They Bleed Pixels is a fiendishly difficult action platformer inspired by H.P. Lovecraft and classic horror.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (33 reviews) - 84% of the 33 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (1,674 reviews) - 88% of the 1,674 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 29, 2012

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy They Bleed Pixels

Packages that include this game

Buy They Bleed Pixels Collector's Edition

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

Downloadable Content For This Game

 

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 (33 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (1,674 reviews)
Recently Posted
Znipper
( 3.8 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
I CAN'T I JUST ♥♥♥♥ING CAN'T I-
Helpful? Yes No Funny
BerryLovely
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Posted: May 23
Very fun game, it is VERY RAGE INDUCING....almost scratched my cheek when i got upset with level 2 >.>. The game is fun, the controls are fine you basically use z for jump, x for attack and the arrow keys. But you can modify them to however you like, idk why ppl are ♥♥♥♥♥♥ about the controls they are fine. The game overall is challenging so i'm glad they have a checkpoint system going on.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
AlexanderRandoms
( 12.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
10/10 I would die in the same place again and again and again and probably again
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Evilnapkin
( 1.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 22
Controls aren't very fluid and the soundtrack is pretty flat. Not digging the stage design much either.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Loquacious Opisthocomus Hoazin
( 3.6 hrs on record )
Posted: May 20
There is a bonus level in this game called... It's called They Bleed Ponycorns. And it's narrated by a little girl.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Lionheart
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 19
This is an amazing game. I would elaborate further, but unfortunately, I already made a review before my client crashed. Still here are some good characteristics: Music, Storyline, Color Palette, F*king ACTION EVERYWHERE. GOOD JOB SQUID!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
VirgoBro96
( 0.2 hrs on record )
Posted: May 18
It kept launching with a blank screen. I was told to change the configuration and I ended up with a tiny window that constantly crashed. Completely unplayable.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SmaugBaggins
( 5.4 hrs on record )
Posted: May 16
One of the best Indie Platformers I have ever played. I absolutelly love the combo system It makes kill feel really satisfying, The Sprite work is really nice and clean and the level design in amazing. Steam says i have 5 hours on it but i have played atleast 32-48 hours offline also. It is well worth the money you pay for it if you enjoy platformers.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
gourry.gabrief
( 12.3 hrs on record )
Posted: May 11
Very fun and reactive platform game. I was expecting something really hard, like dustforce (except for its very easy beginner levels), but I could progress without much problem. I started to struggle only at chapter 4. The checkpoint system and the good controls makes it fun instead of frustrating. Like Super Meat Boy, it's a game you get better with your own skills (no ingame power up, only you get better). I really like the cute gothic cartoon style, pixel or not, combined with the gore Lovecraftian background.

About the controls, there are however some times where the game doesn't feel responsive. I can't tell if it's my pad, my system or the game itself (which purposely punish those who spam the buttons, and it's a good idea), but I died lot of times at some places because I didn't jump even though I pressed the button. For the attacks, it's a bit random which one is triggered but I guess I'm still learning.

The soundtrak is very enjoyable, and of course very 8-16 bits like.

Overall I have a very positive impression of this game. Those who like super meat boy will most probably like this one too.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Credo
( 7.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
Really bad controls. Uses hardly any buttons, but stacks functions on the buttons is does use.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
AkenoDaBest
( 4.1 hrs on record )
Posted: May 8
This game is a fun and challenging game, its hard at first but when you get used to the to the gameplay it be comes easier.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MrJibs
( 10.7 hrs on record )
Posted: May 2
This game made me want to punch my monitor, but it's good.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
What Would Spock Do
( 3.4 hrs on record )
Posted: April 30
Challenging, but in a fun way. There are frequent save spots (at least so far for me), the controls are simple and mechanics work well, and the blood shuffling about when my character walks is a nice touch. Also cute artwork.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Etchasketch
( 15.3 hrs on record )
Posted: April 29
My wrists bleed pixels.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tibbles the Tickler
( 4.0 hrs on record )
Posted: April 24
In this pixelated slaughterfest, you stab, cut, and mutilate your way though various well designed stages. The platforming itself is smooth, which was an instant +. The Lovecraftian vibe this game gave off also another instant +. The game itself is quite challenging, which is always apprieciated.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Reverse Equinox
( 7.8 hrs on record )
Posted: April 18
Fun and challenging game!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
LexicanaFrost
( 0.7 hrs on record )
Posted: April 14
Been playing this game for an hour. It's simple, gory, and mesmerizing all at the same time.




