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Should I Be Excited about… Pixel Escape

Pixel Escape is a charming retro platformer by Pixel Masters. Coming soon to browsers, iOS and Android, it has the tag line “saving the world one pixel at a time.”

Developer Pixel Masters have a great sense of humour, and it’s evident in the game as well as in their promotional material for it. For example, on their site under the section about running Pixel Escape on a retina display, they describe it as running in “glorious 260×160 resolution”.

Sure, Pixel Escape might have some seriously old school chunky pixels going on, but it doesn’t detract from what is at heart an old school platformer with a clever twist. As your little pixel people run from left to right (away from a wall of garbled game logic and messy corrpution that looks like a Commodore 64 crash screen), they can not only jump, but you can also draw platforms for them to run across.

So the game feels a lot like Kirby’s Canvas Curse, which in itself was an endless runner of sorts. You’re avatars are constantly running away from the pursing pixelated mess, and only by making them jump at the right time – and by drawing platforms to save them from obstacles – can you hope to reach the checkpoint at the end of the level.

The biggest twist to the formula is that you control a whole bunch of these little pixelated avatars. As long as one of them is alive you can keep playing, but as you race across the levels you will collect more as you go. For the best score you will want to accrue lots of them. And they’re so adorably cute that you’ll want to keep every little one safe.

All of this accessible platforming fun is accompanied by a brilliant 8 bit chiptune theme. While chiptunes are becoming worryingly ubiquitous, in this case you won’t mind as the music throughout is so engagingly up-beat.

Pixel Escape looks like a great wee dash of retro platforming, and on mobile devices with touch screen it would be especially welcome. Look out for a full release soon.

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