They Bleed Pixels is a fiendishly difficult action platformer inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and classic horror.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,379 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 - Fiendishly difficult Lovecraftian horror platformer."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (4)

June 17

They Bleed Pixels T-Shirts and More Now Available from We Love Fine



We've teamed up with the fine folks at We Love Fine to offer a fantastic set of They Bleed Pixels shirts and bags adorned with everyone's favourite clawed little girl ːtbphappyː. Right now there are four designs available with more colours and designs on the way!

Buy They Bleed Pixels merch at We Love Fine.

They Bleed Pixels is currently on sale during the Steam Summer Sale at 75% off.

6 comments Read more

June 3

They Bleed Pixels now Available for Mac and Linux + New Crimson Update Released!


The long wait is over for Mac and Linux users, They Bleed Pixels is now available for your OS of choice! All three operating systems are also getting the brand new Crimson Update free! More levels, more polish, more blood! ːtbphappyː

As an extra bonus They Bleed Pixels is 75% off for the next week (June 3-10th)!

Crimson Update:

  • New engine rewritten in C for 60fps gameplay on netbooks and older computers.
  • Shorter and easier Novice Difficulty levels.
  • New bonus levels! Winter’s End and exp. 666.
  • Record, play and share your best runs on the leaderboards. Watch the top players to improve your runs!
  • Enhanced blood effects! Double the blood particles!
  • Support for both DirectInput and XInput controllers.
  • Lots of other little bits of polish, from save games to graphics options.
ːtbpbookː While the Crimson Update is free for everyone, its existence came at a terrible cost, documented in our new live action trailer, a collaboration with photographer Paul Hillier.
Check out the high quality 60fps version on YouTube: https://youtu.be/6r2ygRIBGY4

Top image illustration by friend of Spooky Squid Games Eric Kim.

29 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

Crimson Update


  • New engine rewritten in C for 60fps gameplay on netbooks and older computers.
  • Shorter and easier Novice Difficulty levels.
  • New bonus levels! Winter’s End and exp. 666.
  • Record, play and share your best runs on the leaderboards. Watch the top players to improve your runs!
  • Enhanced blood effects! Double the blood particles!
  • Support for both DirectInput and XInput controllers.
  • Lots of other little bits of polish, from save games to graphics options.

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 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.
Helpful customer reviews
41 of 44 people (93%) found this review helpful
13.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 31
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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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 16
Tight controls, kickass soundtrack, neat graphics, eldritch horror, and fun combat.

buy it.

YOU'RE A KID NOW
YOU'RE AN ELDRITCH ABOMINATION NOW
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12 of 18 people (67%) found this review helpful
9.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 7
Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat. Kill. Jump. Die. Repeat.

I love this game.
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15 of 24 people (63%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
24.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 6
I have played this game for 20+ hours.
Beaten it multiple times.
Played Platformers All my Life
The novice levels still hand my butt to me
11/10 IGN
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
17.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 19
Ah, after screaming at my monitor for 6 hours I've managed to beat the first playtrough on normal. Then to go for the speedruns, obscenely difficult extra stages and next-to-impossible achievements.. I can hardly wait..

The game features brilliant art and soundtrack, Movement and controllability are quite fantastic, although there might be a few issues regarding controller support and adjusting to the character movement (especially wall jumps) might take some time.

The difficulty ramps up really quickly, you will die hundreds of times and some stages can take well more than an hour to finish during first playtrhough, certainly if you want to kill every monster, collect all the hidden pages or obtain a high rank by collecting as much blood as possible. I haven't tried the novice difficulty setting, but I imagine it's not quite for a casual player either.

All in all the game is very well polished, background music drives you to try harder even when you feel like quitting.. And the violence.. oh, all the ways to dismantle your enemies and make them pay for BLOCKING YOU ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ PATH AGAIN in excitingly innovative and brutal ways.. really helps relief stress you may have acquired while playing.

You will probably find yourself coming back to this game time after time you close it and swear to not take another step within that girl's terrible nightmares.
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