From the beginning of the game I knew this was going to be an interesting one. You are the “ball” from the Pong game, the square pixel ball that is whose transformed into the “Chosen One” with the task of saving the System and if this doesn’t intrigue you well, this is not a game for you.
Still with me? Great, let us proceed with this review. While in the game of Pong, you are teleported to a dark place, somewhere unknown, where you see strange silhouettes staring at screens depicting something, but you don’t know what… strange indeed. Bam, you are not just a simple white pixel anymore, but now a boy and you are thrown into this 8-bit pixel world where you meet with a strange looking robot called Search. He is and will be your guide throughout the game, teaching you how to do “stuff” and will give some backstory here and there.
The game is 2D platformer and while I like some of the gameplay mechanics it offers, I didn’t quite like the jumping and for a platformer game that is the most important thing that can either make or break the game. It’s not very precise, it feels very loose and floaty and this is why I found the game to be quite hard. Not the good and challenging hard, but the annoying, frustrating and punishing hard. As I said I liked some of the mechanics, mainly the whole teleportation ability you get early in the game, but when you combine that with the “broken” movement, it’s hard to continue playing the game.
After the introductory level, you get a hat which grants you the ability to teleport yourself to it. So if you drop it somewhere you can teleport back to it in an instant and how they used this mechanic in the many puzzles was a nice surprise and breath of fresh air. Going back to the story, another thing that I found intriguing is that the game upgrades itself, both graphically and mechanically to a degree. You will complete the levels, which are kinda open-world-ish and you will jump generations. Think of them like the evolution of gaming, starting from 8-bit game graphics to a 2D/3D-ish parallax platformers. And with every jump in generation, apart from the jump and improvement in the presentation, new mechanics are introduced.
So while at first, you could only teleport, in the next generation you can keep your inertia and so on. These changes open up new ways to move, travel and complete the many different challenges you will encounter. Spread out there are also mini-games, simple ones, which offer a nice break of pace. Then there are challenge rooms which were designed, by apparently, the Devil himself since I couldn’t beat any of them as much as I tried.
In the end there is enjoyment to be had with A Pixel Story. The story is intriguing and the generation jump is something I have not seen before so remember that if you don’t like the presentation at the beginning, keep playing as it does get better. Who knows, you might meet “Not Batman” or the “Terminator”. Thanks for reading!