Only complaint would be those freaking spike things that pop up. Touch that even a little and you go sailing into something that'll kill you pretty much instantly.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ember1654
( 0.6 hrs on record )
Posted: April 11
Another great platform game.
10/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Kirito lord of noobs
( 5.2 hrs on record )
Posted: April 8
I think it's pretty good, hard like super meat boy but has alot more going on in terms of combat mechanics (which isn't hard considering super meat boy has none) but is just as frustrating and rip your eye balls out annoying as SMB

But then again I'm not sure cause this game isn't easily optimised for my low end 80's phone computer. SMB however is playable for sometime till it burns out my fan output.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 11
Very fun and reactive platform game. I was expecting something really hard, like dustforce (except for its very easy beginner levels), but I could progress without much problem. I started to struggle only at chapter 4. The checkpoint system and the good controls makes it fun instead of frustrating. Like Super Meat Boy, it's a game you get better with your own skills (no ingame power up, only you get better). I really like the cute gothic cartoon style, pixel or not, combined with the gore Lovecraftian background.

About the controls, there are however some times where the game doesn't feel responsive. I can't tell if it's my pad, my system or the game itself (which purposely punish those who spam the buttons, and it's a good idea), but I died lot of times at some places because I didn't jump even though I pressed the button. For the attacks, it's a bit random which one is triggered but I guess I'm still learning.

The soundtrak is very enjoyable, and of course very 8-16 bits like.

Overall I have a very positive impression of this game. Those who like super meat boy will most probably like this one too.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 16
One of the best Indie Platformers I have ever played. I absolutelly love the combo system It makes kill feel really satisfying, The Sprite work is really nice and clean and the level design in amazing. Steam says i have 5 hours on it but i have played atleast 32-48 hours offline also. It is well worth the money you pay for it if you enjoy platformers.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: April 30
Challenging, but in a fun way. There are frequent save spots (at least so far for me), the controls are simple and mechanics work well, and the blood shuffling about when my character walks is a nice touch. Also cute artwork.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 8
This game is a fun and challenging game, its hard at first but when you get used to the to the gameplay it be comes easier.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
10.7 hrs on record
Posted: May 2
This game made me want to punch my monitor, but it's good.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 90 days
12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
Recommended
8.5 hrs on record
Posted: March 11
A very challenging platformer with good controls. Not a casual game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
5.4 hrs on record
Posted: March 12
They Bleed Pixels is a 2D Action/Platformer in where we take control of a young orphan girl that finds a mysterious book which slowly begins to transform her into a monster. She is then transported to a world within the book in where there are other monsters all wanting to kill you. Being a monster now, the girl is just as capable of brutally murdering them as they are at harming her. You have a basic attack, a dash attack and a kick that sends enemies flying through the air. You'll rarely just be button mashing as this game is more about using the hazards in the environment to your advantage rather than actual combat with your foes. Killing them in stylish ways will earn you more points which in turn will fill up your checkpoint meter that will allow you to place a checkpoint at a safe place of your choosing by simply standing still for a few seconds when the meter is full.

The real threat to you will be the environments as this nightmare world is filled to the brim with pointy objects like spike and floating saw blades. Usually you are able to take three hits before death from whatever harms you unless you fall on a spike and are impaled. Saw blades will be your worst foes as their hit-boxes are rather large and being scraped by one will send you bouncing all around the place like if you were a pinball, annoyingly enough. Starting up the game you have the options of picking either Normal or Novice difficulty. Novice difficulty makes the game far easier as well as removes the leader-boards, most of the games collectibles and the final mission of the game won't be accessible in this mode. Normal is far more difficult than it implies and I was happy just being able to get through a level, much less worry about collecting any of the secret pages or other collectibles set in hard to reach locations.

