They Bleed Pixels is a fiendishly difficult action platformer inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and classic horror.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,029 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 29, 2012

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Buy They Bleed Pixels Collector's Edition

Includes 2 items: They Bleed Pixels, They Bleed Pixels Soundtrack

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Recommended By Curators

"Showed at PAX Prime 2013."

Reviews

"They Bleed Pixels will make you feel like a magician with a gamepad."
8/10 – Hardcore Gamer

“Gothic brutality shines brightly throughout this blocky, blood-soaked indie platformer.”
8.2/10 – IGN

"A Pleasurably Painful Way to Break In Steam's Big Picture Mode."
– Kotaku

Steam Big Picture

About This Game

They Bleed Pixels is a fiendishly difficult action platformer inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and classic horror. Rendered in a distinct visual style that blends pixel art with paper and ink textures, They Bleed Pixels is a singular mix of intense platforming and fierce beat-em-up action. At the core of its fighting system is a simple one-button combat scheme with surprising depth and versatility. Button mashing is discouraged while kicking shadowy monsters into saws, pits and spikes is rewarded, thanks to a unique system that lets you earn and place your own checkpoints through stylish kills. The fancier your kills, the faster you fill the checkpoint meter.

Story:
When a young girl arrives at the Lafcadio Academy for Troubled Young Ladies, she's unprepared for the violent nightmares that plague her dreams and transport her to other worlds. Worse yet, her dreams are intruding into her waking life, slowly altering her flesh into the demonic form of her night terrors. Can she destroy the mysterious blood-soaked book that appears to be the root of her troubles or will her transmutation from girl to clawed horror become complete?

Key Features:

  • Extra tight controls: One-button attack system favors skilled combat over complicated combos and button-mashing. Super precise platforming controls let you stop and start on a dime while pulling off gravity-defying dashes and double jumps.

  • Eleven massive levels to fight through and explore, each with unique visuals and music. Unlock additional guest levels from indie game developers based on their own creations: They Bleed Ponycorns, They Bleed Stardust.

  • Unique checkpoint system rewards fancy kills with a save spot you can carry with you. Hold on to it for extra points or drop it right away to preserve your progress.

  • Becoming a monster stabbing master with individual level rankings, online leaderboards for speed and high score as well as over 100 skill-based achievements. There's lots to aim for after you've completed the game.

  • Lush pixel art motion comics tell the story a young girl haunted by eldritch nightmares.

  • Original electronic soundtrack by DJ Finish Him (aka Shaun Hatton) composed with synthesizers, unconventional instruments and gadgets often not meant for musical use.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP or later
    • Processor:CPU 1.73GHz Intel Duo Core
    • Memory:1.5 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT (XNA 4.0 Hi-Def compatible card, Pixel Shader 3.0, Vertex Shader 3.0) (Integrated Video Cards not recommended)
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:350 MB HD space
    • Sound:DirectX-compatible sound card
    • Additional:Controller Support: Microsoft Xbox 360 Controller or other XInput compatible controller.
    Recommended:
    • Processor:CPU 2.6Hz Intel Quad Core
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:NVIDIA® GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon® X1900 (XNA 4.0 Hi-Def compatible card, Pixel Shader 3.0, Vertex Shader 3.0) (Integrated Video Cards not recommended)
Helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
The gameplay is polished and deep. Challenging platform elements blend seemlessly with a combo-centric combat system. Aesthetically this game is beautiful and I hope to see more from the developer.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
I highly recommend this game for those with huge loads of patience and who also look for a REAL challenge. Hard as hell, very fun, incredibily well detailed, and all in all, a must-have for platformer lovers; specially Super Meat Boy fans.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
A wonderful game that has an exceptional art style,music,and mechanics!
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 23
8.5/10

A great game that pushes your reaction and planning skills to the max. Great level design and non stop threats to keep you on your toes. A good grab for anyone looking for simple, yet complex,
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
62.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Best Indie Platformer after Super Meat Boy!
Awesome 1 Button fighting skills
Awesome Music
10/10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
The way you get bounced around from poor controls and cannon-blast knock back, this should have just been a pinball game. I hate going against the popular vote, especially when a game has 90% positive reviews out over over 1,000 rreviews like this one does, but I am staying with my initial, unflinching diagnosis of this game. It is unfortunate and I feel stupid going against so many positive reviews, but user reviews on Steam do not always signify a good game. See: DayZ. If not for the two problems that cripple this game, it would otherwise be a masterpiece. I recently reviewed Teleglitch and said it was by far one of the hardest games ever made. It is infinitely easier than this game. This game is the hardest game in the history of gaming, in my opinion, and for all of the wrong reasons. Without trying to be cute or funny I can say that fighting Mike Tyson in Punchout wearing a blindfold would be easier. I have played some legendarily hard games and beaten them, some with not as much effort as most people say they needed to beat them, but this game I just couldn't do anything because the controls are in my opinion so poorly done. Of course 90% of other reviews here disagree with me, so catch this game on sale and decide for yourself.

