Many, many moons ago, we ran an article that featured They Bleed Pixels on this very site. Of course, things were very different back then. The shadow of Windows 8 wasn't looming over us, Rhode Island still hadn't achieved its dream of owning a major videogame franchise, and - according to John - I wasn't even born yet. Also, They Bleed Pixels was splattering its pointy plasma all over Xbox Live's Indie Game channel. But oh how the times have changed. Now the murderously Meat-Boy-ish platformer is a Steam exclusive, with its XBLIG release dropped in favor of Steamworks support, cloud saves, and other such features. And after eons of waiting, you'll be able to venture through its impractically spike-laden doors next week.
August 29th. That's when They will be bleeding pixels, and you will probably have maybe a little something to do with it. Beyond the stylishly gruesome central theme, though, there is quite a bit to be interested in here. Here are the basics:
"They Bleed Pixels uses a simple one-button combat scheme with surprising depth at its core. Button mashing is discouraged while kicking shadowy monsters into saws, pits and spikes is rewarded thanks to a unique checkpoint earning system: instead of being evenly distributed at set locations, players must earn and place checkpoints through stylish kills. The more and better you kill, the faster you fill your checkpoint meter. Avoid combat or button mash mindlessly and you’ll find checkpoints uncomfortably far apart."
Meanwhile, it all takes place in the "violent Lovecraftian nightmares" of a girl who's being haunted by some kind of evil book, which - in practical terms - means that everything looks right purty-like. Also, there's totally a Ponycorn level (!!!!!). Spooky Squid worked with the original's adorable father-daughter team to make it and everything. I don't know exactly how that partnership came about, but reasonable speculation says it's because magic is real.
They Bleed Pixels will cost you a pretty reasonable $9.99 at launch. Perhaps it'll give DustForce a run for the prestigious "Nathan keeps failing miserably because he is only human, screaming profanities that accidentally summon creatures not of this world, and then returning two seconds later to obsessively play more" of the year award. Here's hoping.