They Bleed Pixels is an extremely hard game and even if it only continues 11 missions in the story mode it will take you longer than you may expect as you cover the stage in your blood as you die repeatedly. There are no lives or anything of the sort so you are free to try as much as you like and with the addition of being able to set checkpoints wherever you please you'd think it would be a simple task but nothing can be further from the truth. Setting checkpoints requires quite a large area for it to be considered as a safe place to set it, though even immovable saw-blades can deem an area unsafe causing you to pinpoint just the right angle which seems a bit unnecessary. You can exit the game at any time and the next time you choose that level you can load up on the last checkpoint that you set meaning that you can rage quit a level without losing any progress but the leader-boards will be disabled now.

As you fight and maim your way across the level blood will be spraying everywhere from your defeated foes. The blood in this game is plentiful and will splatter across the environments in a satisfying fashion. Unfortunately the combat system itself is rather abysmal. All the attacks are tied to one button for some reason and accidentally triggering the dash attack was the lead cause of my death throughout. Even then it just doesn't feel right as it is difficult to connect your attacks and when you stay your ground it is impossible to harm them as you default to harmless kicks which can be problematic when there are no hazards to toss them to or when you are fighting a more powerful foe. Other than the basic enemies with stretchable limbs you will also be facing ghosts which can obviously phase through the environments, flying foes that will hurl themselves toward you and a short fella that jumps around with a giant blade. There is a lot of variety within the enemies which is no doubt a good thing but with the combat system in this game it is just a painfully awkward to face them.

In a game that requires pinpoint precision and has everything placed in a way to kill you stopping to fumble about with an enemy really breaks the flow. After finishing three levels you are rewarded with a cut-scene that reveals more of the story as well as gives you a key in which you can unlock some fan art in the extras menu. The story is there just for the sake of it and doesn't really add or detract from the game. In the extras menu you will find 150 badges that challenge you to do certain things and will take quite a while to complete if you are into that kind of thing, a decent amount of really nice fan art to unlock and five extra levels to play through. These levels are quite different visually from the normal campaign ones and are pretty well done.

Music is pretty solid across the board though I personally found none of it to be particularly memorable. Graphics are pretty simple with all the environments just being black blocks but having a different background each level so it doesn't get stale. The camera is just right and you never feel cheated due to something you didn't see coming. All in all it is a good game that is sure to challenge even the most hardened of gamers. It will constantly have you wanting to punch something but it is fair enough that it will keep you playing for “one more try”. While the combat part of They Bleed Pixels is sub-par, kicking an enemy into a saw-blade and watching the blood physics work their magic is impressive enough to make it less of a hassle. If you are looking to grow some gray hairs or brag about your gaming skills this would be an excellent title to do so.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 27
TL;DR Version: Understand that you are not going to play this game for a complex story. Or a great reward at the end. You are going to play this for the feeling of acomplishment after being done with this game. Because honestly- that's the best thing you'll get.


Long Version:
...
...
...
...
...
F.uck you, Spooky Squid Games. F.uck you for that ending level- I never raged so hard at a game before.
...
...
...
...
...
...
But god damnit is this a great game.
They Bleed Pixels (AKA PIS5! CUN7! B1TCH! AAAAASS!) is a platforming game developed by Spooky Squid Games heavily influenced by lovecraftian horror (please take notice that the reviewer has never read any of H.P. Lovecraft's books) and old hard as balls NES games. To quote a review of Dark Souls: "You will DIE. A LOT."

Story follows a young unnamed girl who I named Lily (why? I don't know honestly, it kind of fits to me), who's dropped at "Lafcadio Academy for Troubled Young Ladies" private school. One day Lily finds a weird book in the library, and begins to read it in the evening. In her following dreams she dreams of being a weird demon hybrid of herself disfiguring other monsters in worlds like out of the head of H.P. Lovecraft. However, in the morning she finds that her dreams are starting to affect her. I won't tell more about the story, but let me tell you, don't expect any MGS or Mass Effect depth of story.

