Dead Exit is a tabletop card game developed and published by the swell people at RadiationBurn. The game does not present any sort of story to go announce where you are, who you are, or what is going on in the world around you. However, from the surrounding environment, it seems that you are a survivor of the zombie apocalypse attempting to lighten the mood a bit. This card game allows you to control the scenario and in the end, you are victorious...a feeling that is rare in many apocalyptic situations.
This title is extremely simplistic when it comes to what it has to offer, but once you dive in, you can end up down a rabbit hole full of twists and turns. When talking about how much content and variety the game offers, the term skimp immediately pops into my head. This game only offers three different game modes that can be played by yourself or with up to seven of your best friends. The single-player mode, dubbed solitary, allows the player to choose one of the game modes then customize the settings to their liking. The three choices that you are presented with are City Escape, Survival, and War. While are these game modes have the same end goal, surviving the apocalypse, each presents their own flair to add a bit of spice to your life.
City Escape, my favorite mode, pits you against the world as you oversee a base and try to fight off the endless hordes of the living dead. The main objective is to escape the city, go figure! However, you need to put in a bit of effort to achieve this. On the easiest difficulty, one must scour the city for at least one vehicle and then must complete one set of resources. A set of resources is finished once you have a food option, some fuel, and that one survivor that is smart enough to get out of this hellhole. Sounds easy right? I mean you are dealt seven cards from the beginning, so just instantly win the game. Well, if only it would be that simple! Sure, you could do that once in a while when playing on lower difficulties, but the randomness makes this unlikely. The fun arrives when the zombies come knocking on that barricade. This brings forth a level of strategy to see who can be put into a set and who is needed to defend the base because once that base is overrun, it is game over. Each turn has three actions per base that must be taken to move on to the next turn. So, while you won’t start with any zombies nibbling at your doorstep, you will once you start heading into the city for supplies. The game makes you live with danger around every turn by making you pull from the city deck if you have no other cards to play. This is a nice touch, since you might find that awesome police cruiser that you were always looking for, but each card draw brings an undead card back with you.
War is extremely similar to City Escape, except you are pitted against a raider camp in addition to the annoying brain-eaters. You must send the undead to your opponent’s base and aid in the assault to overrun their headquarters. Whether you take the action in your own hands and mow down their survivors or you use the zombies as your pawns, it is up to you. You must survive their onslaught and retaliate with one twice as bad. The final mode, Survival, was my least favorite and I didn’t really enjoy playing it. Similar to City Escape, your main goal is to complete a set of resources, but you must survive for a set number of weeks. You have seven days to collect your resources and then they are turned in once the week ends. Rinse and repeat until you reach the final week. I was not partial to this mode due to the longer length even on lower difficulties and the fact that you can have such a good run and get boned in the final week. Each game mode has seven different difficulties from Very Easy to Impossible and the way they are implemented pair well with the style. Since you don’t really go against an internal AI in most of the modes, the difficulties simply increase the number of resources you need or the number of bases you control.
I cannot say much about this sounds in this game as they were overall lackluster and had no impact on me overall. However, I really enjoyed the visuals that Dead Exit had to offer. While the world around you seemed bland, it wasn’t really a necessary attribute. It would be like complaining that the table in Magic: The Gathering looked off, it just isn’t something that needs time and resources put into it. The cards; however, were beautiful and I would love if there would be a set of trading cards like them to purchase. They looked amazing and it shows that the developers put their effort where it really mattered.
While this game does offer both local and online multiplayer, you will be spending a majority of your time playing by yourself or with a group of friends at a party. Unfortunately, the online multiplayer is completely dead, and I was unable to find a single person to play against. While this doesn’t take away from the experience of the game, it is upsetting to see a decent game has such a small following that nobody is playing it online.
Overall, Dead Exit is a cool concept that unfortunately, not many people gave the time of day. While the content is extremely limited, it is very addicting, and I found myself playing match after match just to better myself and learn the ropes. It is not the best game in the world, but if you are a fan of card games, you will really enjoy this one. The final complaint that I have is the price. $10 USD might not be a bad price, but I honestly think it would be better situated in the five-dollar range. Nevertheless, whether you wait for a sale or go right into it, I would recommend picking this one up.
*Note: A copy of this game was provided for the purpose of the review.
Final Score: 8/10
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