Top critical review
Not the worst game out there. Could be better with a little more development time.
on December 1, 2014
I was shown the PC game Dead Colony by Amazon's recommendation system. Based on the other reviews, I was not sure that I would enjoy the game. It did seem that a lot of people were giving the game a low rating because the style of the game was out of date. I think that there is a couple of reasons why people still make games in this style. For starters, there are many game developers who are just getting started in the field. These developers tend to make games which do not require a lot of development time or effort. That is not to say that these games are inherently bad or the developers are lazy, they just do not have a large team helping them to create the game, and so must sacrifice some of the higher quality that is afforded to the larger game companies. Another reason for these types of games is that the developer is shooting for a retro style, which is still popular in this day and age. I believe that this game falls into the first category, though I do not know anything about second variety games, who is the developer/publisher here.
Dead Colony definitely does not have much to show in the way of graphics. It is very reminiscent of older games from the 90s or so, in which the play area is divided up into squares/sprites, and your character as well as the enemies move from one square to the next, navigating the level in order to get from start to finish. As an older gamer, I do not mind the style. What I did not like about this game, is that there was no sprite animations, which would make it appear that your character is doing something like walking from one square to the next. I was also not able to find any settings for the resolution. While this is normally not a big deal when playing a game in such a retro style, the pixels were so enlarged on my screen that everything looked blurry. I would have liked to have change the resolution to something which would have given me a crisper view of the game.
This is definitely an action game. There are no turn-based elements when it comes to combat. Due to the way that the game is displayed, you can shoot your guns in eight different directions, so that means that you must align your character and enemy along one of the eight directions or you cannot attack. Because this is not turn-based, it can often get difficult and involved a lot of running away to train the mobs into your line of fire. In addition, the enemies move at such a speed that it is often difficult to attack them efficiently. The artificial intelligence which drives the enemies in this game is not very advanced. They seem to want to follow the shortest path, even if that results in them being stuck behind a wall. This can be taken advantage of in order to attack the enemy in manageable sizes as there are often large hoards that will come after you.
Game text is shown in two different ways. The first way is in order to teach you how to play the game. It does not do the best job in conveying the nuances of the game mechanics, but it is acceptable. The way in which it does this is that large words are written in the surrounding building architecture. It is difficult in some areas to read this text because of flashing lights which go from completely off to on, giving you only a fraction of a second each time to read the words. The second method is the storytelling, in which your character will trigger messages to be displayed in the message window. Sometimes these are things that your character has noticed, other times it is things that your character is thinking.
I did not think that this was that great of a game. Due to the annoying artificial intelligence of the enemies and the inability to change my resolution to something appealing, I stopped playing the game after approximately an hour and decided to shelve it. I do not regret downloading and spending an hour exploring this game, but I do not anticipate picking it back up without an overhaul by the developer first. At the time that I downloaded this game, it was completely free of cost, but it is certainly not a game I would want to spend more than $.99 on in its current state. I have certainly played worse games, but I did not see anything to write home about in this one.