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[Nintendo Switch] They Bleed Pixels Review

[Nintendo Switch] They Bleed Pixels Review
  • On March 8, 2021

They Bleed Pixels from Spooky Squid Games is a 2D hardcore precision action platformer on Nintendo Switch. Learn more in our They Bleed Pixels review!


In 2D hardcore precision action platformer They Bleed Pixels from Spooky Squid Games on Nintendo Switch, you’ll be taking control of an anonymous student who arrives at the Lafcadio Academy for Troubled Young Ladies only to end up being the subject of an evil curse! After visiting the school’s library, you find a glowing book that has blood on it. As you open it up, drawn by the glowing sign on the cover, you will be transported into an H.P. Lovecraft-inspired “dream” that is anything but.

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You can select to play the game in the Standard difficulty setting, which is the original experience as the developers intended, or you can play in the Novice difficulty setting, which offers easier and shorter levels for players who are not quite ready for the world of hurt the game is about to drop on you. If you do go with the Novice setting, your high score and best times will not be tracked, many of the Blood Badges – more on this in a bit – can’t be earned, there are no secret pages to discover, and the final level will not be available to you.


The controls for They Bleed Pixels are simple and to the point, since you’ll be moving around each 2D area with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, jumping and double jumping with the B button, and attacking with the A button. The A button will allow you to attack enemies on the ground, as well as juggle them up in the air, as you try to build up gruesome combos that can aid you to end their existence. The combat system is based on a single button, and yet it offers some solid variety for you to mix things up!

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Press forward and the A button, and you’ll stab your enemies. Press the A button while standing still, and you’ll do a side kick, which can end up launching them into one of the many hazards in each stage. The kick won’t damage the enemy, but it can break their defense. Now, if you stand still and hold down the A button, you will do an up kick. It’s thanks to the up kick that you can then jump to follow after an enemy, hitting the A button over and over again to juggle them for a bit, boosting your style points. You can also push forward and tap the A button to do a quick dash that can do some nice damage on the side.


As you collect red orbs and perform combos while taking care of your opponents, you will start to fill up the Sigil Meter, which is located in the upper left corner of the screen. Once you’ve filled it up completely, you can stand still for a moment to cast a checkpoint, from which you can respawn when you die. Not if you die, but when you die. They Bleed Pixels requires you to be very precise with all of your running, jumping, dashing, and attacking, so creating checkpoints will be a must.

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High combo numbers will fill up your Sigil Meter at a faster pace, so the better you are at dashing into enemies, kicking them up in the air, and juggling them with those claw-like hands of yours, the easier of a time you’ll have. Do be aware that you won’t be able to cast one on moving/slippery surfaces or near enemies or spinning saws. Oh, and if you don’t want to cast a Sigil just yet, you can remain still while pressing up or down to hold onto it. As a bonus, your progress in a level will be saved up to the last checkpoint you’ve activated, in case you exit a level midway.


If you go into the Extras menu, you’ll be able to check out five bonus levels – including one for Halloween and one for the cold frozen Winter -, a Badges section where you can unlock Blood Badges based on your performance for completing objectives such as getting a 10x combo or higher, killing an enemy with a powerful drop attack, deflecting a knife imp attacking from above, completing the basic tutorials, completing all the tutorials, for completing each of the game’s chapters, and for killing all enemies in each chapter, to name some examples. These Badges can then be used at the Art Gallery section to unlock artwork for the game.

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They Bleed Pixels is a challenging 2D precision hardcore platformer that will require your full attention at all times as you try to avoid the many dangers and hazards on your path. The game’s story will be told by way of great-looking cutscenes that show the characters in greater detail than the lo-fi pixeltastic look of the main gameplay segments. If you’re having a hard time with the Standard option, you can select the Novice difficulty setting so that you can take on a revised version with shorter stages and a lower challenge. They Bleed Pixels is available on Nintendo Switch with a $14.99 asking price.

This They Bleed Pixels review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Spooky Squid Games.

Review Overview

Challenging 2D precision hardcore platformer