Arkedo Series - 03 PIXEL! was released on December 21, 2009 for the Xbox Live Indie Game Marketplace
. Developed and published by Arkedo Studios
, PIXEL is Arkedo's third foray into the indie game marketplace (as part of their "one game per month" experiment). PIXEL has received a moderate amount of buzz from major publications (such as Joystiq) for its unique concepts, bright and colorful graphics, and humor (a staple in Arkedo's indie games
). The game follows Pixel the Cat on his adventures, but the story does not progress much beyond that (being a short game with six levels). The game is sold for 240 Microsoft
Points, or $3.00.
PIXEL is a traditional platformer, with several twists that make its gameplay unique. The aforementioned Pixel the Cat is the star, and he has several abilities. Naturally, he can jump onto enemies and kill them. Killing five consecutive enemies without getting hit fills up Pixel's "Meow" meter, which (once filled) allows Pixel to let out a large meow, killing any enemies in the immediate vicinity.
Levels are, for the most part, completely linear. At some points, there are paths which Pixel can divert down, most of the time for secrets or health boosts. These linear, side-scrolling portions of the level account for the majority of the levels.
The rest of the levels consist of zooming in on individual pixels to solve puzzles. For example, by holding down the left trigger and zooming in on a tree, and then clicking on a specific pixel, the tree gets chopped down. These sections are much more maze-like, and many are timed. These zoomed in parts of the game are either for a story purpose or to find a secret.
Each level has three pointless collectibles. Collecting all of them does nothing other than to extend the replay value (as is pointed out in the game). Finding these secrets usually means going into an out-of-the-way corner or diverting from the main path. In addition to the pointless collectibles, there are numerous "full health" blocks which can be zoomed in on to restore Pixel's health