They Bleed Pixels is a fiendishly difficult action platformer inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and classic horror.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (19 reviews) - 100% of the 19 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (1,693 reviews) - 88% of the 1,693 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 29, 2012

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March 11

They Bleed Pixels is now playable in Japanese!



Thanks to the fine folks at Playism you can now play They Bleed Pixels in Japanese. Everything from the chapter start quotations to the bonus artist bios has been translated, and we worked closely with Playism to ensure that the game’s unique typography and design was preserved. You can read more about the localization process on our blog (which is unfortunately English only ).

Also there's a new T-shirt design available through We Love Fine!

8 comments Read more

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

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 bonus levels and guest levels from indie game developers based on their own creations: They Bleed Ponycorns, They Bleed Stardust, exp.

  • 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 as well as 150 skill-based achievements. There's lots to aim for after you've completed the game.

  • Standard and Novice difficulty to match your skill level.

  • Record, playback and share your best playthroughs with online leaderboards for speed and high score!

  • 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

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP sp 3 or later.
    • Processor:CPU 1.2GHz or Faster
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+, 2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB
    • Controller Support: Any SDL 2.0 compatible controller (DirectInput/Xinput) including the Xbox 360 Controller.
    Recommended:
    • Processor:CPU 1.73Gz or Faster
    • Graphics: Recent Intel HD Graphics or better.
    Gamepad highly recommended for best experience.
    Minimum:
    • OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.8, 32-bit
    • Processor:CPU 1.2GHz or Faster
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+, 2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB
    • Controller Support: Any SDL 2.0 compatible controller (DirectInput/Xinput) including the Xbox 360 Controller.
    Recommended:
    • Processor:CPU 1.73Gz or Faster
    • Graphics: Recent Intel HD Graphics or better.
    Gamepad highly recommended for best experience.
    Minimum:
    • OS: glibc 2.15+, 32-bit. S3TC support is NOT required.
    • Processor:CPU 1.2GHz or Faster
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 3.0+, 2.1 with ARB extensions acceptable
    • Hard Drive: 250 MB
    • Controller Support: Any SDL 2.0 compatible controller (DirectInput/Xinput) including the Xbox 360 Controller.
    Recommended:
    • Processor:CPU 1.73Gz or Faster
    • Graphics: Recent Intel HD Graphics or better.
    Gamepad highly recommended for best experience.
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (19 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (1,693 reviews)
Recently Posted
$l@$h Puppy
( 3.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
This game is a terribly flawed gem. And it's a simple one at that. Simply put, this game demands one thing and one thing alone from you as a player: PRECISION. If you're not a precise gamer, stop reading this review and find yourself another game. Still here? Alright, this game will teach you one button combat, you have to master it perfectly or you're going to die. It teaches you platforming. One pixel off and you're going to die. It'll teach you save management, stand one pixel wrongly and you're not going to save and thus you're going to die. It teaches you timing, be one split second too late with a jump and you you're going to die.

As others have said, this game isn't really big on freedom for you as the player. Each level is an obstacle course with only one solution and until you master that solution with your PRECISION you will not win. Simple as that. There's no gray scales here, either you suck or you own it as a player. Now, the upside to this is that when you beat a level, you will automatically have OWNED it totally. Because there is no other way to beat it. You will own it, it's that simple. You will feel like you owned it too. You will pat yourself on the back and try the next level, where you repeat it all over again.

And that's where the game falls apart completely. Now, I don't know if later levels change up the formula, but I highly doubt it. I would have liked to see where the story went, but since the alternative is to basically bash my head over and over against incredibly difficult puzzles, I figured I'd quit while I was ahead.

However, there are good parts to this game for those people with patience. For one, the storyline is simple, but really intriguing, the graphics are quite fantastic as well. The blood splatters are hauntingly awesome. The animation of the main character is also expertly done. For some reason, I've gotten hung up on the way she kicks, she just looks incredibly relaxed when she does it, like she knows her stuff. In fact, much like with Dark Messiah, kicking your enemies into traps is ridiculously satisfying. The ensuring shower of blood is better beating any level. And that's where I feel the game has one of it's weak points. Because this game really could have used some more involved combat than what is. Now, don't get me wrong, the moves that are there can be used in many cool ways, but there is just the potential for so much more in there.

