It’s just so…zany.
We here at GameCola like our pointing and our clicking. We even awarded the “Perfect” score to a series of still images, because let’s face it that’s what all hidden-object games are. We’re also quite partial to a bit of zaniness, too. We like it when things don’t make sense, which is why we like the British Accent so much and we constantly draw attention to it on The GameCola Podcast. So when the crazy crosses over with the clicking and the pointing, we love it.
This is the ever-wonderful McPixel, a puzzle game on a 20-second time limit. It reminds me of Half-Minute Hero, an RPG where the game takes place in 30 seconds, including all cutscenes, leveling and boss battles. McPixel has that same fast-paced pressure vibe.
Like most adventure games, the solution to each puzzle doesn’t make sense and you’ll try every wrong combination until you finally land on the correct one. However, unlike adventure games, you’re rewarded for finding all the incorrect solutions, too. There are secret rounds that can be unlocked by finding every incorrect solution, which gives the game much-needed replay value.
There are a lot of puzzles, and they’re all different. They all have exactly one correct solution, and a heap-full of wrong ones. Basically, you have to work out the right answer to each puzzle. As you fail a puzzle, the game cycles to the next puzzle, so you have to squirrel away the incorrect answer ready for the next pass so you don’t make the same mistake again.
It is very rewarding when you complete a set of puzzles and replay those puzzles to find every gag in them, meaning you go out of your way to see all the incorrect solutions. Some of them made me chuckle a bit, especially the gags in the bonus stages and the secret rounds.
I will be honest about McPixel. I know that sentence doesn’t sound all that nice, but I’m trying to cushion this blow as much as I can.
There is no reason why the game must be a standalone game. What I’m trying to say is: McPixel feels like something you’d play in your Internet browser. McPixel is also a rather crude game. There’s a little bit of nudity and a large focus on bodily fluids. Although it might look kid friendly from a glance, it isn’t. You take shit from the walls, rub it all over yourself, jump into more shit and then drown in sewage water…to find a cow!
During the later parts of the game, it becomes a pixel hunt. A particular puzzle with a farting sumo had me almost pulling my hair out until I had to ask the Internet for the solution. The final round is a complete joke; it’s the same puzzle five times in a row but with a different solution each time. It is just a matter of going through every possible move in order, otherwise you would probably lose your mind.
If you expected a worthwhile experience then I think maybe you’ve come to McPixel with the wrong kind of expectations. McPixel is woefully short; the game even acknowledges this on the opening splash screen. The promise of free DLC is a nice gesture, but I’m not sure I can recommend this game considering how short it actually is. You should look for if it’s on sale somewhere but by all means don’t ignore it outright.
A review copy of this game was provided to us by the publisher.