They Bleed Pixels is a fiendishly difficult action platformer inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and classic horror.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (30 reviews) - 90% of the 30 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (1,735 reviews) - 88% of the 1,735 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 29, 2012

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

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Recent updates View all (5)

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
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (30 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (1,735 reviews)
Recently Posted
Wubba lubba dub, is that true?
20.9 hrs
Posted: August 29
People say this game is too hard, well its actually really easy, just use this strategy:
1. Get a gamepad, it helps a lot
2. Move the Scuttlebugs home, this will allow you to reach the block in level 666 in just half an A-press, now hit the block for 416 years, this will crash the game, once you reopen it you will have won.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
mining_t_dude
8.6 hrs
Posted: August 28
You get to kick enemies into spikes.

27/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rin Camelia
5.3 hrs
Posted: August 23
Product received for free
Fun, simple but enjoyable beat-em-up. If you enjoy eldritch horror platformers or brawling games, you'll probably play this for at least a weekend or two!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
aids
1.7 hrs
Posted: August 19
Things you need to properly play They Bleed Pixels:
1. A computer
2. A gamepad
3. A noose

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lars4Street
73.1 hrs
Posted: August 18
Just here upvoting the game because some people who downvote this because they are too bad at getting good ♥♥♥♥ me off.

This game is hard, unfortunately being a horror/gothic/lovecraftian fan alone is not enough to really enjoy this game, you probably will get mad and frustrated and likely to rage-quit, but if you are a fan AND you enjoy hardships, eldritch platforming and madness, you will love this. Still, this is not a reason for me to give it a negative vote, the game is great.

Things I liked most:

Pixel Art: They definitely bleed pixels, and they are very good at it, graphics and and specially blood effects look pretty, the protagonist appearance looks very stylish, and the overall design of things is really unique.

Gameplay mechanics: I like the way you control the girl and the moves she has available, dash, dive, dive cancel, double jump, etc, they really help you get through many bad situations when you master them. The same can be said for the fighting moves. Despite there are just a few of them, all are useful and serve a purpose.

Replayability: To complete the game 100% you have to collect Blood Badges which are obtained by either completing certain objectives, or by beating the levels in differentes ways, for example, finish the level with no deaths, finish it with X amount of points, finish the level with all pages collected, speedrun the level under a certain amount of time, etc, so even if you beat the game normally you can still go back to play the levels more times to get the unlockeables.

Difficulty: The game starts hard from the Prologue level, not that hard but enough to make you realize that the game will not be friendly, it will not get too insane until the last Dreams, so you will learn along the way how to handle things.

It was something like this for me:

D1: Medium
D2-1: Medium
D2-2: Medium
D2-3: Medium

D3-1: Medium-Hard
D3-2: Medium- Hard
D3-3: Hard

D4-1: Hard
D4-2: Hard
D4-3: Eldritch

Final Dream: Eldritch

There is also a "Novice Mode", which is good for practice if the standard difficult it is too tough for you, although you won't feel as accomplished, your best score and time won't be saved, you can't make it to leaderboards, you can't get any achievement besides the novice ones, and you won't be able to play the last level.

In this mode enemy behaviour remains the same as far as I can tell. The main structure of the levels is the same, but some parts are either totally removed or replaced with easier and simplified versions. Many enemies are also removed in some parts and some levers change their positions to more convenient places.

There are a couple of things I have mixed feelings though.

Music: DJ Finish Him did a decent enough job with the soundtrack, but in my opinion I think the music could have been better (in sound quality and composition), there are themes I enjoyed, but some others felt meh to me. For instance, Prologue Dream (Voracity) was pretty strong as an introduction to the world of They Bleed Pixels, I can say the same for the next 3 levels of Dream 2, then in Dream 3 the music gets lame (in my opinion of course one may think otherwise), then in Dream 4 there are nice themes again such as Gamine (D4-2). Also, the themes are short, and tend to become very repetitive, it lacks in variety.

The soundtrack in-game also lacks more quality in terms of instrumentation. I was suprised when I found out that within the soundtrack itself (the one you buy here) there is an Extended Mix of Scourge (D2-2) which has a much much better use of instruments than in the original, so I ask myself, why isn't music like that mix in the actual game? That was a disappointing, considering this is proof that the in-game soundtrack had the chance to be improved drastically.

