They Bleed Pixels is a fiendishly difficult action platformer inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and classic horror.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,073 reviews)
Release Date: Aug 29, 2012

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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.

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
12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
An excellent addition to the "hard but fair" platformer genre. The save system is a meter that fills up based on performance and which lets you put save points wherever you like. It's genius. The art direction and character designs are great and it's got a female protagonist. What more could you want?
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5 of 6 people (83%) 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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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
65.1 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
54.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
They Bleed Pixels is one of the coolest 2D action\platformers I've seen in the last few years. It's a bit short, yet it compensates with a high replayability of the levels, which are meant to be beaten over and over in order to get the highest rank and unlock all the secrets. The combo system is simple yet functional, and the jumps require extreme precision and timing. Level design in this sense is excellent, presenting hard but calculated sections, with no impassable or glitched spots - read: if you fail it's YOUR fault.
If you're into Lovecraft-inspired themes and pixel art you'll love this title, but beware: you're going to yell out all of your curses while playing it.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
If you like tough platformers this is definitely one of the best out there. I can't wait til they make a second one. I love the art style and the concept. My only complaint even though though it is super hard, was how short it is.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
Story: Quite ok. Definitely more than you'd expect from a sidescrolling jump and run. It's fitting the mood and doesn't slow down. Well done! :)

Gameplay: Amazing! It's fast, intense, slick, unvorgiving, and you feel responsible for every of your deaths! Plus, the checkpoint feature is genious! Learning curve is stable, too! More than solid gameplay! :)


Presentation: Sound, graphics and level all work together perfectly to set up the dark fantasy mood of the game.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
This game makes me cry myself to sleep at night because of how ♥♥♥♥ing hard it is.

10/10
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6 of 11 people (55%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
Developer is sadistic motherfuc*er... I hate this game...
10/10 will play again...
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
They Bleed Pixels is a great game.
It's challenging, it's fun, and it's art style is wonderous.
Everything is difficult and it's always your fault when you mess up... Mostly. *coughKnifeImps2-2cough*
It's worth a play if you're looking for something new & definitely something to get if you love challenges.
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2 of 4 people (50%) 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 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
11.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
A cruel and unforgiving platformer this game strives to drive you absolutely mad. This is not for the easily enraged. One of my favorite indie titles.
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21 of 42 people (50%) 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 reviews 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 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
1.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
great platformer
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1 of 3 people (33%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 18
its not perfect just because the music is ~~~~~~~~-------->>>>!!!♥♥♥♥!!!<<<<---------~~~~~~~~
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
12.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 6
good game
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2 of 7 people (29%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Cons: Floaty controls. Infodump tutorial levels. Limited viewport. Combo system fails to register randomly.

Pros: It has a really nice looking menu.


This game seems closer in spirit to IWBTG than any of the better precision platformers. Its difficulty is more about fighting the poor design than finessing your way through. Do not recommend.
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1 of 6 people (17%) found this review helpful
2.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
The hardest games I've ever play. It's unfair games. I call it death simulator 2014.
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0 of 4 people (0%) found this review helpful
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
The control is floaty and sometimes completely ignores what you you press and it get's mercilessly hard as fast as possible
the music is good
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3.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
Amazingly fun and hilarious.
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2.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Incredibly difficult game that throws rock-hard walls of challenges at you. If you think the tutorial mission was hard than you'll have a brain aneurysm in just a few levels after that.
The combat feels pretty good once you get used to it, kind of a shame that you can't go "all out" on enemys because levels are covered with all sorts of spikes and traps, so you can't really concentrate on the combos because you have to worry about other things.
This game is also a platformer, and sadly it's controls are not as smooth as, say, Super Meatboy and the game likes to pull out bs, like hiding traps just out of your field of view. Now some might say "look before you leap" and, in this game, that is indeed what you have to do; but their's a reason Super Meatboy gives you such a large viewing area, so you don't have to break game flow by having to stop and check EVERY pitfall & hole before you drop down it. So playing a level becomes a tedious exercise in trial and error after a while.
If I have one major complaint: it's the lack of "built-in" checkpoints in the level. The ability to fill up a meter to create our own checkpoints is a nice idea, but if the point spawns in a bad place, then you might as well start the level over. I'd love it if their was an option to respawn at a player made checkpoint or one in the level that may be farther back, but at least I'd know it was safe.
But, despite my gripes, I still like the game. It's artstyle is charming and the gameplay takes some getting used to, but I'm willing to push through that barrier and really get into what the game has to offer.

TL;DR: The games "flowing" combo fighting doesn't really mesh well with it's clastrophobic & spike filled level design and this isn't helped by having a limited view of the level & having to stop and swing the camera around to search for hazards before continuing onward. But if you can get past that, the games has it's charms. 8.5/10
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