PixelJunk Shooter is the fourth game in the PixelJunk series. It's a simple lunar like game where players control a single ship that is able to be propelled around different levels in order to achieve certain objectives. Shooter takes gamers into a world of puzzle and action-oriented worlds where the objective of the game is to rescue survivors from the caverns of Apoxus Prime.
Shooter can be played by one player, or by two players via local co-op.
The game is divided into three episodes, each containing five stages. Each stage is split into multiple sections. There is a boss encounter at the end of the fifth stage of each episode.
Each stage contains 35 survivors to rescue, including 1 "special survivor." The special survivor holds a flag, has a name, and displays a short story-advancing monologue when rescued. Not all survivors must be rescued in order to finish the level, although there are trophies for successfully rescuing all special survivors or every survivor from every level. The player can view the special survivors that he has collected and their monologue in the art gallery, selectable from the main menu.
The game does not contain a traditional lives structure. If the player dies, he does not lose a life, and starts over from the beginning of the section. Instead, a life is removed for every survivor death. If a player loses five lives, he must start the entire stage over. Collecting 100 coins or finding a 1-up will remove a survivor death.
The player will die if the ship overheats and crashes. Overheating can be caused by being near or in certain types of fluids, or by being hit by enemies. If the ship comes close to overheating, an alarm will sound. Overheating can be avoided by moving away from heat sources or coming into contact with water. In addition, spinning the ship rapidly will cool the ship faster. If the ship overheats, it will begin to fall. If it falls into a fluid that will cool the ship, the player will be able to continue. If not, the player will start over from the beginning of the section.
The player moves the ship with the left stick, orients the ship with the right stick, fires with R1/R2, grapples with L1/L2, and spins by spinning the right stick. In addition to puzzle solving, there are several types of enemies in each section that should be destroyed. Destroyed enemies dispense coins. Some of their fire can be deflected with a spin or destroyed by your fire or a fluid. You must also collect treasure hidden throughout the stages, as they are used to unlock further stages. There is also a shield power-up that may be collected, which prevents overheating by proximity or brief contact, though that destroys the shield.
There are four types of fluid in PixelJunk Shooter: Water, Lava, Gas, and Magnetic Fluid. In addition to fluids, there is also Rock and Ice which are very important. Each type of element may interact with each other in different ways.
- If water contacts the player, the player will cool off (without the inverter suit).
- If water contacts lava, the lava is solidified into breakable rock. The water may also solidify lava that is in contact with rock that is in contact with water.
- If water contacts ice, the ice expands.
- If water contacts the magnetic fluid, flammable gas is formed.
- If ice forms underwater, it is suspended. Suspended ice is impossible to cross, and will kill the player if he is stuck in it.
- If gas contacts the player, the player will overheat slowly.
- If lava contacts the player, the player will overheat (without the inverter suit). Proximity to lava will slowly overheat the player (without the shield).
- If lava contacts ice, the ice incinerates.
- If lava contacts gas, the gas ignites. Ignited gas incinerates ice and overheats the player.
- If lava contacts the magnetic fluid, they both incinerate.
- If the magnetic fluid contacts the player, the player will overheat moderately fast (without the anti-magnetic suit).
Suits change the way the player interacts with the environment. There are several different types of suit, each with different effects. If the player uses a suit, it will remain on until the end of the section.
- The magma suit allows the player to shoot magma and grab rocks. However, the player is not immune to overheating from the magma.
- The water suit allows the player to shoot water and grab ice.
- The anti-magnet suit repels the magnetic fluid.
- The inverter suit reverses the heating and cooling effects of lava and water.