McPixel – Impressions

Platform | Release Date
PC | June 25, 2012
iOS | August 27, 2012
Developed by Sos
Published by Sos

The Pitch:

McPixel is a save-the-day guy that you guide through short challenges in an oldschool point’n’click fashion. The goal in each challenge is to prevent stuff from blowing up using available tools! You have only 20 seconds to save the day! Think quick!

McPixel is a stupid game. Developer Sos decided to take the speed of WarioWare games and apply it to the point-and-click adventure genre. Much like pickles and ice cream, they don’t go together. But if you’re a pregnant woman it can make perfect sense. My wife never craved that combination of foods when she was pregnant, and was repulsed by even the idea. Basically, McPixel can hit the right spot, but only under certain circumstances and conditions.

At the very outset, the game informs you that you should only play in short spurts and the game tries to point you in that direction. Each of its levels are broken up into three sections with six stages. Just playing one section can border on “too long” depending on the outcome. When you try and quit though, McPixel nags you to keep playing.

Mechanically, you get thirty seconds to find and “defuse” a bomb or it’ll blow up and send you to the next stage. You’ve got at most two actioning clicks to do it or the bomb blows and you fail. An explosion means you’ll lose your “combo” and you’ll get another chance after you’ve passed (or failed) the other five stages in the same section.

The problem really lies in puzzle solutions. Sometimes, they’re as straightforward as clicking on the right spot so McPixel pees on a fire or kicks the correct pixelated NPC in the nads. Other times, you’ll be forced to click a vine or wire that doesn’t even appear to be more than scenery. Distilling it like that shows how McPixel is everything I hate about point-and-click adventure games, including the ridiculous item combination.

Every now and then though, you’ll experience an honest laugh or at least a knowing smirk. There’s a level where you’re asked to stop the moon from exploding. Succeeding means you blow up the Earth instead. The highs, as high as they may be, don’t offset the lows enough. This means for every chortle you’ve got about three or four annoyed huffs.

McPixel isn’t worth the $10 its developer wants you to pay for it, but you can submit fan art to get a small discount and those bits of fan art are displayed on their webpage. McPixel, you’re both terrible and awesome. Sometimes terribly awesome; but mostly awesomely terrible.

Note: After this was written, McPixel appeared magically on the iOS App Store for $2. That’s a good price for it.

About Jim Hunter

Jim Hunter is Editor-in-Chief of Splitkick and host of the Rocket Jump podcast. He has three kids and is constantly cranky, but also highly awesome.
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