TBP is precision platformer with "one button" (also makes use of the directional keys) brawling and combo mechanics, also notable is a checkpoint system that allows the player to choose when and where to make a save point.
The look of the game is a retro pixel feast, I personally can't say no to anything pixelated and think it looks fantastic, more than enough definition to always be able to see what is going on around you, what is a baddie and what is a goodie.
Controls are very sharp and very simple to pick up, you only have to worry about directions, attack and jump. Attacks change based on if you are holding a movement key in a direction and if you are holding or tap. All in all there's a dash, a kick, a swipe, a launcher, an air juggler, a mid-air to ground dash, and a mid-air-combo swipe. Together these combine with the combo system and the environmental hazards, that chop up you and foes with equal fervor, to make huge pools of bleeding pixels and gibs that drip and bounce all over the beautiful place.
Spending your time double jumping or wall hanging over and around a million spikes or razor discs is a joy... once you finally make it. But there's no blaming the game for your 180 deaths and 60 minutes to get through a 5 minute level (yes, I saw your screenshot, well done you). Once you've mastered the systems of movement and figured out how to chain together huge combos, the real fluidity of the game unlocks and you are free to maneuver yourself to the top of the leader-boards.
Collecting orbs or killing baddies you fill you checkpoint meter, once full you can stand still and as long as there aren't any obstructions (bad guys, razor discs) you can create a check point to return to when you die.
There are no other check points so without these you will be zapped right back to the start of the level at death. Your character does have three hearts, getting hit by a baddie or touching an obstacle will cost you one, lose em and die, drop a check point and they refill and you can move on.
It's an interesting system but you can quickly see the only real difference between this and a standard checkpoint system is that the game is telling you where you can't check point instead of where you can, also as you become good at the combo system you can make almost constant check points, but your good enough at that point you wont need to or even want to as your score is doubled when you are holding a checkpoint but don't use it. The level recap screen also gives a bonus for not using any checkpoints at all!
Some fun extras are included for every 3 out of the 100 plus achievements you unlock you can unlock a piece of artwork, some concept, some photoshop manipulation, some original art post process, all very very well done and a treat for the eyes. If you pick up the collectors edition you also get the sound track to the game on your hard drive, which is also quite good. 10 hours already I'm totally not sick of it, it's even caught in my head a bit. Especially how it slows down a little as you die again and again.
The game may be a bit short on levels but at 9.99 and with so many actual achievement achievements and competitive leader-boards it generates a lot more value. Also included are two levels that have been re-skinned by other developers/game makers with more promised on the way as coming soon.
Again, They Bleed Pixels may not be for you... Do you like cursing? Do you break things or hurt family members feelings when you get angry in a game? Even if those things are true, the elation at completing a level and meeting a goal you set for yourself (like not dying or... only dying 10 times, or beating a speed run time) is what games like this are for, and this one does it quite well.
There will be pixels!
Posted: November 30th, 2013