Only running: The character moves at the same speed no matter how much you move the stick if you play with gamepad, It would have been much better if it had some kind of sensitivity so you can be more precise in your moves and have less chance to fail.

I needed to tell how I feel about this game, so that's why I wrote this. I may be updating this If I feel like I have anything else to say or if I need to rewrite something.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
trams
72.7 hrs
Posted: August 16
If you like mindblowingly difficult platformers, go ahead and play this. I mean seriously, 4,2% of all players made it all to the end of the main game, this game is brutal.

If you happen to be decent/good, you can easily get fairly high on the leaderboards too (top 50 is relatively easy), if that strikes your fancy. The ability to watch replays from the leaderboards is a very nice feature too. Although for speedrunning plays, nothing beats watching Squidclaws live speedrun at "Games Done Quick" on youtube, with live developer commentary and all.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
lekeoi
14.8 hrs
Posted: August 14
If you like having a ♥♥♥♥ so rock hard you could use it to demolish the twin towers instead of using American Airlines Flight 11 I reccomend this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Fred Fuchs
6.8 hrs
Posted: August 12
This game would be a lot better if the controls weren't hot garbage. I don't know why they tried to fit an entire combat system into one button, it would be a hell of a lot less unnecessarily difficult (and a lot more fun) if the attacks were spread over more buttons instead of them all being variations of one button.

The enemies are also not very fun to fight. Even though the description of the game says that "button mashing is discouraged," it's basically the only way to kill lots of enemies quickly. The big guys are just tanky sacks of meat that take ages to kill. The cthulhu heads just take potshots from miles away (and why, WHY are they invincible while shooting at you). The bomb guys are literally useless, so they don't even feel fun to fight. The knife guys and the ghosts are the only interesting enemies, but they ♥♥♥♥ed that up too by putting them in terrain where you can't fight them effectively.

Also, why in god's name is there like a 3 frame invincibility period that's SHORTER THAN THE KNOCKBACK PERIOD. It makes areas with spikes almost ALWAYS instakills. Why bother making you take 1 damage from spikes if you just get killed by them anyways?

It seems like the makers of this game spent a really long time making the assets to this game and then realized, "wait a minute, we still have to make a game!" so they hastily made a game around the assets they made. The art is cool, and the sound is meh for the most part, but the game is not very fun at all.

I wish it was a lot better.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
THE EGGHEAD SHOW!
20.3 hrs
Posted: August 9
It's alright but my biggest problem is the slow ♥♥♥ jumping.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Modz ♔
0.1 hrs
Posted: August 9
COOL
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
14 of 14 people (100%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 2
Bloody And Probably Smells Like Fish
- An Official Waffle King Review

~Find more here.

Platform Hell games are an incredibly popular genre. Super Meat Boy set a very high standard back when it released, and people have been trying to emulate its success for quite a while.


Improving on the formula is harder than copying it, though. What could be better than running really fast and dying all the time?


Well, have I got news for you. The formula has been changed. Passably. Running, jumping, and dying? Make room... For punching.


That's right. An entire new dimension has opened up. This is like discovering a new color that's the opposite of a mix of a slightly pinkish green and a deep purplish orange. Or maybe whatever the ♥♥♥♥ razzmatazz is, that's a crayon too. The game has changed, people.


They Bleed Pixels, an indie platformer available on Steam, combines the platformer hell action of games like Super Meat Boy with an entire Tumblr worth of A E S T H E T I C. And punching.


As a young girl named Strong Female Protagonist, you're thrust into a world of Lovecraftian horror and sharp minimalist pixel art to fend for your life against tentacles and very pointy things that are everywhere.


Graphically, They Bleed Pixels is stylish and sleek. A monotone black and white with accents of red form the foreground, contrasting sharply with the vibrant backgrounds. With PARALLAX SCROLLING.


PARALLAX SCROLLING.


That's a mark of the finest quality.


While the whole retro platformer pixel art thing has been done a million times, the style is executed tastefully and with enough of a unique spin to differentiate it from literally every other platforming game on Steam.


But the game's most defining feature is its snappy fighting system. They Bleed Pixels' combat is very space-oriented. You're capable of launching enemies horizontally or vertically with kicks, chaining combos with your punches and by use of the environment itself. The same spikes, saw-blades, and pikes that'll be maiming you can be used to kill your enemies.


Controlling space becomes essential in later levels, where enemies will start to condense into smaller areas with more obstacles in your way. Being able to effectively kick them around while dispatching them with speed and style is critical, as it will also determine how many times you have to die in the same spot over and over.


