression based and you will likely unlock them through natural (and challenging) gameplay. If you need any help or guidance then head over to True Achievements where you will find plenty of information.

A code for the game was provided for the purpose of this review. Thank you!
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