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They Bleed Pixels

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They Bleed Pixels is a Pleasurably Painful Way to Break In Steam's Big Picture ModeThe day Valve announced the availability of the television-friendly Big Picture Mode for Steam I hooked up my laptop to the PC, dug out my Bluetooth game controller, and began downloading Transformers: Fall of Cybertron.



I soon realized that download would take forever, and grabbed a 319 megabyte copy of Spooky Squid Games' beat-em up/platformer They Bleed Pixels. This was an incredibly good decision.



Big Picture Mode is a great opportunity for PC gamers that prefer the couch to kick the console habit and play the latest "AAA" titles, but more importantly it's a chance for the independent creators of gamepad-friendly games like They Bleed Pixels to rise to the fore. You can go make yourself a sandwich, read a book, or watch a season of TV on DVD while you download a big name title, or you can be up and running with a gem like this in minutes.



They Bleed Pixels is indeed a gem; a blood-red one that, if you look closely, is colored with your own vital fluids. It's the story of a young girl with razor-sharp claws exploring the Lovecraftian world of her nightmares. It's therapeutic, the way she tears into her enemies using simple one-button controls, kicking, tearing and air-juggling them to pieces while navigating some truly devious platforming levels.



I particularly love the game's checkpoint system. Rather than set locations, you collect magical orbs as you make your way through each level. Once you gather enough you simply find yourself a safe place, stand still, and fwoosh — instant checkpoint. Gathering that final orb after a particularly intense series of jumps is like making a first down in football, only you're a little girl with her hands dripping with blood. I'd watch that.



They Bleed Pixels is an unforgiving platforming experience, punishing you for each misstep with a shower of pixelated gore. The controls are incredibly tight too, so you know that when you screw up, it was definitely you that screwed up.







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They Bleed Pixels is the perfect way to introduce Steam to your television set. The retro graphics look gorgeous on my 46-inch Westinghouse, DJ Finish Him's creepy-cool soundtrack sounds amazing coming out of my sound bar (yes, I need to upgrade), and the punishment the game doles out is no less than I deserve for relegating wonderful experiences like this to the monitor screen for so long.



They Bleed Pixels — $9.99 [Steam]



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