Gameplay consists of the dreams Lily finds herself in. While her control scheme might seem really simple at the beginning, you'll find (either to your aproval or disaproval) that the difficulty of the game is not at all in the controls, but in player's SKILL of using them and the ENVIROMENT around you.
The levels will start out relatively easy, but will end up being hard as all hell unleashed (especially the last level. OH GOD THAT LAST LEVEL...).
The checkpoint mechanic in the game is really neat: your combos and points you gather throughout the levels fill up a special meter at your disposal. When full, you can make your OWN checkpoints anywhere... AS LONG as it is on solid ground, and in a certain distance from enemies or traps.
Other than that, this game does NOT hold your hand: traps differ from short spikes that take away one of three hit points you have per life, long INSTA-KILL spikes, to buzzsaws that are annoying when there's one but are complete and f.ucking AS.SHOLES in groups.
Enemies come in four/five types (the game does not give them names so I made up my own [EDIT: THE GAME DOES GIVE THEM NAMES IN THE ACHIEVEMNTS]):
Walkers: slow guys that attack you with extendable blades and block after you hit them a few times. Around 6-8 HP, not sure.
Squids: small flying squids that charge you like bullets. Annoying during hard platforming sections. 1 HP.
Gremlins: little guys armed with either swords or bombs. 1 HP
Bomb variant: Suicide bombers. They charge you and try to explode close to you so they can blow you up. Can be useful in fights to kill more enemies at once.
Sword variant: these guys are hard to kill, and are never a good sign, ESPECIALLY in small corridors where you can't jump. Best disposal method is to jump and use the downards attack while they are on the ground. The problem is that they know this attack as WELL, and love to use it. Only positive thing about them is their low HP.
Samara: oh god no. This ghost with long hair is here to do one thing, and one thing only: RUIN YOUR EFFIN' DAY. She is relentless, can fly through walls, has 7 HP, and teleports if you attack her with more than two times in a row. Method of survival: find a piece of ground without traps, and deal with her on ground. YOU CANNOT KILL HER IN AIR. I TRIED. AND THE DAMN LAST LEVEL OF THE GAME MAKES YOU FIGHT THREE OF THEM IN A ROW, WHILE CLINGING TO A WALL OVER A PIT OF F.UCKING BUZZSAWS AND SPIKES. WITHOUT A CHECKPOINT. GOOD LUCK AS.SHOLE.
A nice thing is that levels actually resemble their respective background- for example, one level looks like a giant grandfather clock from the inside- huge gears and such. The actual platforms you'll be jumping on will be gears as well. And this counts for all levels. Nice detail.
The game offers two difficulties- Novice, which is kind of the same as Normal, but with the exception that you can't access the last level of the game (AND FOR GOOD REASONS), and you only have to finish the level in order to move on.
Normal difficulty. That's where the shi.ts at. Only here will your progress be tracked, and only here can you get achievents for such things as combos, enemies killed with one attack, etc. Here you can access the last level (which I mentioned a few times already). Here you also get an optional objective: collect the secret Book of Blades pages scattered throughout the level (6/level). At the beggining, like with the levels themselves, they are... well not easy but let's say not as hard as it may seem. But later... The first problem is that sometimes you run through a level, realize you do not have 2-3 pages, and your initial reaction is "WHERE IN THE DAMN HELL COULD THEY BE!?!?". Yes, sometimes, even finding them can be hard. And in the later levels, getting them is not a challenge anymore- it's a damn suicide mission.

I have to mention the last level.
OH. MY. GOD. If you are not prepared, this level will F.UCKING DESTROY YOUR MIND. It will throw every obstacle you had to endure at you, with a god damn fighting marathon at the end. AND THAT'S NOT EVEN THE HARDEST PART. THE HARDEST PART IS THE ONE WITH THE ELEVATING PLATFORM SHORTLY BEFORE IT- IT MADE ME RAGE SO HARD, I LITTERALLY ALMOST RIPPED MY HAIR OUT IN FRUSTRATION.

