PixelJunk Sidescroller is the sixth game in the PixelJunk series and it borrows pretty heavily from the previous two games PixelJunk Shooter 1 & 2. As the name suggest instead of being a dual-joystick shooter like the previous two games this game is a side-scrolling shooter. One of Sidescrollers most notable features is its aesthetics. It attempts to create a very retro style image by having curved corners and scan lines while being in HD.
Like the previous two games you can play this in both single player and two player mode.
The game has 3 stages each with 4 levels, with one additional hidden level at the end. A normal level will consist of the player navigating similar environments to the shooter games although with a different aesthetic style. Players need to navigate these alien environments while avoiding lava and cooling off in water all while shooting random bad guys and making sure you do not get shot by said bad guys. The different fluids also continue to interact in similar ways. If water hits lava it will turn to stone, water will freeze when it comes into contact with ice and lava will melt that ice. While there isn't as much puzzle solving with different combinations of liquids as in shooter you still need to be aware of how each interacts and be able to cool off quickly should the need arise. The heat meter however is gone and now you can really only take one shot from an enemy or heat source before getting killed. You can however still fly into water to get all patched up regardless of the damage source. There are also shields that allow you to take an extra hit before exploding as well. If you do happen to explode there are several checkpoints across each level that you will respawn at. After progressing through three normal levels and the end of each world and at the end of the last stage level there are boss fights. Again these bosses are fairly similar to shooter bosses. There are glowing red bits that you need to shoot while avoiding getting shot yourself.
Players can acquire points by picking up pellets and killing enemies, though former gains you very little in comparison to creating long kill combos. Combos are where the main challenge of the game comes in. A combo is created after killing an enemy, killing another enemy within approximately 10 seconds. Being able to manage to string one long chain from beginning to end seems to be the key to achieving maximum score and the highest medals. There are pretty extensive leaderboards that compare people at each different difficulty level as well as each stage and a total overall score.
There are 3 main weapons in PixelJunk SideScroller that can each be upgraded 5 times that can both increase damage and allow you to shoot in multiple directions
This is your basic rapid fire low damage per shot weapon. It is best used against fast enemies.
- Single shot
- Double shot
- Backward diagonal shot
- Forward diagonal shot
- Additional forward diagonal shot
The laser is a slow firing heavy damage shot that can pass through multiple enemies.
- Single shot
- Backward shot
- Higher damage shot
- Vertical shot (both up and down)
- Higher damage shot
The bomb weapon initially shoots two sets of two bombs up and down that bounce along both the ceiling and floor for a few seconds or until they run into an enemy.
- Double bombs
- Triple bombs
- Backward bombs
- Double backward bombs
- Triple backward bombs
There is also a charge attack that can be used similar to the one in shooter except now instead of rotating the stick you hold down L1 to charge it up.