Four survivors wander the wastelands together in hopes of fighting off monsters, shooting and blasting their way through to reach the end goal. Add this to a pixelated design and a rage-quit attitude, you have BAD DAY.
Factory 64 Games, the developers of the game, have combined the cutesy style of pixels and quirky characters and thrust them into a bleak world of grey nothingness. We don’t know much about them as this is their first game release, so what we have to understand more about these developers can be found in this game.
Just Four Of Us Against The World
The basic idea of the game is that you have four characters: Frank, Jasper, Mary, and Stanley. At each level of the game, you choose one of these characters to work through the level, either to find a working vehicle or to find survivors.
Using WASD you move around the map whilst simultaneously using your pointer to shoot and aim at the monsters. When coming across locked crates, boxes, and buildings, you use E to interact with them, Q to use first-aid kits, and the space bar to change your choice of two weapons: a pistol or a shotgun. In these locked places, you can either find ammo or first-aid kits, changing when replaying the level or different characters, and also depending on luck.
Whilst this seems straightforward, the concept of dying in this game comes with severe consequences. When it happens, you have lost that character forever, so the four characters mean that you only have four lives in order to reach the end of the game. Your characters cannot be revived as you enter new levels, as the only way you can keep them alive is through first-aid kits. This is what turns this game from being straightforward to a difficult game that seems impossible to predict or complete.
You’ve Got No Chance…
The first issue with BAD DAY is the ratio of the number of monsters that you come across in each level and the amount of ammo and first-aid kits you find. Ammo is scarce in this game and the number of monsters you come across seems to exceed the ammo you can find.
Whilst the loot you find and the number of monsters are randomised when you repeat a level, there seems to be a general pattern that involves nearly running out of bullets as you’re crowded by monsters.
During my gameplay, the issues I faced were the fact that you could guess whereabouts the monster ambushes triggered on the map, but you can’t predict how many appear and whether you’re lucky enough to find ammo in the locked places before the ambush. At first, it seemed that certain characters were lucky in finding loot, as I had more luck with Frank, but it is randomized.
…Or Do You?
The only way that you could even progress in this game is if first-aid kits were introduced in the very first level. As I played hours of this game, I never came across a single first-aid kit. Not one. What made this worse was the number of times I could have survived an ambush if I had one. Players could progress a lot faster and think strategically about the game if first-aid kits appeared more.
It is understandable that some people like the challenge of having no aid to help you when your health is low, but the fact that it is an option in the game should mean that we should come across first-aid kids a lot earlier in the game.
No…You Have No Chance
This is a great game to pass a couple of hours of your time, but don’t expect to progress as far as you think. You will find yourself dedicating so many hours into playing this game, and with a stroke of bad luck, find yourself trying to find a vehicle all over again.
Whilst this made my life a total misery, I cannot deny that I experienced some crazy and exciting moments in the game. For instance, I had lost all of the male characters in the first level and managed to pass through five more levels with just Mary. There was also the time I ran out of ammo and was chased by three monsters towards a locked crate. As I passed I unlocked it and managed to score more ammo, killing the remaining monsters that were centimetres away.
BAD DAY seems to be a shooter game that’s on permenant hard-core mode, as if you didn’t have a chance in choosing a ‘casual mode’. What could make the gameplay better is if both options existed, where the number of monsters you face and ammo/first-aid kits you find varies on which mode you choose.
Is BAD DAY Worth Your £1.69?
BAD DAY costs a messily £1.69, and that’s it. It would be unfair to say that you are wasting your money if you buy this game, because for a few hours you can have so much fun with playing this. Whilst the art design of the game is standard pixels and a repeated pattern for each level, the game’s strong point isn’t the design but the gameplay.
There will come a time where you just can’t stand playing a level over and over, but you have to put those thoughts aside and try and see this game as a challenge.
You’ll find yourself giving up trying to fight these monsters again and again, raging at the fact that you’re out of ammo so early on in the level, but that time is not at the start…It’s a couple of hours later, when you’ve thrown your mouse across the room.