Additionally, on a sidenote: the soundtrack is awesome. Hands down, it's just the kind of tight NES Pop that we oldies used to groove to as a kids.

Overall though (and this is the sad part of my review) I cannot with a good conscience recommend this game to anyone but the most die hard platformer fans, because they're the only ones that are going to have a shadow of a chance to beat it. I had a look at the achivements and only 1.8% of everyone playing this has completed this on novice difficulty, that should tell you all you need to know.
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8Res
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
The difficulty drove me off a bit, but the game is very tight. The pixel graphics is always over-rated, but at least the gameplay is fluid and the checkpoint mechanic allows for more screwups if there a difficult spot for you. The story, however, got a lovecraftian tale spot-on. Yes, the protag can make a difference, but how much?
I would say that this is a must-have for lovecraft fans, but prepare to die a lot.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Wayward Son
( 2.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 19
You know, if you're a fan of incredibly frustrating-throw your controller through the window action, filled with levels that make no sense, but just made as frustrating as possible, just because. Then you'll love this game. Me, not so much. I can't give it a bad recommendment just because I'm terrible at these types of genre's. As someone that used to play Megaman/X I was hoping this would be a nice throw back, boy was I wrong. 7/10 would Cthulu again. 10/10 Won't reinstall.
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Xiaoqiao6199
( 2.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 10
Best speed running game for low spec computer user

10/10
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[SLRAG]GGP
( 4.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 9
Note: I basically forced myself to replay half the game to get myself in the right mindset for this review, it may be exxagerated for comedic purposes. Also ignore my time, I had to get a new computer and it didn't carry over for some odd reason.

They Bleed Pixels is another classic Hardcore Platformer that's been popular around the Steam market since Super Meat Boy took the world by storm, with the twist this time being that it has light combat elements. And I must say, it's probably not as hard as Super Meat Boy , but it ♥♥♥♥♥♥ me off far more. I am completely convinced that the lovecraftian themes are not coincidental and that it was actually programmed by an Elder God. Maybe this is how they plan to take over the world.

This game doesn't have the ease that Super Meat Boy did, where the gradual yet rapid climb in difficulty helped you get used to the weighty jump mechanics and platforming. It rushes you through a joke of a tutorial level before pushing you out into levels that expect you to know every in and out of the platforming and combat so it can watch you blunder your way into the same spike pit 500 times. And I love it.

100% of your deaths will be due to your own stupidity, there is no greater anguish in the world than narrowly missing your kick attack while the monster you missed bats you away with its noodly-arm attack. There is nothing more puzzling than touching the long spikes at zero momentum only for them to insta-skewer your purple schoolgirl ♥♥♥ for the 60th time. And I love it.

You have three hits instead of one, but it's a ruse. I can count the times it saved me on one hand. There is no mercy invincibility, traps will combo you to death Devil's Deception style and certain traps will kill you in one hit anyway. Even the smallest spike pit will bounce you around like a toy because yes spikes cause knockback, don't question it. A well-placed basic enemy can ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥t you to death from sheer bad luck. And I love it.

This game is like an abusive relationship. No matter how much it hurts me I keep coming back. I didn't get the burnout I got late into Super Meat Boy where I was convinced the obstacles that got placed before me were insurmountable and gave up. Every painfully difficult challenge had a way for me to pass it once I knew the platforming, no matter how many times I failed. The enemies suffered all the same handicaps I did, being afflicted by slippery surfaces and insta-murdered by a bad fall into spike pits. Nothing was better than me and at the same time nothing was weaker. Nothing felt easy, but nothing felt impossible. I feel like this game might've fared better as the hack-n-slash gore fest I thought it would be, but it does damn fine with what it has.

My one real complaint is that the soundtrack is incredibly lackluster. And I mean incredibly. A big draw of these hardcore platformers is the catchy memorable tunes, like Super Meat Boy with its orchestral scores and kickass guitar shreds. The OST in this game consists mostly of chiptune songs that aren't atrocious but don't stick in your head for any length of time. I could probably recognize every song in SMB's playlist right now, but I barely remember the music of the level I just played before writing this.

Fortunately, the most recent update has added a Novice Mode, which is the closest thing to mercy this game will ever show you. It makes the stages slightly easier, but you can't access the final level and your high scores aren't tracked. Still, everyone playing this game for the first time should make full use of it. Your ♥♥♥ will still be kicked, but not quite as hard.

