They Bleed Pixels Review
They Bleed Pixels is a 2D puzzle/platform game on Steam. It was released on the 29th of August. Why did it take me so long to post a review, you ask? Lets just say I like to finish games before I write about them. I pushed and pushed my way through this game and still haven't finished it. It is insanely hard and insanely frustrating and insanely fun.
The premise is simple enough. You play as a young girl who has gotten a hold of a book that turns her dreams into Eldritch horrors. Her hands turn into Wolverine-like claws that allow her to slice and dice her way through enemies as she jumps, slides and climbs her way through puzzles and platforms.
Neither the premise or gameplay are unique. However, it all comes together for a rather engaging experience. The two button control scheme is simple enough to allow anyone to pick it up, but still allows for some complex abilities and moves. The combos are visceral and satisfying. The only knock is that sometimes the controls are slightly unresponsive, especially when doing timing based jumping sequences. I would repeatedly die while jumping over spike-filled chasms because the analog stick wasn't as precise as I needed it to be. The game recommends an X-Box controller and I couldn't agree more. Playing this without some sort of analog stick would be a total nightmare.
By the way, this game is hard. Be prepared to get extremely angry at your computer. The good news is that besides the occasional hiccup in the controls, the majority of deaths are the players fault. Many times I would die because I couldn't make a jump and then proceed to try to make that jump 20 more times, spraying my pixeled blood everywhere.
The graphics are in a classic pixel style that a lot of indie games have been employing lately. The short cutscenes between levels add some nice plot elements to the game and are really well done. The copious amounts of pixelated blood adds a lot of color to the sometimes dreary backgrounds.The main character is adorable in a kind of horrifying way.
The music is adequate, even though it can get repetitive at times. I did like how it would fade out as I lost more life, as this adds even more tension to the already frenetic pace of the game.
The length of game makes it a very nice value at 10 bucks. It uses a ranking system with achievements to add some re-playability to the levels. Each level also contains difficult to reach collectibles. My only complaint on this front is that sometimes the levels feel a little longer than they should be. Granted, you can start the game at your last checkpoint, but finishing up a level before quitting a playthrough feels much more natural.
If you are looking for a challenging platform experience at a bargain price, this is the game for you. It has enough variety to keep it interesting. It is also an excellent game to play on your TV if you have an HDMI setup and Steam's "Big Picture" service.