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.