The checkpoint system is a little unique. A meter will build up as you combo and kill, and once it's full your character can cast a checkpoint by standing still. Which at first struck me as a weird mechanic, because I was concerned I'd cast it accidentally without meaning to. But the fast pace of the game actually lead me to forget about the checkpoints completely at times. Your score doubles as long as you keep your checkpoint meter full, so there's a strong risk-reward element to it, but I honestly just kept forgetting it was there and getting ♥♥♥♥♥♥ when I had to jump through razor-blade ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥t for the umpteenth time.


They Bleed Pixels' brutal nature is great and all, but it's also just full of ♥♥♥♥ at times. There's a point on the scale of fun to times you've died in the exact same spot because you failed to narrowly avoid a cluster♥♥♥♥ of murderous ghosts that won't let you wall-slide between two narrow walls with a saw-blade at the top waiting for a ♥♥♥♥ing timed door to open where the fun just... stops. Somewhere between seeing what the game is making you do and dying for the first time, realizing what the game is actually asking you to ♥♥♥♥ing do. That was not fun, let's not do that again Spooky Squid Games Inc., developers of beat'em up platformer video game They Bleed Pixels that was developed and released in August 2012 for Microsoft Windows via Steam. Let's never do that. Ever. ♥♥♥♥ing. Again.


There's a point where you need to stop, guys. And you passed it. They Bleed Pixels is a blast while it's good, presenting a spectrum of realistic levels to teach beginner skills and challenge those who've mastered them. And then somewhere towards the end that all goes to ♥♥♥♥, and it becomes a matter of seeing how much they can frustrate the player. If the controls were slightly more straightforward, it would probably be a little easier to forgive. But combat is tied to tapping and holding a single button for different moves. Failing to cross a spiky chasm because you normal attacked instead of dash attacked since they're both triggered by holding a direction and pressing the button is a problem. The game's failure to explain that you can quickly slide down walls by pressing down and getting me killed by ♥♥♥♥ing razors and ♥♥♥♥ over and over is a ♥♥♥♥ing problem. The fact that more than half the game is a ♥♥♥♥ing ice level is a huge ♥♥♥♥ing problem.


Ice levels are the absolute worst besides underwater levels and you should all be ashamed.


Wonky controls and hard games do not mix. There's a difference between the pain of hot, kinky sadism and the pain of stubbing your toe. That's not hot, that's frustrating and why I sometimes cry in the shower. They Bleed Pixels is like a virgin doing it with someone that says they're turned on by being rough. They're not sure how hard they should be hitting, and they're not even sure if they're doing it right, but they're trying their best.


If you can look past the couple nagging flaws, it's really put together quite nicely. It's not gonna dethrone Super Meat Boy as a truly genre-defining title, but if you have an itch for being super ♥♥♥♥ing ♥♥♥♥♥♥ about spikes, Strong Female Protagonist can jerk you off with her lobster claw fingers.


Don't judge, this is serious, some people get throbbing erections whenever they step foot into a Red Lobster. It's not a joke.


It's a life-threatening issue for people with seafood allergies.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
Try using a controller- it will make you want to kill yourself a little less.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: August 1
This is the kind of game you play if you remember the days of Contra, and had fun punishing yourself learning how to do everything, time everything perfectly. The feeling of accomplishment when you pull it off is immense. IMMENSE, and the nostalgia of the old days!.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
I think the stomach acids are starting to melt my skin due to stress and I think I'm internally bleeding, but hey, it's only pixels right?
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
73.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 18
Just here upvoting the game because some people who downvote this because they are too bad at getting good ♥♥♥♥ me off.

This game is hard, unfortunately being a horror/gothic/lovecraftian fan alone is not enough to really enjoy this game, you probably will get mad and frustrated and likely to rage-quit, but if you are a fan AND you enjoy hardships, eldritch platforming and madness, you will love this. Still, this is not a reason for me to give it a negative vote, the game is great.

Things I liked most:

Pixel Art: They definitely bleed pixels, and they are very good at it, graphics and and specially blood effects look pretty, the protagonist appearance looks very stylish, and the overall design of things is really unique.

Gameplay mechanics: I like the way you control the girl and the moves she has available, dash, dive, dive cancel, double jump, etc, they really help you get through many bad situations when you master them. The same can be said for the fighting moves. Despite there are just a few of them, all are useful and serve a purpose.