BUT GOD DAMN IT IS IT A GREAT GAME.
This is one of the games that gives you the determination to go on, to try just one more time, and never give up. The kind of game that makes you celebrate just getting through a tough part. The kind of game that makes you sattisfied with your relentlessness at the end of the level. The moment I finished that god forsaken level was one of the best moments I ever experienced in a game.

The pixel art and graphics are really great and original, one of the best I've seen in a while.
The music is awesome and I'm considering buying the OST, although it's not my type of music.

...Sigh... But do I recommend this game?
I want to, I REALLY WANT TO... but this is a kind of game that only the hardcore fans of platforming will enjoy. Altough I fell in love with the game, I can't deny my rage that made me ragequit several times before finishing it.
... But I finished it. Two times in fact.(both difficulties) I can't say that about other games I like more and don't frustrate me as much.

...I RECOMMEND IT.
Understand that you are not going to play this game for a complex story. Or a great reward at the end. Or some epic boss fight at the end (No bosses in this game). YOU are going to play this game, so that when you are done, you can pat yourself on the back and say "I beat They Bleed Pixels.". No great celebration. No big reward. Only you. Your pc. and the glorious feeling of acomplishment after beating that god forsaken final level.

I realise that I haven't said everything about the game (Concept art unlocks, Bonus levels...), but It's currently 2:12 AM in my country, and I just finished the game, and felt the need to write this review.

Great job Spooky Squid Games. But seriously- F.UCK you for that last level


They Bleed Pixels: 8/10

Now if you'll excuse me, my bed is calling me. AND I BETTER NOT BE GOD DAMN CTHULHU WHEN I WAKE UP!!!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 26
Pros:
+ Very hardcore
+ Level design is superb
+ Pleasant graphics and music
+ Grim atmosphere
+ High replayability
+ Lots of achievements
+ The main character is a cutie :3

Cons:
- The controls might be a bit stiff at times
- No actual story (but do we need one here anyway?)

Now THAT is what you call a hardcore platformer. Beating all the levels is one hell of a challenge but there are also some side missions for each of them like "collect all the pages" or "complete the level in a short amount of time". But it's need to be mentioned that though the game is hardcore it's also very fair, it's not the IWBTG kind of hard. There's nothing unbeatable here, no unexpected traps or something, for the most part everything depends on your reactions, gaming experience and level knowledge. After you successfully beat the stage you may try your hand at getting achievements for completing side missions, the replay value is very high and it's just as much fun as beating the level for the first time.
Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 8
From the very little progress I've made in this game (its SUPER hard, so mind that), I've actually had fun despite the occasional enraging moment. It's a pretty solid platformer and an ok beat 'em up (though sometimes the 1 button fighting gets annoying when you do the wrong moves).

I can't really fault it for being hard, because there were several places on the store page which alluded to its difficulty. I guess I just didn't fully grasp what they meant by RIDICULOUSLY ♥♥♥♥ING HARD, though in retrospect I have no idea how.

My one compaint is the grading system. The levels are long and arduous ordeals which really beat up inexperienced players like me (sometimes even on novice), and the satisfaction of beating them feels lessened by the C that I get as a grade. The grades are a reflection of your kills, deaths, time taken, and save sigils cast. I, bad player that I am, performed...poorly in most of these categories, so I got low scores. This is obviously because of my lack of skill, but it still just felt insulting to have to face a letter grade reflection of the traumatic experience I just went through (I think I'll pass on Super Meat Boy, thanks).

Despite this, If you're a skilled platformer or are willing to put in the time to become one, then you will like this game. All of my problems with it are really a reflection of me, so I have no real reason not to recommend it. It's a very good game.

but jesus christ is it hard.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 7 people (71%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 14
Basically, Super Meat Boy + Gore + Lovecraft = Fantastic platformer game!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
20.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 12
THIS GAME KILLED MY SANITY it was so difficult that if you beat this game on standard your basicly god no amount of 360 no scopes or quick scopes or what ever you do in a game will ever make you as godly as beating this game and by the time you finish the game you still lose because you beat it but in return your sanity is gone, your being is gone, your life is gone, you have nothing left just a hollow shell of what used to be you but the you that you know is long dead..........................but this game was awsome it was the hardest game i ever played but its fun all through the end till i beat it..........when your not loseing your sanity.......
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 18
Fun and challenging game!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
22.7 hrs on record
Posted: March 22
yeah its alright
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.2 hrs on record
Posted: March 23
It's a really good but also brutaly hard game. If you like a challenge, this is for you.

