Pixel Session Vol. 1 is a collection of 5 arcade games full of juice and polish that have to be played well until you get a high enough score to unlock the next one.
That’s right – you need to play the game until you hit a good letter grade and are given the password to unlock the next game.
Descent is a quick and chaotic arcade game where you need to move your character along the screen, avoiding balls that come from the left and right side of the screen. These balls bounce across, and you will need to avoid getting hit or else lose some of your life. You also need to slowly remove the platforms below you but hitting the correct key. For blue platforms with an ‘x’, need you to hit x to remove them, whereas red platforms with a ‘z’ need you to hit z.
More platforms will appear below the current ones, lifting you up closer and closer to the top of the screen. Removing these platforms will also give you a higher score and allow you to get closer to the right number to unlock the next game. If you hit the wrong key, however, you will lose a life. Once three lives are completely lost, the game will be over. Descent gets very chaotic in its visuals, which have loads of particle affects and colors whizzing across the screen.
Lightner sees you running around with what seems like a yo-yo, trying to knock the darkness out of various other people who appear on the screen. At the start of each wave, loads of red characters with dark circles around them will appear. If you get into this dark space, they will start chasing you, and getting hit leads to death. Moving around the floor, you will leave a trail of rainbows that are taken away by the darkness.
Hitting the red characters with the ball at the end of your yo-yo-esque weapon or the dragging the string across them will force them out of their darkness. Once out of their dark shadow, they will walk around as black characters who you’ll want to keep safe, as the red versions will still destroy these characters. Once you have turned everyone into black characters, a new round will begin and you will get points for however many people you still have alive.
B1G BR0TH3R is a very tricky avoiding game. You have a giant eye watching you, pushing down black lines as you move around a screen full of words. The most common words are white – these ones don’t matter and just block your path. Others are green and need to be collected, or red and need to be avoided. You need to collide with these words for a moment, then quickly move away from them to make them disappear. Each level has a specific number of green words you need to interact with, with the last one always appearing as rainbow before you move onto the next level.
If you do hit a red word, more black eye streaks will appear on the screen, making a blanket of them for a single attack, before returning to the original number. This makes the game pretty challenging, as it only takes one hit for you to die. You can mostly escape unscathed some of the time, but occasionally the eye wins and hits you.
Following the music is really helpful in B1G BR0TH3R, as the game itself tells you when the eye is going to attack through the audio. It is also just creepy having that large eye watch you flail around!
Charging Panic is equally difficult, but in a totally different way. Instead of needing to avoid an enemy yourself, you need to create small minions that then push a button for you. As these little, colorful versions of yourself push various buttons, a battery’s charge bar. Sometimes, there is one button to push, but other times there is a variety. Either way, it takes some time to fill up the bar completely.
There are enemies in Charging Panic – floating red circles that run into and destroy your minions. Destroying your minions doesn’t directly harm you – you can even destroy them yourself, but these circles destroy them while they are pressing their buttons. Without them being pressed, the charge in the battery goes down. Once it reaches zero, the battery dies, and if 3 batteries die, it’s game over.
On the other hand, if you get the battery to be completely full, it will disappear, granting you points and more people to spawn. These people do follow you around until you find a button, but I found it most easy to spawn them directly where I wanted them and to hope the circles would let them push their button at least once before death.
Chroma Cannon sees you blasting out colorful bullets at matching-colored blobs that are coming in from the outside of the screen. You are on your canon in the center of the screen. This cannon can switch between two colors – each one changing the background to show that color, as well as the bullets to match. You want to blast the matching blob with the same color as your bullet, destroying them before they make it to the center of the screen.
Once you reach 1,000 points in a level, the screen turns white, and you are given two new colors to try out. The blobs will also move faster, looking to make it closer and closer to your cannon. You will need to change your color fast, spot blobs quickly, and keep trying to gain a high enough score to pass this game. With each level comes speedier, sometimes smaller blobs, so keep your eyes out. They really do blend well with the background of the same color, adding even more challenge and depth to this game.
If you are able to get a high enough score in Chroma Cannon, you unlock the last reward. From there, you can wait for volume 2, or go back and get A’s in all the beautiful, colorful, chaotic games that Trasvol_Dog has created for you.
You can get this set of 5 fantastic games in the Pixel Sessions V.1 for $2.00 on Itch.io.