Indie games are really taking off in a big way thanks to the ease of development now compared to years before, especially with tools such as Game Maker, and platforms such as Steam allowing would be developers to unleash their creating on the world.
Super Life of Pixel is one such game that is from the Indie scene.
The premise of the game is simple; collect all the jewels on the level and reach the exit. Whilst the premise is simple, the game is quite a challenge.
Visually, the game is nothing short of impressive. As a nice twist, the levels take place across a variety of home consoles, including the ZX Spectrum and also the Atari 2600 with the most ‘recent’ console being the Super Nintendo. As an added extra, when you embark on the first level of the latest unlocked console, you get a run down of the system information. This is a nice addition to the game, and it gives people that are new to retro gaming an insight of how powerful the older systems are.
The graphics look excellent, and playing the game on a 4k monitor really is a treat for the eyes. Unless there’s emulation involved, you’ll never see an Atari 2600 look quite like this, but SLP does emulate the look of the system perfectly.
There was never a time that the visuals in the game didn’t fit the overall feel of it, and the changing formats really did help to make it feel as though you were hopping across different consoles from different time points.
As mentioned up above, this is far from a simple game. It’s actually a lot more challenging than Super Meat Boy which in itself was a pretty tough game to crack. It starts off pretty easy, although that soon changes once you hit the second level.
The difficulty comes in peaks and troughs which is actually a nice feature. It should mean that players won’t give up after a particularly taxing level since they’ll be lulled into a false sense of security. Added to this is the fact that the levels are extremely short, with many being able to be completed in less than a minute. However, the fact that it takes multiple runs to successfully finish means that you won’t be finished this game in a twenty minutes.
So much so that in one level in particular on the Atari 2600 stages, multiple failures resulted in over 60 lives being lost. This was on a single level. It is the case that you can take two hits from enemies with the third one being your demise. However, if you fall into a lava or spike pit it’s insta-death. I really do wish I had a camera set up to record my reactions when I kept being snagged by spikes that popped up out of the ground because I wasn’t quick enough.
In terms of controls, everything is pretty straightforward. I use my go to Windows controller which is the Gamesir G4s, but it also works well with using your keyboard.
I’ve finished the game now, and but despite this, I’ve went back to it again. The reason for this is that there is the challenge (for me at least) to finish each level as quickly as possible. It definitely has the ‘one more go’ effect seen in other games like Tetris. Coupled with this is that because each set of levels do feel different, it does help to stave off any feeling of the game being repetitive. If this is released on Nintendo Switch, I’ll definitely be double dipping!
The game is available now on the PS Store as well as on Steam.
Super Life of Pixel is a truly excellent game with plenty of replayability. Highly recommended.