Genre: RPG, Adventure
System: PC (Also on Mobile)
Developer|Publisher: Kyle Berger
Age Rating: 9+ (on mobile)
Price: UK £11.39
Release Date: March 31st, 2021
Review code provided with many thanks to Kyle Berger
Starring my Spouse
Pixelot is an RPG released onto Steam by a new developer. Playing a lot like an RPG from the old days with a simple pixel graphic style. Does Pixelot have the heart to win over fans? Let’s find out.
You begin the game by creating your own pixelated hero and choosing a class from the usual range of Paladin, Ranger, Ninja. I opted to create my wife in pixel form as that’s what I do. After all, she is a hero in real life so why not make her a hero in a video game. Back to the game. The story is pretty generic. The land of Pixelot is under siege from the darkness and it’s up to my wife and a band of recruit-able heroes to run around, collect the six crystals and save the day. There are a lot of NPCs to talk to, many of which have some witty banter to exchange with you. The humour fell a bit flat for me though.
The developer appears to be going for a tongue in cheek approach with some self-aware jabs at the story but the language a lot of the characters use feels like slang you would hear from teenagers, as opposed to heroes in a fantasy realm. Who knows, maybe it’s an acquired taste but it just didn’t seem to fit. As a result, I really lacked any connection to the plot. The story is not everything but for an RPG it certainly helps.
The graphics are a standard pixel design. This of course is not a bad thing for a first-time developer but it does fail to give Pixelot its own unique identity. The cover picture of this game has quite a warm friendly look to it and it’s a shame this style could not be translated here.
The developer has clearly put a lot of work into drawing this game. There are multiple areas and environments to explore with oodles of enemies, boss fights and NPCs to interact with. It just doesn’t look particularly unique.
To the Point Battles
The gameplay is a simple turn-based RPG. Battles are fought by moving across the path of enemy NPCs in the field or by random encounters when exploring dungeons. The battles feel quick and to the point. You use the mouse to select your attack, magic or item and then click on the enemy or teammate you want to use it on. It soon turns into fast clicky game battles, which are usually over in less than a minute. Things do start to heat up more with boss fights, these often required me to pause and think about my attack more. But for the most part, this is an RPG you can sort of just shut your brain off for a bit and click away at.
Of course, if you like your stat sheets you can go into the menu and check on your numbers but this didn’t feel essential for success in the game. It reminded me a lot of one of my favourite RPGs on PSP Half-Minute Hero, an RPG that felt designed for the busy person who hasn’t got time for long story segments and complex levelling systems. Pixelot doesn’t quite live up to the genius of that title but it does feel a good fit for gamers looking for a more simple RPG experience. Except, the PC might not be the best platform for this experience.
Get the Band Together
One of the main features of the game is that you are able to recruit multiple new characters for your team. However, you can only have 4 in your party at once. It’s good to have the choice but it does feel a bit overwhelming. New recruits come pretty quickly in the game and I didn’t feel compelled to keep swapping people out due to my attachment for my main team of four, which featured a Blacksmith (Blacksmiths are cool).
Every character can be levelled up and equipped with a variety of loot. You can obtain this by purchasing it from shops or finding it from dropped enemies. The game also features a small crafting system where you can upgrade your current equipment a few times provided you have the right materials in your menu at any time out of battle. Often, as the case is with RPGs, I spent ages grinding for materials to make my weapons stronger only to just find a better one dropped by enemies five minutes later.
There’s a lot of choices for players to mess around and fiddle with equipment, but you don’t need to be a veteran RPG player to succeed. If you do perish in battle you simply start back before your last encounter preventing that horrible slog from a previous checkpoint. Something I didn’t like is the game doesn’t let you manually save. The game autosaves when you exit which doesn’t feel ideal for an RPG.
Controls and Mobile Version
The controls are a bit odd for Pixelot. You move with the keyboard and hold the spacebar to sprint. This feels like a game that really should have autorun as an option. If you want to interact with anything you click on it with the mouse, like an NPC or treasure chest. Controllers are not an option at this stage which is unfortunate.
Pixelot is actually available for IOS devices and the game feels like it would be a much better fit here. There’s a certain pick-up and play feel to this formula that makes this a title I enjoyed most in small bursts which are ideal for a handheld device. On PC it feels more of a slog. Hopefully, one day Pixelot will make its way over to the Switch.
Large but Repetitive
Pixelot is a massive game that may be somewhat to its detriment. Clockin’ in at over 20 longs long this is a sizable RPG. As well as the main quest there are many simple side quests too, which are usually just simple fetch quests. When you finish the game there are also additional dungeons to explore, a boss challenge mode and legendary weapons to find.
You can also just replay the game with a new class and try to play with different characters. This is all good stuff but Pixelot does get repetitive very quickly. I often only managed to play the game in small 30 minute bursts sometimes less. It made for a nice break between work sessions but it didn’t feel like a game I would reach for when chilling out in the evening.
Pixelot is okay on PC but the portable platform feels much more suited to this title (it’s also cheaper there too). There’s fun to be had if you’re looking for a simple RPG to enjoy in small bursts. To its credit, this will run on practically any PC or laptop, even my rubbish one which I’m honestly surprised still works. There is plenty of room for improvement but Pixelot on PC is a decent first attempt at an RPG from a new developer.
Final Verdict: I like it