A Pixel Story (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

So you’re a single pixel block happily bouncing away in a game of Pong.  Then all of a sudden, things get glitchy and you get warped to a strange temple where you get arms and legs and a face.   Now you’re on a platform jumping puzzle adventure to save The System from an evil program.  With the help of your new red floppy (and familiar looking) hat, you’ll warp through four generations of graphics in games as you solve switch flipping and jumping time puzzles to save the day.  Originally on PC, now you can download A Pixel Story on PS4 and Xbox One (PS4 version reviewed here).

You can run left and right and jump, and as soon as you acquire your magical floppy red hat, you’ll be able to do warping tricks as well.  Press the square button to leave your hat in a particular spot, and then no matter where you are, just press the square button again to appear where you left your hat.  Using this ability, you’ll solve all sorts of platform jumping and switch-based timing puzzles.

As you play, you’ll collect coins and keys to open passages, as well as gem-shaped memory blocks that can unlock other goodies.  You’ll talk to characters who will give you quests to go on to progress the story.  The map has lots of places to explore, and in a way it’s kind of like a Metroid game.  But when you pass a checkpoint, you can automatically warp back to it at any time, so backtracking is a breeze and the map makes it pretty clear where to go next.

This game has won lots of awards, but for some reason it didn’t really draw me in.  Mainly because of the controls.  They’re not bad, it’s just they’re a bit too stiff and slow for my tastes.  Especially since you have to do some EXTREMELY precise platforming even fairly early on.  Plus, the text is too small and this idea has been done before and better.  But if you do like the sound of this game, you should give it a try anyway.

Kid Factor:

This game is fairly non-violent.  If you get hit by an obstacle or trap, your character just throws his hands in the air and with a surprised look on his face, will just pixelate and warp back to the checkpoint.  Younger gamers may get frustrated with the high difficulty, and reading skill is needed for the text.  A Pixel Story is rated E for Everyone.

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