Have you ever been so excited about a game release that you’ve started stalking the developers?
No? Us neither, but this is the closest we’ve ever got.
We first played this game at the 2014 Manchester Play Expo, and it quickly became a little competition between the UKGN guys as to who could finish the demo. Only months later we bumped into Lamplight Studios again at the Insomnia Gaming Festival and while under the influence of a small amount of beer (it was my stag do) the developers reignited the UKGN competition on the game.
The reason I used the word competition a couple of times is because you can't have a gaming competition without a game with a challenge, and that’s the best way I can describe this incredible platformer.
In A Pixel Story you play a character called Player, who has ended up in a surreal 8-bit gaming world where must tackle his way through the various challenges to escape each world. He has a magical hat to which you can teleport back to at any time, no matter where you place it. This allows for higher jumps as you can use springs to increase your momentum as you teleport back, and of course, leaving your hat behind if you think you might die in the next section.
As you progress through the game, you explore each area with the aim to collect the gems which are scattered around the world. Like all good platformers there are coins to collect as well, which are used to buy your way into the many challenge rooms, which we'll come back to later.
After you’ve done the tasks within the world and seen the fantastic characters, who reference everything from Sonic, Mario and Portal to Breaking Bad (but not Batman) you will be transported into the next generation of gaming, and what does the next gen bring? Better graphics, of course. They progressively get better through each generation all the way through the game.
Each generation has two worlds, with five challenge rooms in each. Now you’ve seen that I’ve mentioned challenge rooms, to me, this is what the game is all about! Imagine Super Meat Boy, only harder (although we made it look easy), with each challenge room themed around the world that you’re in. These can be rooms where you can't use your hat, where you have the hat or even using clones to complete some of the harder challenge rooms.
After finishing our review copy of the game getting 100% of the gems and finishing all challenge rooms (yes all, Lamplight if you’re reading this) you get extra modes including Challenge room Challenges where currently you get 5 lives per level to finish them all back to back, although I believe this may change before the 30th March release date.
My only gripe with this game is that upon finishing the game we found out we were missing only a couple of collectables and once you finish the game the developers have made it so you cannot go back into the levels to collect the remaining items. So we would have to complete the entire game over again to get the remaining couple of collectables! Even with this petty annoyance the replayability for the challenge rooms alone makes this game a must purchase for any PC gamer out there.
9 / 10
Reviewed By UKGN Pad on Monday 23rd March 2015
About the Review
Spent two, solid eight hour days reaching 100% completion. Including all challenge rooms - yes, even the one that the developers claimed was impossible!