Title: Super Life of Pixel
Developer: Super Icon
Publisher: White Moon Dreams
Genre: Platformer, Action, Arcade
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Audience: PEGI 7
Release Date: Out Now
Price: £8.99 – The reviewer was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
What the Developers say
Join Pixel as he quests through gaming history, teleporting across the most iconic video game systems of generations past. He’ll have to jump, dodge and play smart if he wants to survive all the traps, puzzles and enemies waiting to take him down at every turn.
But wait, there’s more! For the first time ever, Super Life of Pixel introduces the “Special Collections” systems: Six additional, expertly recreated vintage consoles for Pixel to master on his way to the top.
Nostalgia, variety and fun are one button away!
The story in Super Life of Pixel sees our Retro Hero walking into a Gaming Museum. Once he enters, he finds a world that most gamers have forgotten about, a haven of old, retro consoles!
To find himself and understand where he came from, he must dive head first into the history of gaming, through 13 consoles that will take him back to his retro roots.
The gameplay in Super Life of Pixel will take you back to past. Playing on consoles that some of you may have not even heard about! Unless you’re a child of the ’80s that is. If so, these consoles will bring back a lot of fond memories and nostalgia.
The Consoles you’ll get to play on range from The Sinclair ZXBI – introduced in the UK in 1981 to the Game Boy, SNES and the Amiga, released in 1987. These are just a few of the consoles that are available to play.
Once you arrive at the game system select screen, you have a choice of 13 different consoles to choose from. Some of these will be locked at the beginning and will be unlocked as you progress through the main game.
One of my favourite little inclusions here is when you’ve picked one of these gaming consoles to play, you’ll get a brief introduction screen with the music and artist listed above. You also get to read a description of console’s history and its specs, which is a neat little touch to inform a generation who haven’t had the chance to play these machines or know or their existence.
Other little extras which made me feel very nostalgic is upon choosing a console a short sound bite is played of the machine starting up. Hearing the ZX Spectrum’s long beep bought back memories of days gone. I remember when we used to sit in the kitchen to play our BBC Microcomputer with its cassette tapes and start-up noise.
I do remember one game we used to play. It was called Scooby-Doo’s Haunted Castle which took about 5 minutes to load up, and it was on a cassette tape. Sadly, I can’t recall what console we played it on.
Each console you select will have its own unique graphical style, and all consoles have eight levels within them that you can play in any order. Within each level, there are multiple paths, secret areas to explore and collectables to collect.
In each level, you’ll need to collect all of the gems to unlock the exit and move on. There are other special items to collect too, but these are typically hidden. Also, each level contains one special gem and one special fruit or candy.
You won’t find this game a cakewalk. Super Life of Pixel is quite challenging. You’ll have two hit points, and these will let you take two hits from any standard enemies. However, traps and spikes or water will kill you straight away, and you’ll explode in a shower of green pixels.
Each level has a primary goal to complete, which is to collect all gems to unlock the exit. This counter is located at the bottom right-hand corner and will keep track of how many you’ve collected so far.
However, there are optional items gather to such as special gems which are usually hidden in difficult to reach places. Then there’s the secret food and candy items to collect which are hidden in the many secret locations around each level.
You will require quick reflexes and platforming precision to collect them all. However, if you’re successful in obtaining all 40+ items, there’s a hidden console that will be unlocked for your efforts. These items can be views in stat screen and well as trophies, milestones.
Controls in Super Life of Pixel are pretty spot on with the left and right movement controlled with the left analogue stick and the ability to do standard jump which is mapped to the A button. You can also unlock a double jump later on which helps greatly.
You can also use items and powers during the game, ranging from bubbles, jetpacks and even vehicles. These can be found and unlocked and used with action button which is mapped to the B button. Certain items will let you fire, which can be activated with the ZR trigger. You also change grip order by holding the L and R bumpers. While controls are simple to use, you’re going to need to be able to pull off some pin-point platforming during some of more challenging levels.
There are even some Nintendo related consoles to play such as the Game Boy, NES and Snes. Seeing each graphical style gradually become more detailed with each new incarnation is so cool. This shows you how far we have come in terms of graphics as well as marching forward with not only new software but new hardware too.
Also, I should give a special mention to the challenging levels you’ll face. Each level that you play will ramp up its difficulty with traps, enemies, and hard reach jumps that require some serious skill – you’ll be pushed to your breaking point!
As we know, each console had their limitations, and that’s reflected in each of the levels that you’ll be playing, making each experience feel authentic and fresh.
My only gripes with certain consoles are moving from one screen to another and not being able to see if there’s an enemy or trap just beyond the edge of the screen.
It can be annoying if you’ve collected all 20 gems only to be killed by an enemy that was unseen or a trap beyond your field of view.
If this happens, death is quick even though you have two hit points, and they can be depleted quickly. Death traps can kill you instantly though so be careful. If you die, you’ll have to restart the level again. The only thing you won’t have to recollect again are special gems which are a blessing in disguise.
Audio & Visuals
A variety of different artists craft each chip tune for each console, and they’re all pretty catchy. I loved the main menu music, which I found myself humming to while writing this review.
The only issue with the music is you can’t turn it down as there’s no volume control. It’s a bit loud when you boot up the game. The only option is to switch music on or off.
The sound effects are all pretty faithful to gaming back in the day, the sound is decent in docked and handheld modes.
Visuals in Super Life of Pixel are cool, and I loved the unique and distinctive art styles for each different console, which I think a lot of people will enjoy seeing.
Performance has been pretty reliable too, and I’ve not experienced any issues whatsoever. The game also supports screenshots and video capture.
On your first playthrough, you’ll find that there’s more than meets the eye as each level has its secret areas or secret passages that may lead to discoveries that you might not have seen on your first time around. This is where the replayability factor will come in, which should last you fair while.
I’m still playing Super Life of Pixel, trying to unlock the last three consoles which I expect to be SEGA related.
There are also online leaderboards, which are a nice inclusion, and each table will focus on specific times for levels, special times or overall level times. I was recently in 6th place in overall leaderboards, but sadly I’ve been knocked out of the running, for now.
Having any leaderboard is a good inclusion as there a lot of people who enjoy comparing scores or times with others on social media.
I liked Super Life of Pixel. Even though it’s quite challenging and frustrating at times, I do love a good platformer, and this is a solid title.
There are lots of different levels to pick from, and unique consoles and graphical styles are equally impressive. There are lots of secrets to find, and unlockables to unlock, as well as online leaderboards for speed runs.
If you’re up for a challenge, pick up Super Life of Pixel, NOW!
Rapid Reviews UK Rating
You can purchase Super Life of Pixel from the Nintendo eShop at the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Super-Life-of-Pixel-1559690.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.