Tired of plain old vanilla Minecraft survival mode? Punching trees and huddling in dirt huts the first night to survive the relentless zombie and creeper attacks. Wouldn’t it be more fun to play a game that combines the Minecraft graphics and theme to a more Call of Duty like zombie survival mode? Well, Pixlgun 3D – Survival Shooter just so happens to perfectly encapsulate both of those video game franchises. In Pixlgun 3D – Survival Shooter you play in Minecraft inspired and built worlds with guns ranging from shotguns to AK-47s as you shoot the oncoming horde of zombies, mummies and aliens.
When you first load up Pixlgun 3D – Survival Shooter the menu is fairly bare. It really is just the title screen and the option to enter the fray basically. Then you are provided a quick splash screen of the controls and then dropped in the middle of the first level to fend for yourself. But first I’ll talk about the controls. The controls in general are fairly standard I would say for this type of first person shooter app games. The left side of the screen functions as sort of a joystick or D-pad where you tap and drag to move around and the right side is where you can tap and drag to look around, tap the shoot button to fire and tap the “R” button to reload guns, as well as swipe to change weapons. While I would say this controller layout is standard for these types of games I think it is one of the weakest points in Pixlgun 3D – Survival Edition and in these games in general. Most of my problems and frustrations, especially early on, were resultant of controlling issues. Not tapping in the right place so I wouldn’t move anywhere ensured my death countless times, accidentally firing my last few rounds also happened more times than I can count, and spinning around trying to find my bearings also became a problem. I will say that with time you get used to these issues but it does take a while and I could easily see new players getting frustrated and rage quitting for good.
The main part of the fun in Pixlgun 3D – Survival Shooter is the different arenas you are placed in and then tasked with surviving. Unfortunately you cannot simply choose what level/arena you want to play and just play that one round. No, you have to always start from the first “basic” level and then work your way through the different levels and if you die on arena number three well you then have to start all the way back at number one. This style is really anti replay value and not sure why Krasnov Games decided to do this very limiting approach. Anyways, the level arenas themselves are actually quite impressive and detailed, especially with the recent update on the Android version (compared to the original Apple versions). You start out in a graveyard and church themed arena with various zombies coming at you. It is interesting to note the levels are fairly big for what the game is and the level is detailed enough to keep things interesting. Such as fighting in the graveyard or in the church or even in the hedge maze out back. Once you defeat all the enemies in a level you then enter a portal to go to the next. Levels in Pixlgun 3D – Survival Shooter are pretty varied like I mentioned before and include a pyramid maze level, a city level with emergency tents setup, a hospital, top secret military base, etc. And like I mentioned with the first graveyard level, each level has various parts to it and little quirks to keep you intrigued.
Meet the Monsters
Just like the different levels and arenas in Pixlgun 3D – Survival Shooter, the monsters are just as varied…at least in terms of appearance. In general there are basically three types of enemies, generic walking ones, crawling ones and flying monsters like bats (or flying scorpions as they look). There are a few exceptions in later levels which include huge giant walking boss type enemies and short fast running type monsters, but for the main part it is the three basic types you have to worry about. Of course I am a stickler for detail so I loved just the minor changes the monsters had to fit the level arena themes. For instance the graveyard level has zombies attacking you, the pyramid level has mummies and pharaohs, and the top secret base has aliens and zombified scientists (just to name a few). It is this simple bit of detail that really makes the game just more interesting and willing to play and try to get to the next level to see what monsters will be on the other side.
Of course you need some weapons to shoot down all these zombie and alien monsters that are attacking you, and the game is called Pixlgun 3D after all. So what weapons do you have in your arsenal? You start out with a basic pistol as you do in pretty much every first person shooter. New guns and ammo for all the guns is then found scattered about through the level. These guns include an Uzi, a shotgun, AK-47 type machine gun and a revolver. Ammo wise there are just generic ammo packs on the ground and when picked up it refills the ammo gauge of whatever gun you currently have equipped. Not sure if I would have preferred to have separate ammo types for each gun or the way it is now though. More gun variety would have been nice or have your guns reset for each level because of as now you get one gun you really like (for me either the AK-47 or the revolver) and then just stockpile ammo and just go on an easy rampage.
As a whole I think Pixlgun 3D – Survival Shooter is an interesting and fun app game to play but I would say it only has the bare essentials. What I mean by this is it has a few levels, a few guns and the recycled monsters for each level…but that’s it. No achievements, no missions, no upgrades (not that it needs upgrades), not much variety…you get the idea. I feel these extra features are becoming standard in video games, at least on the flash market, and for a paid game ($1.05) I would expect to have some of these features to extend the replay life. Because as of now I ran through the game, “beat” the game if you will and then was kind of done. No more incentive to play once I beat it and not even online highscore tables to compare and compete. So I guess I would say the foundation is there just needs to be built upon.