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Indie Corner: Life of Pixel

Life of Pixel is an interesting indie game that takes you to a trip down memory lane. It takes you to the history of gaming and features some of the best-known gaming devices. It’s released on Wii U today and it’s definitely worth checking out.

A history lesson

In Life of Pixel, you control a single green pixel named, Pixel. Pixel wants to know more about his past and visits a gaming museum filled with old consoles. In order to truly understand where he came from, he enters the worlds of the old consoles to see why those consoles were so big back in their days. There are a total of thirteen playable consoles, all with their specific graphics. The first and oldest consoles offer simple and easy game but to more you advance in time, to more difficult en colorful the levels get. It’s really great for retro fans to see their favorite console coming back to life again but those who never played on old consoles will be charmed by the presentation without a doubt. The consoles range from Atari 2600 and ZX81 to the popular SNES and Game Boy. Every important retro console is playable and it’s really a nice trip down memory lane.

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Same goal, different atmosphere 

So what is your task in the game? Well it’s not that hard actually. The consoles serve as world, each including a total of eight playable levels. In these levels you’ll need to collect a certain amount of gems before you can unlock the door at the end of the level. The faster you do this, the better your score. The best times are posted on online leaderboard so you’ll always find a challenge. Best part about this system is that you never need to think about what you need to go, Life of Pixel is a classic platformer where you need to collect gems in order to advance.

As said before, this task starts rather easy thanks to the limited power of the older consoles but it gets challenging rather fast. As good old games should, Life of Pixel isn’t easy. There’s a lot of trial and error in the game, starting over level is something that will happen a lot. Most of the time, it’s a fair system but we felt out of the screen thanks to limited view as well. Missing a jump when one screen goes over to the next one isn’t fair at all. It’s a little ‘bug’ that can really start frustrating you. Aside of this, the controls are solid.

Solid controls

The controls really are solid and easy to understand. You move with you thumbstick and jump using the A-button. There’s an action button as well to speak to other characters but you don’t need that one that much. Pixel can also perform a double jump to reach the higher platforms. It’s really simple but it’s very precise. Pixel will always land where you want him to land (except when the screens do some weird stuff) and you always have the feeling you have full control over the little green square. No complaints at all when it comes to the controls, they work very well, as they should of course.

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Presentation is everything

Life of Pixel is a good platformer but wouldn’t be so good if the setting was different. By emulating older consoles, the game really brings something new to the table. Of course, it’s not the same as playing on the actual console since the quality of the graphics is a lot higher than the real thing. Life of Pixel emulates the old graphics but it’s as fluent as a modern game of course.

Although it’s an emulator, we were really impressed by the green and grey Game Boy setting and the Commodore 64 style. Those two styles really feel like the real deal and are incredibly fun. The other consoles also try to mimic the best and succeed in it as well. It’s a great setting for sure!

A lot of references

Aside of the graphics, the game is also filled with references to the old classics. The Legend of Celda is just an example of this. For those who grew up with the classic consoles, it’s really fun to spot all the references in the level. Aside of the name of the level, the references can also be found in certain types of enemies. The developers love gaming and love showing their love for it for sure.

PixelVerdict
The Good: The Bad:
+ Great design – Unfair deaths
+ Brings back the classics – Same objective in all levels
+ Awesome references

Life of Pixel offers a lot of great content for a small price. As a retro fan it’s amazing to see the worlds of the older consoles come back to life in a single game. The developers really delivered by staying true to the style but by also bringing it to the standards of today. This means you have a very fluent game with solid controls but with the looks of the past. It might be a little too difficult for some and the objective stays the same in every level but aside of this, it really is a game worth checking out. If you like retro, you simply need to play this one.

4 out of 5:

4sterren

Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.