Definitely a recommendation for those who enjoy Hardcore Platformers, and especially for those who enjoyed Super Meat Boy because I consider this game to be better.
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A Fair N' Balanced Crit
( 3.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 9
Do you like a challenge? Do you like platforming? Do you like Lovecraftian themes? If you said yes to two out of these three questions, than this is a game for you. They Bleed Pixels is one of the more challenging games I have played before, and that is just on the Normal setting. But the challenge doesn't get in the way of it being a fun and thoughtful platformer. And for $10, it's quite the steal.
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killerrock501
( 5.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 8
This game is pretty awesome. Its very hard but even though you die a lot it just makes you want to beat it that much more. Controlls are pretty solid but if you mess up even in the slightest it is very unforgiving.. but thats what makes you keep playing.
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Freyband
( 4.4 hrs on record )
Posted: June 5
Fun and difficult. Unforgiving at times, including bugs deep into some levels that force you to restart (or give up).
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Neon Henchman
( 16.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 5
An interesting game, but only for the more hardcore platformer fans.

I really want to like this game. The gameplay, although easy to pick up and play, is rather complex due to its scoring and combo system and the level design does offer a lot of challenge. Despite that however, it can be as difficult as you'd want it to be, as you can make a checkpoint just about anywhere, given you have enough blood to do so, making it a bit more accessible to a broader audience. As for the art style, even though it uses the overused pixel graphics, it's still pretty and there are unique themes for each and every levels, along with their own musics, erasing some redundancy.

I did like its challenge, but there are some things that are recurrent and that I don't like at all, mostly the blind deaths. There are times where you'd have to go onto moving platforms, but you wouldn't know when it decides to go into spikes and saws, and there are some blind jumps of faith. There were also some annoyances with the weird controls, mostly the character's floaty jumps, which might be because I was too scrub, but she's really weird in midair, thus she incessantly bumps into saws, and said saws launch you at random speeds and directions, which pretty much means instant death anyway.

Despite these issues, I'm sure that the aforementioned platformer fans would brush off these and still get a load of fun out of it. It's still a very competent and fun game.
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Lucas K
( 7.6 hrs on record )
Posted: June 3
Most games of this genre are fairly simple. Shoot up the enemies, dodge the bullets, collect the trinkets, don't die, blah blah blah. They Bleed Pixels, however, has a battle system that is unique, immersive, and most importantly, fun. I found the experience of playing such a creative game quite refreshing. It's not an easy game, though, and it may not be for everyone. But seriously, just try it. It's amazing, in spite of the incredibly edgy themes.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 5
An interesting game, but only for the more hardcore platformer fans.

I really want to like this game. The gameplay, although easy to pick up and play, is rather complex due to its scoring and combo system and the level design does offer a lot of challenge. Despite that however, it can be as difficult as you'd want it to be, as you can make a checkpoint just about anywhere, given you have enough blood to do so, making it a bit more accessible to a broader audience. As for the art style, even though it uses the overused pixel graphics, it's still pretty and there are unique themes for each and every levels, along with their own musics, erasing some redundancy.

I did like its challenge, but there are some things that are recurrent and that I don't like at all, mostly the blind deaths. There are times where you'd have to go onto moving platforms, but you wouldn't know when it decides to go into spikes and saws, and there are some blind jumps of faith. There were also some annoyances with the weird controls, mostly the character's floaty jumps, which might be because I was too scrub, but she's really weird in midair, thus she incessantly bumps into saws, and said saws launch you at random speeds and directions, which pretty much means instant death anyway.

