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Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic, Some Thoughts On This Party-based Roguelike

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Pixel Heroes is one of the more interesting indie titles released recently, and I had a chance to take a look at the game and give you some thoughts on it.

About the game (From the store)
Enter the world of PIXEL HEROES and prepare yourself for a thrilling RPG/Roguelike experience like you have never seen before!

Explore a randomized world full of hilarious events, deadly dungeons and the weirdest NPCs you will ever meet in a game!

Choose three heroes for your party and take them on a journey that will be completely different each time you start a new game. Bath in a pool of procedurally generated loot and defeat the evil forces that threaten the township of Pixton!

My thoughts
Oh no, another “pixel” game! Jokes aside, if you base a game on your first impression of the graphics you’re probably missing out on a ton of great games. It does have retro aesthetics, but I feel they work really well. Once you really get into it, and start getting into battles, you do quickly learn to love the low resolution graphics.

It’s a really interesting mix between retro permadeath dungeon crawling, turn based battles, and an RPG. Character choosing is interesting, and it’s important to get a good mix of characters with varying abilities. You can re-roll your choice of starting characters only 3 times, so you’re out of luck if you don’t get a set you want by the third time, unless you want to cheat and start over, but where’s the fun in that?
I mentioned permadeath, so once your party is dead, game over man, game over! Make sure you have a healer with you.

The starting tavern also seems like a bit of a parody of the Cantina in Star Wars, and the music even sounds similar, as a massive nerd, I approve.

The town also makes a crack about RPG quest characters having floating exclamation marks, and it was a little amusing.

Once you find a quest it’s time to hit the road, and on the road you have your usual random encounters, and it can be pretty odd, like a rotting corpse hanging in a tree. I let my heroes give the nameless individual a proper burial and was rewarded with a pitiful amount of experience points, but it’s the right thing to do...right?
My questers then carried on, and, what’s this? A wiggling arm in the ground! I get my heroes to pull it out and it’s a dismembered arm (gross) which frees a spirit who gives me his arm as a reward, and what a reward! This magic arm damages all enemies when you use it, nice, if a bit gross.
There’s tons of little random encounters like this while travelling towards quests, and it really keeps you wanting more, but be careful, don’t go attacking every creature you see, as you can end up getting annihilated very easily, and then all your hard work is gone.

Battles do get heated quite easily, as there’s such a massive mix of spells, attacks and powers both sides have available, so you never really know what you’re in for.
When a character dies it’s quite amusing, death comes down (shouldn't he come up from the underworld?) and takes your character away, that was a nice touch, but i like things like that to be skipped, and seeing it three times during a battle when I met my end did get a tiny bit annoying.

My first attempt at a quest dungeon did not end well, and thanks to my utter destruction at the hands of a nimble flying imp, I unlocked an achievement for losing all my heroes, but I was SO CLOSE! I only had 1 more room to battle in, damn it! This was only the first quest too, so the game isn't exactly easy, but who likes it easy?

The loot system is a constant source of amusement too, as you can loot items like a ‘Mediocre ring of Mediocrity’, or a ‘Mediocre sword of Boredom’, but it’s not always so crap, you can end up finding some pretty beasty items, and a loot system like this helps keep the game constantly fresh.

The one thing I didn’t like is manually pressing a button to bring up the main menu. I can’t be alone in expecting ESC to do that like a lot of games, right? A very minor point in an otherwise great game.

Final Verdict
Buy it, it’s good fun. I started off thinking it was a little quirky and odd, but I very quickly began to love it.

It’s a game you can easily sink a lot of time into, and start-over with everything completely different. There’s a lot of replayability here folks.

You can grab it on Games Republic to get a DRM free version, and a Steam key. Buying there (on the Linux store) also supports us.

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About the author -
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
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