The first are the horribly over-responsive and loose controls. You fly around like a pinball in a pinball machine in levels designed with every pitfall and hazard imaginable covering about 99% of each level. Over responsive in that in air after a jump is way too responsive. If I press right or left, I go way too far in that direction. Loose in that when you stop running, your character does not stop or even slow down quickly, she keeps sliding a bit. These things are the very single reason I ever died in the game. I never, not even for a second, felt challenged as a gamer because i just could not do anything with the horribly loose controls. The other issue with the game are the fighting controls. I struggled to remember exactly what to do on each zombie fight even though it is so simple. Simple yet so unnecessarily contrived. Even on the third level when I was getting it down, it still felt incredibly awkward. And that is where I gave up in utter disgust at the controls, level 3. Level 1 told me on the end screen I had died 30+ times. Level 2 I died 40+ times. Level 3 it was endless deaths and that was because, in addition to the hyper/loose controls, they put ice on every floor and platform in the level. I tried dozens and dozens of times from each checkpoint, slipping, sliding, bouncing, and being knocked into spikes, more spikes, buzz saws, and more spikes. And that leads me to the second game killer.

The second thing in the game I could not do anything to guard against or improve: knock back. When you get hit, you bounce way away from your point of contact. You very, very seldom get lucky and get bounced to safely land. Nearly every single time you ever get hit, you are bounced right into another hit or into death. Enemies knock you into other enemies and death pits. Non-lethal spikes knock you into other enemies and death pits. And one of the worst enemies I have ever seen in a game, the flying creatures in this game are unbearable.

So to cut it short, I can say that since you are a pinball in this game, this should have just been a table add-on for Pinball FX.
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
This game was an experience on a level that exceeds Super Meat Boy by a few magnitudes. It was incredibly fun.

I also never want to play it again. This game is hard. Harder than SMB easily. It's difficult to the point where I got kind of stressed out and frustrated at about my 300th death. You'd think checkpoints placed wherever you want (mostly) and combat would make things easier. It doesn't. It makes things harder because with those two features the level designer has no reason to not be downright sadistic with you.

You have 3 hearts of health but given that the mercy invincibility is about 2ms long if you fall into a spike or hit a saw you're pretty much done for.

I know this sounds like I'm being critical but I'm really not. We all know what we sign up for when we get these insane platformer games. You get them for the feeling of accomplishment when you win, and oh boy does it provide it.

I made a video wherein I navel gaze about what constitutes a lovecraftian mythos and the nature of insanity here.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 19
This game is good overall.
the aesthetic is simple. A little story takes place. The soundtrack are kind of good (but I don't like the attenuation effect when you die). Simple controls (2 buttons and 1 stick). Some references to H.P. Lovecraft.

But beware, this game is "easy to play, hard to master" (Fans of meatboy will be pleased)
Nothing to say about the checkpoint system. Just be careful where you put them. (sometime you put them in a hurry way too far from a dangerous zone, can be stressful when you die and you have to go all the way another time)
The first levels are a little hard if you take them head-on but with a little perseverance you can pass them.
the real problem is that your character is (too) fast (horizontally and vertically) and sometime you have to go to the pixel through walls of sawblades (while another follows you).

Play at your risks. (Cthulhu is watching you)
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
If you like platformers that require combos, this is a good game for you. The checkpoint system is really smooth, meaning you don't really restart too short or too long a duration. I hightly recommend to add it to a platformer's collection. :)
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
17.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 5
It's hard in a way that becomes incredably satisfying to win without being all the time controller snapping frustrating. It's as they say fiendishly difficult, but you can see where you messed up as opposed to there being no clear path or idea of what you should do. Even dieing as much as I did the game never felt unfair in how it did things. Every death was pretty obviously my mistiming something or making a bad jump, there was never the feeling that the game pulled some trick or some other new thing out to spite me and make it overtly hard.
It's a challenge that is fun and satisfying to beat if you can without feeling like the game is cheating against you.
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
A really great and difficult platformer, with a beautiful 1-button combat system; little to no replay value for me, but still worth its price!
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 10
THIS GAME IS GOD DAMN GREAT BUT PLEASE DO NOT TORTURE YOURSELF LIKE I DO
SUPER HARD NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PEOPLE WHO RAGE EASY
DON'T BUY IT IF YOU HATE HARD PLATFORMERS
DO IT FOR YOUR CHILDREN
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 8
Fun, but pretty damn hard. At least it's not a "roguelike" ugh. Give me levels I can practice and get better at instead of random hack and slash. TBP is a good game, but it's hard.
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 16
Its fun and bloody!
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
14.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
Great game, very challenging, but very very good.
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
8.8 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
DON'T BUY IT
9/10
Buy it, it's good
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0 of 12 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 14
Was having a lot of fun with this game and ran into some controller issues. I play with a keyboard and mouse so that may be why (although I loved Super Meat Boy with keyboard).

Got to a point where double jumping was impossible. The double jump would occur as you jump off of a wall. This may have been intentional and I may have missed some glaring clue, but it sure seemed like a bug to me.
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0 of 16 people (0%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
absolut app crush. do not run game. :(
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0.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
Awesome platformer with white-knuckle controls. Super Meat Boy with more occult violence.
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15.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 26
One of the best platformer games I've played in a while, with a unique combat system that keeps the gameplay fast-paced and intense, especially at later levels. The replay value is great, with many incentives to replay levels multiple times (completing levels before in a certain time, completing levels without dying once, etc.)
The soundtrack is also a plus, with an 8-bit techno vibe to it. The controls may take some time getting used to, but after about 15-20 minutes of playing, they shouldn't be a problem. A definite recommendation from me!
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