They Bleed Pixels is an indie horror side-scrolling brawler platformer inspired by H.P. Lovecraft for the PC developed by Spooky Squid Games. You play a girl that was just sent to an academy for troubled young ladies when she starts getting nightmares of monsters and her transforming into one herself. Don’t let the cute artsy visuals fool you, this game is hard. Really hard.
That will be the first thing you notice though, the beautiful art direction. The game has a distinct visual style that makes playing this game easy on the eyes. There are a lot of blood in this game (there is even a counter at the top that counts how many pints you spill) and it gives a beautiful contrast to the cute pixel art. The game also features a great soundtrack made up of experimental electronic music that really suits the game composed by DJ Finish Him.
The game has a really simple two-button control which is easy to learn but hard to master. The game challenges you to use the environmental hazards to score unique kills rather than just button mashing like in most brawlers. Killing enemies and picking up powerups will fill up a meter which when full will grant you the ability to place a checkpoint almost anywhere you want. It certainly is an interesting mechanic and adds a bit more depth and strategy to the game. And you’re really going to need it, this game is very difficult and you will die a lot.
I know what you’re thinking, how hard can it be? Simple controls and I can place checkpoints anywhere I want? This game is difficult up to the point of being frustrating at times and you will repeat a stretch quite a lot but when you do manage to get past it, you will get a sense of satisfaction that I feel is lacking in a lot of games these days. Being rewarded for skill and patience.
If you love side-scrolling platformers with great visual and you’re feeling masochistic then give this game a try. You won’t regret it. You can get it on Steam for the PC. Oh, and the best part about this game are the bonus levels. One bonus level is inspired by Sissy’s Magical Ponycorn Adventure. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Then you have to try it. It’s adorable.