There are plenty of endless runners and other types of games that make use of similar gameplay mechanics these days that take after Canabalt, which is credited as the first game to feature that trademark endless running gameplay. Playing them is about surviving as long as you can while avoiding gaps and obstacles that could end your game. As it gets longer, the game goes faster and it gets harder to survive. The game then ends when you’ve finally hit an obstacle, fallen through a gap, or so on. Here is one game though that is all about falling through a gap as it is an endless “faller” entitled Mega Dead Pixel.
Mega Dead Pixel by Chillingo is basically like an endless runner turned 45 degrees. The graphics are like that of the once-popular online meme Nyan Cat in that it featured faux 8-bit graphics, but you’re playing with a square on the screen called a mega pixel. There is stuff in the way, and the mega pixel is just falling down, so you have to move left and right with the onscreen arrows to stay alive. However, avoiding that stuff isn’t the only thing you do in this game. When you hit something, the mega pixel breaks it, but then also gets smaller. If you do come close to another pixel though, you paint it and your mega pixel gets bigger.
Bursting through obstacles feels quite rewarding and makes players go for it more, but the need for other tactical decisions then come in to balance things out. The choice between painting and breaking is what makes this game deceivingly tactical, and it makes for most of the fun to be had here. The speed and urgency of the gameplay is a bit like CRUSH!, although you’re more hard-pressed to make decisions during gameplay here in Mega Dead Pixel. As you play more of this game, more gameplay elements unlock and add in to the entire experience, so it does seem like there’s something new around the corner. The visuals look quite pretty good with its good use of colors and how it doesn’t look overly tacky in its use of retro-style graphics. It’s then coupled with chiptunes music that match the game so well that it could actually be enough reason to get this game.
It’s not entirely different though from the rest of its genre. Even though it’s different from other endless runners, it does end up like most others in that you’ll keep playing to acquire more coin and get to the really good stuff. Also, some people may find playing this game with both hands in portrait mode to be uncomfortable for long periods of time. This drawback in its grinding aspect is not really frustrating since the game is still quite fun, but it may turn some people off. Of course, you can just use real money to bypass all of that, but that may take away from the experience.
Overall, the gameplay is quite simple, but also rather compelling as the different mechanics come together nicely. Also, the missions mix things up to keep it interesting to play, so you don’t keep doing the same stuff all the time. With how slightly grind-inducing it can get, that’s makes things much more bearable and players are less likely to stop playing it after a short period of time.
For a free game, it actually offers quite a lot. As a game that you can just play while waiting for something else, it works well as a mobile game since it’s a pretty good quick time killer. If you’re a gamer who hunkers down and plays a game for hours on end, it may be good too if you’re that used to mobile gaming.
Tested in iOS. Final Score: 8/10