Despite these issues, I'm sure that the aforementioned platformer fans would brush off these and still get a load of fun out of it. It's still a very competent and fun game.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 28
Damm, now I wish for more Cthulhu stuff on Steam.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 9
Do you like a challenge? Do you like platforming? Do you like Lovecraftian themes? If you said yes to two out of these three questions, than this is a game for you. They Bleed Pixels is one of the more challenging games I have played before, and that is just on the Normal setting. But the challenge doesn't get in the way of it being a fun and thoughtful platformer. And for $10, it's quite the steal.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.6 hrs on record
Posted: June 3
Most games of this genre are fairly simple. Shoot up the enemies, dodge the bullets, collect the trinkets, don't die, blah blah blah. They Bleed Pixels, however, has a battle system that is unique, immersive, and most importantly, fun. I found the experience of playing such a creative game quite refreshing. It's not an easy game, though, and it may not be for everyone. But seriously, just try it. It's amazing, in spite of the incredibly edgy themes.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
290 of 337 people (86%) found this review helpful
40 people found this review funny
Recommended
8.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 7, 2014
Super Meat Boy, I Wanna Be The Guy and H.P. Lovecraft walk into a bar.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
296 of 384 people (77%) found this review helpful
67 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
Retro menstrual cycle simulator.
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80 of 88 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
52.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2013
Really fun game with sharp and simple controls, a great soundtrack and over a hundred achievements.

Easy to learn, hard to master. You will die a lot, but that isn't a hindrance since you can place the checkpoint practically anywhere and then relocate it. If you are going for 100% completion, you will have to learn tricks like how to keep combos alive to maximize your score and how to overcome extreme frustration when you are trying to get through a stage without dying for the 100th time, only to end up dying with the goal in sight.

Gamepad strongly recommended.
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132 of 167 people (79%) found this review helpful
22 people found this review funny
Recommended
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 29, 2014
like meatboy, but easier because they give you enemies to take your misdirected agression out on.
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57 of 61 people (93%) found this review helpful
Recommended
13.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 31, 2015
They Bleed Pixels is a side-scrolling platformer with fighting elements, set in a creepy environment.

The platforming is great. Nothing too fancy, though. There are double jumps, wall jumps. A couple of fighting moves are reused as platforming moves. Some walls cannot be clinged onto. The platforming by itself cannot compete with something like Super Meat Boy, but doesn't fall too far either.
When getting hit, in most games the character typically gets a period of invulnerability. It's just a trick to simplify the programming of the game. They Bleed Pixels avoids this. For example, hitting a blade saw throws the character away.
Another thing to point out is spikes act like spikes. You can even walk in between them, as long as you aren't actually getting impaled.

The controls are impressively elegant. Directions + 2 buttons is all you need to perform about 20 different actions. They may have gone a bit overboard with this, though, because sometimes you will end up doing something different than you meant. But you have only yourself to blame.

The enemies are just so original, and their AI is flawless. They will always find ways to annoy you, especially when there is a saw moving towards you, or you're about to slide off to your death. The full arsenal of abilities will be needed to deal with them. Everything fits together perfectly. You can even block some attacks (of course, there is no separate block button).
An important part of the game is environmental damage. It is preferred to normal attacks, and is much more powerful. And there really are many ways to make enemies hit those spikes.

They Bleed Pixels is a difficult game for sure. But there is a slightly easier novice mode. And, of course, challenges and bonus levels of all kinds, with varying difficulty, up to extremely hardcore. There are achievements for collecting all the "books" on a level, each of which is a challenge by itself, no-death runs, speedruns and more. The game can be really competitive. Big replay value.

Graphically, the game looks great. Nice pixel art, especially the backgrounds. Not everything is perfect, but the animations make up for it. Cutting through the enemies feels great.
The soundtrack sure is strange, a bit morbid, based mostly on repeating catchy (chip)tunes. But it's fitting, and I really liked it. Sound effects are nice.

I encourage people who for some reason gave up on this game, to give it another try. It appears the entire game was rewritten at some point.

★★★★★★★★★☆
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99 of 133 people (74%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 11, 2014
To be clear, I enjoy this game. BUT. I would not recomend to most gamers.
I've played a lot of hard games, and enjoyed them, This game included.

However many of those games offered the difficulty as an option, for ranks, collectable and the like. There were usually various strats to meeting these conditions. Hidden routes, different usable mechanics, etc.

I've gotten about halfway though This game as of this review, and the levels are set up in such a way that there is little freedom as to how you play the game, The game offers you a ton of moves, but demands that you use them to traverse in such a specific way, to the point that I feel I'm no longer in control as a player. As if I'm trying to win at simon says, and the colors are encypted. This gets frustrating fast, demanding lots of dedication, just to make any progression.

Again, I'm not saying the game is bad, But I just simply cannot recomend it to the average gamer.
Its gets that frustrating.
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