Posted: June 27
They Bleed Pixels is a hardcore action platformer. (Story will not be touched on in this review as it isn't a part of the game that mattered to me)
What does that mean? Well, to start things off, this game is very difficult. If you are used to playing very challenging platform games then this could be right up your alley. There is a Novice mode but if you want the true experience expect a lot of deaths.
I also describe this game as an action platformer. You will not just be jumping around. The platforming mechanics are very tight but are mixed in with a lot of enemies and your own attack mechanics. You are rewarded for building combos on enemies and simply ignoring them will usually leave you without checkpoints and just end up getting you killed as most enemies will follow you throughout the level.
This game is also unique in the way it handles checkpoints. In killing enemies and gathering items you are able to make a checkpoint yourself. The combo system allows you to be creative to take full advantage of the checkpoints you want to make, which lets you carve out your own path in a way. The only gripe I have with this mechanic is that there are a lot of levels in which it is obvious how the game wants you to get checkpoints, either by enemy spawns or by limiting your ability to make checkpoints. I sort of wish the game would choose whether it wants it's own checkpoints, or to give you more freedom to put down your own, as the mechanic seems pointless in some parts of some levels.
This game is obviously designed with additional replay value in mind, with a huge amount of achievements, a bunch of collectables, and a leaderboard system. It seems like it would have a lot of appeal to speedrunners.
All in all I really enjoyed the game, but I would only recommend it if you can handle the difficulty. The shining achievement here is the way this game handles combat in a platformer, something you rarely see, especially when combined with such tight platform gameplay. It allows the game to transcend it's genre slightly and appeal to different audiences. This should be an easy buy if you love platformers though.