Rick’s been playing games since before he could walk. I went from an NES to a PS3 with nothing in between. We love to game together, but finding games we can both enjoy can be tough. Indie Game Date is our quest to find great indie games that both of us will love.
After more than a month of issues with Indie Game Dates, including dates with myself and skipping last week, Rick and I finally decided to set some time aside sit down and play something fun together. Unfortunately, I still suck at video games, so finding something that we can both have fun with is becoming increasingly more difficult.
My original pick, EvilQuest, garnered favourable reviews from Rick, but the combat was just a little too unforgiving for little ‘ol noob-y me and I spent most of our brief play through throwing the controller across the room or brooding about how much I sucked. Rick, meanwhile, blithely soldier on, confused as to why I looked so cross since he was clearly having a really great time.
After much coddling and soothing of nerves we decided to move on and find something we could both enjoy playing. After rejecting the idea that we should just play joke-y titles that didn’t require any kind of skill (think No Luca No), I finally suggested recent Dream.Build.Play runner up Pixel Blocked!
Which I really enjoyed.
So much that I didn’t really let Rick play and he spent the night watching chess videos on his phone. Anyhoo…
Available for PC and Xbox, Pixel Blocked! is the work of one man dev team Daniel Truong and it’s a brilliant little puzzler with cute retro-style graphics and a peppy, but calming soundtrack by Poddington Bear. Gameplay is deceptively simple with you controlling Mr. Pibuzzle, shooting Standard blocks into grids to fill in the missing pixels. There are a few different types of existing blocks to contend with, each adding a new challenge to the gameplay, namely Perma blocks, Magnetic blocks and Crumble blocks which dissolve when a Standard block hits them. The goal is to complete each shape in the least number of moves possible and your moves include rotating the puzzle and shooting the actual blocks.
I managed to complete Apprentice mode (there are two other modes: Artisan and Master) in about an hour, but I could have easily taken longer if I had put more effort into beating the base number of moves or time allotted each puzzle. Apparently there are also unlockables, including different backgrounds, but I didn’t get far enough or score high enough to see any of them. On a few occasions Rick was able to help me with a particularly tricky puzzle, but it’s definitely more of a one-player game suitable for gamers of all skill levels, including über-noob.
A definite recommend as the score beating aspect alone adds incredible value to the $1 price tag, but ultimately something that is best enjoyed alone.
Check it out for yourself below: