Deadly Days is a rogue-lite zombie apocalypse game that originally released in 2017, and came to the Nintendo Switch in 2020. The game has a straightforward premise: zombies, rogue-lite combat, and survival strategy.
Capitalism strikes again as a harmful company making toxic burgers infects cities worldwide, turning all burger lovers into feral zombies out for your brains.
I had a lot of fun playing Deadly Days! The pixelated style had a different edge to it where the characters wobbled around almost like South Park characters. I’m not sure why my brain kept making that association, but once it did I was thoroughly entertained with how they roamed around each level. Since the game’s original release a few years back, the Nintendo Switch port got a few stylistic upgrades that I think were much needed.
Screenshots from the original release feel featureless by comparison to what we have now.
The buildings, vehicles, and even characters have a bit more dimension, while never losing the original style and intent of the animators. Though, once you start air-bombing and furiously attacking hordes of zombies, a lot of those details get clouded in fire and bodies.
Deadly Days starts you off in a safe-zone camp with two characters who are equipped with weapons. In some cases, you might get a startup bonus action, but overall you start off with very little. Missions are how you earn loot to take back to your camp. Each mission varies between scavenging and rescuing, which are exactly as they sound. Scavenge missions often have a stocked supermarket or tons of neighborhood shops to rummage through to get food and supplies. Rescue missions often have the same, but eventually you’ll find someone hiding inside of a shop. When you rescue them, they join your group permanently (well, unless they die along the way).
While Deadly Days is a rogue-lite, it’s not quite the fast-paced death-and-restart cycle you’d expect. There are plenty of ways to avoid instant death, and because you’re building a home base in the middle of an apocalypse, your death feels more impactful. However, resources you’ve unlocked may carry over with the next “new game”.
There are challenges you can play, but I found the main game to be more enjoyable because it gave me a bit of a goal to see how much I could build up my base and how many days I could survive. The controls for the game were simple, and the legend was large on-screen, which I think makes it easy for anyone to pick up this title and know immediately what they can and can’t do.
The music throughout the game was jazzy, almost like elevator music, which added a bit of humor and upbeat energy to each mission and idle screen. I enjoyed bopping along while I upgraded my people, swapped out weapons, or ensured we had enough food to survive the next day.
It’s really easy to not make it past day three in Deadly Days, but honestly, I didn’t mind failing missions or starving to death. There was something very silly and fun about the overall atmosphere of the game, where deaths felt consequential enough to make you care, but not devastating to the overall experience of playing.
I believe the replay value and overall humor and entertainment found with Deadly Days makes this an easy game to pick up and enjoy!