Replayability: To complete the game 100% you have to collect Blood Badges which are obtained by either completing certain objectives, or by beating the levels in differentes ways, for example, finish the level with no deaths, finish it with X amount of points, finish the level with all pages collected, speedrun the level under a certain amount of time, etc, so even if you beat the game normally you can still go back to play the levels more times to get the unlockeables.

Difficulty: The game starts hard from the Prologue level, not that hard but enough to make you realize that the game will not be friendly, it will not get too insane until the last Dreams, so you will learn along the way how to handle things.

It was something like this for me:

D1: Medium
D2-1: Medium
D2-2: Medium
D2-3: Medium

D3-1: Medium-Hard
D3-2: Medium- Hard
D3-3: Hard

D4-1: Hard
D4-2: Hard
D4-3: Eldritch

Final Dream: Eldritch

There is also a "Novice Mode", which is good for practice if the standard difficult it is too tough for you, although you won't feel as accomplished, your best score and time won't be saved, you can't make it to leaderboards, you can't get any achievement besides the novice ones, and you won't be able to play the last level.

In this mode enemy behaviour remains the same as far as I can tell. The main structure of the levels is the same, but some parts are either totally removed or replaced with easier and simplified versions. Many enemies are also removed in some parts and some levers change their positions to more convenient places.

There are a couple of things I have mixed feelings though.

Music: DJ Finish Him did a decent enough job with the soundtrack, but in my opinion I think the music could have been better (in sound quality and composition), there are themes I enjoyed, but some others felt meh to me. For instance, Prologue Dream (Voracity) was pretty strong as an introduction to the world of They Bleed Pixels, I can say the same for the next 3 levels of Dream 2, then in Dream 3 the music gets lame (in my opinion of course one may think otherwise), then in Dream 4 there are nice themes again such as Gamine (D4-2). Also, the themes are short, and tend to become very repetitive, it lacks in variety.

The soundtrack in-game also lacks more quality in terms of instrumentation. I was suprised when I found out that within the soundtrack itself (the one you buy here) there is an Extended Mix of Scourge (D2-2) which has a much much better use of instruments than in the original, so I ask myself, why isn't music like that mix in the actual game? That was a disappointing, considering this is proof that the in-game soundtrack had the chance to be improved drastically.

Only running: The character moves at the same speed no matter how much you move the stick if you play with gamepad, It would have been much better if it had some kind of sensitivity so you can be more precise in your moves and have less chance to fail.

I needed to tell how I feel about this game, so that's why I wrote this. I may be updating this If I feel like I have anything else to say or if I need to rewrite something.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 5
If your looking for a good hard platformer then this is a game for you. The game play is as simple as it is complex. It's simple because it uses easy machanics such as wall hoping/double jump and spike pits. So expect to jump from wall to wall just hardly managing to double jump over the spike pit.

Up/pro
You get killed alot but you have a large number of check points.
Getting killed and seeing your own corps.
Watching pixel blood flying everywere.
Simple animation
Clever use of traps and diverity of simple yet effective enimes.

Con/downer
"Bad control's" the game has a combo system that uses a knock up, knock back, dash, punch moveset. However all these are linked into one butten. If it had a third butten the controls would have been great for combos.
"Music," The game has only one song but when lowered you can drown it out with trying to figuer out how not to die.
Thinking this is going to be a easy game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 7
I want to enjoy this game, I really do. This review is written not because I'm upset, since I refunded it, but rather because I'm disappointed.

I don't know where to even start when describing exactly why this game is poor. Mismatched aesthetic, lazy enemy design, uninspired, confusing levels (which some people had the nerve to chalk it up to being a "lovecraftian maze" which it absolutely isn't), poorly implemented, unintuitive, frustrating combat mechanics, enemies that have too much health and simply aren't fun to fight.

It's not difficult, it's awkward. I wanted more from it, and it had nothing to give but more frustration with the mechanics.

5/10 - Do not waste your money on this. There are much better games out there, that this game in particular could learn from.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 19
Things you need to properly play They Bleed Pixels:
1. A computer
2. A gamepad
3. A noose

Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
295 of 345 people (86%) found this review helpful
46 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
299 of 392 people (76%) found this review helpful
75 people found this review funny
Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 27, 2013
Retro menstrual cycle simulator.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny