They Bleed Pixels | Gaming reviews, news & interviews
They Bleed Pixels
Superb new game from indie developers serves up maximum splat
Welcome to Lafcadio Academy for Troubled Young Ladies. In this environment of blood-soaked walls, spinning blades, spikes, ghouls and HP Lovecraft references, the curriculum is simple: play if you dare, and survive if you can.
They Bleed Pixels, the new game from indie developers Spooky Squid, is a traditional platformer that serves up more splat than a hamster in a microwave. Upon arriving at the school, your character is mysteriously cursed by an evil book, and finds herself transforming into something distinctly crustacean. As you frenetically traverse the 11 platform levels of your character’s nightmares, you find you can utilise these grotesque crab claws in order to deal with the various monsters that assail her. And surprisingly, with the use of a single-button combat system, you discover there are oh so many ways you can dispatch them.
From high-kicking them into chain saws, punching them until they explode, letting them fall onto your massive crab claw hands and ripping them to shreds, the possibilities are as various as the obscure Lovecraftian exclamations that appear after certain combo attacks. The traditional comic book KABOOM, BIFF and POW is here replaced with ELDRITCH, RUGOSE and GIBBOUS.
The most important reward is unique among platform games, and it’s the ability of the player to generate their own save points and to place them wherever they want. The time-honoured tradition of yelling curses at the game makers for not putting enough in or not putting them in the right places is nullified here. The blame now wholly resides with the player. If you don’t earn them, you don’t get them.
Another unique element is the soundtrack, provided entirely by DJ Finish Him, who fuses typical Nineties synth-box with what he ominously refers to as "nconventional instruments" to create a soundtrack so good that it stands alone as an album. Above all it’s the humour of the game - which is so covered in pixelated blood it puts most other games to shame – that really lifts it into the realms of genius.
- They Bleed Pixels is out now. Developed and published by Spooky Squid Games; Platform: PC
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