Reviewed on Xbox One; Also available on PC.
I’m surrounded by zombies; I have no food, no fuel for my car and I’m the only survivor. I can see more undead in the distance but I can’t do anything to stop them.
This is the world I enter whilst playing Dead Exit. What did I think of this world and should you enter it too? Let’s find out.
Dead Exit is a card management game in which you are attempting to escape the city you are trapped in due to a zombie apocalypse. You do this by playing cards. Each card you play per turn has an ‘action’, you have a total of 3 actions per turn, these can include adding an item to your inventory or moving a survivor or vehicle to a certain position in your ‘city’. When you load up the game for the first time you will have the option of completing a tutorial, a basic look into what to expect from the game. I’ll be honest, I had to play through this a couple times just to understand fully the rules, but once you do this, the aim of the game is pretty simple; escape the city whilst collecting as many resources as possible.
With several different types of cards in your deck; Vehicles, resource cards which consist of fuel and food, survivors, dead, sacrifice cards and event cards. All bringing a totally new experience to the game mode you are playing, for better or for worse.
Gameplay itself is pretty basic and within playing your first match you will have pretty much seen everything there is to see, but does that make this a boring game? Not at all. Dead Exit is a difficult game; easy to learn but tough to master. Which means you are constantly learning; learning new ways to play your cards in different combinations. An equal mix of luck and skill, this unique table-top card game can keep you entertained for hours.
There are 3 ‘solitaire’ player modes within Dead Exit; Survival, City Escape and War. In survival mode you take on gangs of raiders whilst trying to protect one base. In City Escape you protect bases whilst gathering resources to escape from the city, the higher the difficulty you select the more bases you will have to protect and the more ‘sets’ you will have to collect and in War you attempt to control as many bases as you can whilst also trying to collect more sets of cards (resources) than your opponent. Each being both exciting and infuriating. I found myself playing City Escape the most, truth be told I found it the easiest out of the 3 modes and I can completely control the difficulty level and change it at my own pace. I repeat, this is no easy game. I don’t think I made it passed medium difficulty and there are quite a few difficulty modes on this ranging from very easy to impossible, Yeah, that didn’t fill me with much hope.
There is also a multiplayer game mode in which you can either work as a team or against each other to fulfil the objectives needed such as escaping the city or collecting a specific amount of ‘sets’. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to play through the multiplayer as much as I would have liked as I struggled to find games, understandable as I don’t imagine there were a lot of people playing online. However, when I did find a match it would often kick me out due to a loss in connection or disconnect me from the host. A little disappointing.
Graphics and Sound
Again I say, Dead Exit is very basic in every way apart from the gameplay. Graphics aren’t an important part of this game and doesn’t alter your experience with it at all. You aren’t looking for amazing art on the cards or around it. You’re just focusing on trying to get zombies out of your base. As for sound, there is very little. But again, like with the graphics, it doesn’t matter. You aren’t going to be blown away by stunning graphics or a beautiful soundtrack and that’s okay. You will be taken aback by gameplay itself. I would have liked to have a few more different card designs in there or even a way to unlock more cards but this is still a great game none the less.
It’s hard to believe that this hasn’t been made into a physical card game or that Dead Exit wasn’t inspired by a real card game. For £7.99 you cannot go wrong. Although it is a little overwhelming at first it is incredibly satisfying when you defeat your first opponent or escape the city for the first time, and it continues to be satisfying and exciting. With 3 different single player modes and a multiplayer mode (when it works) you have plenty of ways to mix it up. Each time you play through a mode you will have a different experience than the last. Although I would have liked there to be a deck builder of some kind in there so I could take on opponents in my own way I still thoroughly enjoyed this unique table-top card game and if you’re a fan of strategy card games then you will too.