REVIEW: Dead Exit

How dare you drop zombies onto my porch!

Steam: Released
Developer: RadiationBurn
Publisher: RadiationBurn
Genre: Casual Strategy
Type: Single Player, Multi Player
Release date: June 20, 2017

As long as I can remember, I’ve been a sucker for board games. Even though I was quite shy, not like that changed, when it came to playing a board game it was easy to talk. There was something about being in a competitive or cooperative environment that brought me out of my shell. It also helped that there were a variety of board games, instead of the usual Monopoly or Life, having different scenarios and rules to learn and invest in. Card games or dice games are in the same boat. It may look simple, but there is complexity underneath. I loved playing these games and went to a place weekly to play board games till I had to move away. The sad thing about having board games is that you have no one to play with, and that is where I’m at as not everyone I know likes playing them. So when people around you dislike playing board games, the next thing is to play them with people on the internet.

Dead Exit is a card game where you cooperate but at the same time, you can be working against each other. Whether you are playing with someone or by yourself, the goal is clear: acquire enough fuel, food, survivors, and vehicles at your base, or bases if you are required to control more than one, to escape the zombies infesting the city. With each base equipped with their own cards and a limited number of moves per turn, you need to play your cards carefully to ensure your survival and fight off zombies constantly trying to get through your door. If you have other people playing with along, you will have to decide if it is worth helping them and become allies or backstab them and make their own survival harder.

Each base is equipped with their own cards, no matter if you are controlling multiple, with their own playing area. You have five areas your cards can be placed with each doing different things. First is where your base physically resides, having two areas to place cards in each with three spaces to put cards in. Off to the side are your stockpile, a trading pile and a sacrifice shrine. Two of these are to the point, as long as one base has a card in their trading pile, someone can trade a card for it; and the stockpile goes to your collected resources, but you can’t take a card out unless there is a card effect that lets you. The others pertain more to your cards and how you want to strategically play them.

The cards are complex, but it is really simple once you get used to them. Just like the inside, outside, and sacrifice labeled areas, they are also labeled on your cards. Depending on which survivor you play, they will have different effects than another survivor or you can play a plan or stop card (which are like event cards but they play with benefits for you and you can play them yourself) to cause an action to happen. While not all will have an action if it was sacrificed, it will have them for outside and inside the base. If it is just food, fuel, or stop cards it will only have a sacrifice effect. So, let’s say you have the survivor “The Seductress”.

If you play her outside, and another base has a male survivor outside their base at the time, she can mimic their ability and use it for herself, which can be really helpful. However, you can also use her inside to move any survivor at any base to another empty slot or you can give her up entirely and sacrifice her to take a male at any base and put them in your stockpile. As you can see this makes you think about where you place them, as you can not move that survivor till the next turn and you will have to go through their effect as long as it is possible. You can simply work for yourself and use another ability to your advantage, perhaps help someone out in a pickle, totally screw over the other players by moving their survivor into danger or take their most valuable survivor. And of course, if you are playing with only yourself with multiple bases, the sabotaging part is kinda useless. I really like how even in one card, there are multiple ways you can play it as well as how you will be viewed by your fellow players.

With only three turns where you cannot just take your turns picking up, setting down, and picking a survivor back up again, you may need new cards or still need some stockpile items. Out of some card effects, the only way you can get more cards is pick one from a city deck. This is where luck plays in. You can be fortunate and get a resource you needed or another survivor, or you can not be. On top of resource, survivor, vehicle, stop, and plan cards, you can draw zombie or event cards. Zombie cards are automatically placed by you at any base and event cards are automatically set in effect. No matter what, a zombie will follow you back to base, unless a survivor has the ability to scavenge a card. To help out, there are also a few cards that let you reveal or see the top card of a couple decks.

Come on, just need one more fuel

So in single player, where you just need to survive with only event cards or recklessly playing cards against you, how can it get hard? Well, it gives you a way to set your own difficulty. While you do need to play on easy when you are learning, it does not become difficult till around their medium preset. Not only can you select a preset, but you can slide or select some things of your liking. You can select how many bases you want to control, how many stacks of supplies you need to gather to escape, and if you want extra dead (which makes a zombie go to your base after each turn).

I was not able to play an online game and pave a way for allies or enemies. Though with how much I’ve focused on just keeping my bases alive in single player, I can think about that horrible feeling when someone tries to take me down by taking cards or putting a whole bunch of zombies on my doorstep. Especially when an event card does just that and almost causes zombies to overrun my base after they killed all of the survivors I was using. Trust me, when the game says you can go from clearly winning to suddenly losing in a second, it means it.


+ Complex but easy
+ Cute 2d figure that pops up when you play a card
+ You can select from a difficulty setting or set your own difficulty

+/- Sabotaging part of the cards useless in single player

– Does not have an online player base

Dead Exit is one of those card games that feels like a game I would have played back in the day, or would have bought in recent years to try and swindle some friends to play it with me. These types of games only hit a certain group, which has been proven to exist with people playing Tabletop Simulator, but sadly it seems it has not garnered much popularity, However, online games can take place without planning with close friends. I do hope this game eventually gets a player base as I can see this being fun with others. Even with how it stands now, with no one online, this is a solid card game that has dedicated devs behind it that will squash bugs as soon as they can. You will have a high chance finding this fun and challenging.

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September 2017

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