It works with the Xbox controller, but you have to turn on the controller befor you start the game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: April 4
You will smash your gamepad. And this game is more about jump then fight :(
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 180 days
25 of 25 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
33.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 21
They Bleed Pixels is a challenging wall jump platformer, with a satisfying unique premise, quality combat and engaging mechanics.

You control a presumably troubled student at the Lafcadio Academy for troubled girls. She stumbles across a magical book that makes you have wild dreams involving a few strangely horrific creatures, several bloody spikes, and an ever present number of saws. The book also has glowing bits and pages that not only are missing, but found inside said dreams. Take heed of any such events that occur in reality, as these are not normal behaviors for books or their pages.

Through mysterious circumstance you have grown claws, which is so awesome that we will refer to this character as clawgirl. Also you become purple, which is a color associated with royalty, Roman Emperors, plums, and according to the Simpsons is itself a fruit. Clawgirl now likes to claw and kick levers and assorted Eldritch horrors, as she navigate your fun dream world with silky mechanics and enough cool moves to enjoyably and reliably get the job done. These moves include the downward thrusting fall, the slide on the floor, and the rat-a-tat-tat hit-you-in-the-air maneuvre. A clever mechanic in this game is the check point system, as a new checkpoint can be placed down whenever a sufficient amount of combo bar has been activated, where combo can be gained by elegantly and rhythmically dismantling opponents, or picking up little globules of blood that are scattered around the world as if left by a crime spree in space. On occasion this has led to taking perhaps a more difficult path to simply save earlier to avoid redoing portions of a level.

The levels involve clawgirl moving from the beginning to the end in what is often a circuitous and meandering path. You accumulate pints, in opposition to the classic of points and referencing the games appreciation of blood. There's a fair amount of pixely blood in this game, and it's always fun. Most of it will be spilled by you of course, especially if you intend to complete the challenges for each level of gathering the grim harvest of all the blood pickups, or the 6 book pages on each level. The blood pickups mostly involve a finesse of controls to navigate while collecting them all, serving to increase the overall number of jumps, and occasionally up the difficulty of those jumps. The pages are of significantly higher challenge for the level, serving to provide interesting navigations that can intrigue or frustrate, depending on your underlying psychological dispositions.

The game plays out over a prologue, three chapters with three levels each, and an ending sequence. These will take a fair amount of time to beat for players of most skill levels, with a significant ramp up in difficulty over the course of the game. There are also a number of created levels for those with more voracious appetite for content.

The graphics of this game involve a pleasant pixelated layer upon which the game mechanics plays out, and a fascinating background layer that is often quite a surreal, tesselated treat. The music is of a high bit-sound quality, fitting the grim aesthetic of the game and is sufficiently varied that it never wears on your soul with repetition.

This is a well made platformer that will entertain grizzled veterans of the genre with its challenging, engaging dynamics and delightful Lovecraft inspired aesthetic. Non-afficianados may find themselves frustrated with the difficulty, and leaving after a few levels, but not after spending sufficient time with the game to justify its purchase.

This review provided in accordance with international treaties established in accordance with all applicable sovereign entities. This review produced sans collaboration with Lovecraft; with thanks for his admittance of seminal literary works into the public domain. Review provided via the Original Curator Group
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
3.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2015
I'm too frustrated to write a real review, so here are the highlights:

* It's hard.
* The art style and the protagonist are charming. The art also helps keep the level design unconfusing.
* It's hard.
* The controls are simple and tight. You might need a bit to get used to them, but by the third level you'll probably have come to grips quite well. Combat is pretty fun.
* You will die. A lot.
* The enemies and obstacles provide plenty of variety, and the game is short enough that I wager nothing gets stale.
* Seriously, buy an extra controller before you snap your current one in two from rage.
* The music is good, as are the sound effects. The PC screams upon death, but it's not an annoying scream.
* I have mentioned it's hard, yes?

