Title: A Pixel Story
Developer: Lamplight Studios
Publisher: Channel 4
Release date: Out Now
Price: £8.99 / $11.99
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
Puzzle-platformers have certainly been quite the hit these days. With games like Limbo and Never Alone doing the rounds, each has their own unique quirk to solving puzzles in between getting from A to B in their own stylish way.
A Pixel Story is no different in that respect, yet it has a lot of stark differences to its peers.
For one, there are actually parts of this game that I can relate to Super Meat Boy with, which is surprising considering the movement speed of the main protagonist. I’ll get to that in a moment though.
A Pixel Story is, you guessed it, a story about a Pixel. Not just any pixel though. It’s that one pixel that many of gaming’s oldest veterans will have very fond memories of. That pixel being the ‘ball’ in good ol’ Pong. Through some unknown malfunction behind the digital scenes, this pixel is mysteriously transported to another realm within the System and is rebooted as ‘The Chosen One’. That pixel now looks like this!
Pay particular attention to the hat. The hat is extremely important for two reasons. Firstly, it’s central to the core gameplay mechanic of it all. Secondly, my quest to find said hat renewed my vitriolic disgust for the equivalent to pigeons in my native homeland in the North-East of Scotland.
Y’see, pigeons are just too tiny and are often bullied around by these humongous beasties that soar through the skies over land and see.
It is none other than… the Seagull. Or as my native Doric dialect would call them… ‘Scurries’.
One pesky Scurry goes and steals my hat, forcing me to chase the wee rascal down until he’s got nowhere to hide… The cheek!
I digress, however. The hat was worth the chase because it has special teleportation magic called ‘caching’. You can drop the hat down in one place and after moving elsewhere a press of a button instantly teleports you back to where you dropped the hat off.
This is what is central to the puzzles in this game, of which there more than plenty. There are mandatory puzzles to clear an area, hidden puzzles yielding bonus loot and then there’s the secret puzzles behind doors that cost coins to unlock. In this game, getting sidetracked is an occupational hazard, but also a great benefit. There’s always new puzzles to find around every corner and figuring out how to beat each one is a fantastic challenge.
Those puzzles behind doors are where I was reminded of Super Meat Boy, if anything because the first one I entered had projectiles moving at several times the speed of their comparators in the main world. Clever timing of dropping the hat and teleporting back was crucial to beating the level in a treacherous exercise of trial and error. Often I’d figure out how to beat one section, only to find that I had trapped myself and had to solve another problem within the section.
These puzzles span across six worlds, leading the ‘Chosen One’ to victory and salvation of the System. Humour is aplenty within the story, and each world has their own specific style; or perhaps the chosen term ‘generation’ is more apt. As the differences in art will easily explain.
With the charm this game has, it won’t take long for you to get comfy with this game. It can (and likely will) frustrate with its difficulty in places. However, it has that air around it that the game kind of tells me “Go on… one more try. You can do it!”. The relaxed nature of the rest of the game pulls you in to each puzzle, giving you time to figure out each and every intricacy. It’s super addictive in that respect.
That is of course, so long as you’re up for the challenge.
What Rocks! :)
- Puzzle-platformer with bundles of charm
- Caching (teleporting) creates some fascinatingly challenging puzzles
- Art and soundtrack are impressive
What Sucks :(
- THE SCURRIES! CURSE THEM
- Despite being cute in its charm, the puzzles can be quite the challenge.
- Did I mention Seagulls? Yes? Good…
The game does not task the player with beating beasties to a pulp. You must use movement and teleportation to get to where you need to go. In terms of content, the game is amazing for the younglings. In terms of difficulty however, this is one that may frustrate the youngest. The grey matter really needs to be tuned in for this game and as a result is not the sort of game for a quick moment of fun. It will challenge, but beating these challenges are extremely rewarding.
Bonus… did you know that Seagulls are kleptomaniacs?