Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pixel Whirled

A simple yet psychotic shooter.

At first load Pixel Whirled appears to be a retro remake of that seminal arcade classic, Space Invaders. But wait there's more! This Xbox Indie Game has a subtle trick up its sleeve. By a simple manipulation of the bumper button, the screen is flipped turned upside down, and the gameplay gets real! Utilizing the weapons of our heroes, be it a ninja star or a simple bullet, you must eradicate the pixel menace from the Pixel World.

The game features fantastic 8 bit sounds and music, but I usually prefer to use my own tunes when playing these games. Unfortunately this is one of those odd duck games that doesn't support custom soundtracks. Luckily, I can plug my iPhone into my stereo and pump out some ambient electronica while I play.

The developer told me that I would receive a special reward if I finished the game twice. Naturally I took up the challenge with gusto! Unfortunately, this game is a bit harder than the screenshots and trailer make it out to be.

I have only made it to Level 7, and I have no idea how many levels are in the game. But difficulty can sometimes be a good thing, a trait of our games that has seen a sharp decline in recent years. Perhaps because developers are afraid of frustrating us into such a state that we throw down our controllers in disgust, or even worse at the screen. Or perhaps we have as a whole become better gamers. Whatever the case may be, once in awhile I still like to be challenged by a game and Pixel Whirled is quite challenging.

If you intend to randomly shoot the invading Pixels and flip the screen at any odd time, I don't think you will make it much farther than I have. But if you time your shots, hitting those invaders in the bottom row and also time your flips, you just might have a chance at saving the princess.

The developer Holmfry has a journal here, excellent choice of blog theme by the way. He is also a huge fan of old school apparently.

While playing Pixel Whirled, I wondered what the game would be like if it was playable by two people? It would probably be pretty trippy. Here's to hoping for an updated and enhanced Pixel Whirled 2!

I quite enjoy this game and it more than makes up for Ocean Scenes. Holmfry's other Xbox indie "game".


1 comment:

  1. YAY I'm the composer. Thanks for the shout-out! It was fun writing all those 8-bit gems. Next time I'll have him license some electronica, which I also write, HAHA.