10/10 would get my ♥♥♥ kicked by mini-pixel-Cthulu again.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
27 of 43 people (63%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 22
This game focuses on being a difficult platformer and does it well. There's no real plot, story, character depth or anything else here, it's all about the platforming. The game would be good if not for 2 big problems.

Firstly, the buzzsaws. The hit detection on them is awful. You don't have to touch them to get hurt by them, the game seemingly decides at random whether you touched one or not. This wouldn't be a huge issue except that every time you touch one, it sends you flying across the room into something that will kill you right off or into something else that will send you flying across the room into something that finishes you off. Essentially, touching any buzzsaw is a death sentence, especially in the later stages. This becomes frustrating when you seemingly get killed or get past them by random chance rather than skill.

Secondly, the controls. Every attack is controlled by one button/key (I used a controller, but you still use one key for all attacks if using the keyboard), and the game often gets confused by what you're trying to do, which inevitably leads to your death. Using a controller, pressing B does a kick that sends enemies flying sideways. Holding B does a kick that sends enemies straight up in the air. Pressing left/right and B at the same time does a dash attack. Holding left/right and pressing B does your claw attack. Holding left/right for a second or two and pressing B does your dash attack as well. See the problem yet? Too many times, you press right/left and B meaning to do a claw attack and you do a dash attack. Other times, you press them at the same time and it does a claw attack instead of a dash attack. Sometimes you hold in left/right for a second or two and press B and it will do a dash attack, sometimes it does a claw attack. Sometimes you let go of left/right and press B trying to kick and it does a claw attack instead. Sometimes you hold right/left and press B and it does a kick instead. You're essentially at the mercy of whether the game decides to do the attack you wanted or not.

Wall jumping is also an issue. You can double jump from the ground in the game. You can also attach to walls if you go toward them. If you jump off a wall, you may jump again midair. If you fall off a wall, you get a single jump to use midair. In order to jump off of a wall in the opposite direction (Which you will do constantly in the game), you must press the opposite direction and the jump button at the same time. This will give you the intial gain in height from the wall jump, plus another jump in midair to get to where you have to go. The problem is that the game can't tell whether you're jumping off a wall in the opposite direction, or falling off of it. If you press the opposite direction of a wall, you will fall off of it instantly. So, if you do not press the opposite direction of the wall and the jump button at the exact same milisecond, the game will interpret it as you wanting to fall off the wall. This inevitably leads to your death when you're trying to double jump off of a wall to some platform, and you press the jump button but you're now out of jumps, as the game interpreted your jumping off the wall as you deciding to fall off the wall. There needs to be some sort of delay for falling off the wall... or how about this? How about simply allowing the player to assign a different button for falling off the wall. I should be able to hold in the opposite direction to get ready for my jump without the game deciding that it means I want to fall off of the wall to my death. There are too many deaths caused by this, which again is decided by random chance rather than skill.

Lastly, wall attaching. The game seemingly decides at random whether you want to attach yourself to a wall or not. Sometimes I'll be right next to a wall wanting to attach to it, and it won't attach. Other times, I'll jump in the direction of a wall, not touch it, and the game will still decide I touched it and wanted to attach to it. Other times, I'll fall off a wall trying to fall straight down and the game will re-attach me to the wall, even though I never pressed a button in that direction. Other times, you'll fall straight down perfectly fine. Again, this inevitably leads to your death through random chance rather than skill.

A good game ruined by terrible controls, not much more to say about it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
20 of 33 people (61%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 9
Nope. Bought this game on a whim a while ago because it looked like a difficult platformer, and I'm crazy, so I love that ♥♥♥♥! Anyway, I spent a little bit of time with it and I hate it. Can't even bring myself to finish it, which is the first time I've ever done that with a Steam game.

The first problem was that I couldn't even get the game to start. After some fiddling, I found out I had to lower my computer's resolution to 1024x768 just to get the game to work. Trying to change the in-game resolution to 1920x1080 did nothing, as the game suddenly stopped recognizing input from my Xbox controller after I switched it and it asked me to press A before it reverted back to 1024x768. Goodie.

But technical problems aside, I'll tell you why I really hate the game. It's not the art, the music, or the level design. It's the controls and core gameplay mechanics. If you're going to make a difficult 2D platformer, the first thing you have to do is nail the controls. In this kind of game, if you don't have good controls, you have nothing. I'm going to use Super Meat Boy as an example, because in my opinion that's the most comparable and best indie 2D platformer not called Limbo.

Super Meat Boy is an example of a 2D platformer done right. Tough as nails, but the difficulty comes from the level design, not the controls. The basic control mechanics are very simple and work well. Meat Boy moves, hold a button and he runs, he jumps, he slides down a wall if he's pressed against it, and he can jump off a wall. Simple. Meat Boy can have extreme lateral jumping movement, but once you get the feel for it, you're in control.

My entire time playing They Bleed Pixels, I felt like I wasn't in control. You can double jump in this game, starting either from the ground or from a wall. But there were so many times when I would jump off a wall and press A to jump again, only to have my character not jump and fall to her death. This caused me great confusion and I figured out that it was because I pushed the thumbstick away from the wall a split second before I pressed the jump button, causing my character to come off the wall without me noticing before I jumped. Because you can only jump once when you're already in the air, I pressed the jump button, thinking I was jumping off the wall and that I had another one at my disposal, but in actuality, I was using my only in-air jump. Meat Boy only has one jump, which you can only do from a surface. But wall jumping in Meat Boy never causes this problem, because the designer implemented a half a second of delay in pushing the thumbstick away from the wall before Meat Boy actually comes off the wall. It's such a simple tweak, but it makes all the difference in the world, especially when half your game is jumping off walls.

The other big problem in They Bleed Pixels is that about half of the ground surfaces in the game are "icy", meaning you slide across them. The sheer number of these surfaces in the game is annoying enough; if you want to have a special section or two that has this, no problem, but it's literally throughout every level. To make matters worse, they don't even act like an icy surface in every other platformer ever made. In a normal platformer, you slide across an icy surface at a speed that matches your momentum. Eventually you'll start to slow down. If you try to move in the other direction while sliding, it will take an extra second or two to get your footing. If you maneuver the thumbstick properly, you can slow to a dead stop on the ice. Sound familiar? They Bleed Pixels chooses to handle this mechanic in a completely ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ way: You can slow down on the ice, but you can never completely stop, meaning if you're on an icy surface, you're always moving, so you have little time to decide where to go to next; if you jump straight up and fall straight down onto an icy surface with no sideways momentum, you will immediately slide at a quick speed in whichever direction you're facing upon landing. Again, these are very simple control issues that needed to be fixed before this game was released.

The checkpoint system is also ridiculous. You have a checkpoint meter that fills up when you kill enemies or collect orbs, and when it's full, you can lay down a checkpoint wherever you want. And what button do you press to lay your checkpoint? None! That's right, this game automatically does it for you after you stand still for a few seconds. But it won't lay the checkpoint down if there are any enemies or environmental hazards around you. Purple energy grows out of you in a circle to check your surroundings, and if the energy touches anything, it won't lay it down. The problem is there are always enemies and environmental hazards around you, considering the enemies chase you throughout the entire level. So while you're busy fighting enemies and trying to survive, this annoying purple glow keeps pulsing out of you and telling you that you can't use your checkpoint. This do-it-yourself checkpoint system devolves into only being able to lay down the checkpoint in special areas that purposely have no hazards or enemies. So why not have your checkpoint be a flag in one of these areas like every other game?

Anyway, difficulty in a game should come from navigating clever level designs and enemy encounters, not wrestling with the poor gameplay mechanics and systems.

tl;dr This game is almost as bad as Gone Home.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny