PixelJunk Shooter

I'm in love. PixelJunk Shooter landed on PSN and completely gobbled up my evening before I even knew what happened. After gorging on big releases for the last few months, I really didn't think there was room in my stomach for this last, wafer thin mint of a game. I'm glad I dropped the ten bucks, because I am exploding with delight over here. This is fun.

You play as a single ship, newly arrived to a planet where a mining team has gone missing, leaving an SOS signal pulsing out into space. Diving deep into the earth, you navigate the caves and rescue scientists with your ships grappling hook, yanking them into the safety of your hull. You maneuver your vessel in the time honored tradition of twin stick shooters, controlling facing with the right stick and thrust with the left. You fire unlimited missiles out the front of your ship and if you hold the trigger down, the missiles become heat seekers.

Each level is fairly small, your primary goal is to rescue every surviving scientist, which unlocks the gate to the next area. Sometimes they're easy to reach, you just need to swoop down and snap them up. Other times you have to figure out a way to reach them without dumping a metric ton of lava on their heads in the process. A common solution to some of these earlier scenarios would be to shoot some soft earth out from under a body of water, causing it to flow out and harden the lava, rendering it dormant and easy to blast through. Otherwise, that lava is liquid and it will flow through whatever holes you blast into the rock, frying the hapless scientists in the process.

Where PixelJunk Shooter really shines is the alchemy and physics involved in solving these environmental puzzles. Water hardens lava and lava can ignite gasses. How you release these elements or create tunnels to re-direct them is where it becomes more than just a shooter. Enemies themselves can blast magma at you or fire their own missiles, overloading your ships heat sensors and killing you. Rather than need to worry about health, it's all about heat management. Staying close to lava will heat you up, getting shot heats you up almost to bursting and firing homing missiles also generates heat. You can collect shields to negate this or fly your ship into the water to cool down. Everything from the controls to the way the environment reacts to your maneuvers just makes sense and flows beautifully.

Unlike PixelJunk Eden, Shooter feels more like a complete game with multiple objectives and ways to fight back against the enemies harassing you. With any luck I'll be able to try some local coop (up to two players) before I finish my run, so there's lots left to do!

There's also more depth, powers and tricks to discover than I'm willing to spoil here. It's worth seeing for yourself and for such a low price of admission, it's impossible not to recommend.


I was similarly snared; the game is delightful.

I can't wait to get it.

Yep, I feel very similar to what you just said Certis. There's something extremely pleasing about shooting holes into raw earth in order to let water flow to where it needs to be, and having the elements react just how you think they should. At $10, this game is a steal.

$10 is a no brainer price for almost any game, but this game is worth much, much more than that.

There really is no excuse for me to not own a PS3 anymore. I don't even care about the AAA releases so much. PSN seems to have alot of good stuff now.

It's like Gravity Crash and the Sand Game had a baby, and the resultant offspring definitely took after it's much more sandy and fun parent.

Played for a half an hour, had to reluctantly put the controller down to go to work. Can't wait to get back home.

I can't believe you even mentioned the story. I was surprised there was a story when I started playing.

This is a fun little game. Can't wait to get home and finish it.

garion333 wrote:

I can't believe you even mentioned the story. I was surprised there was a story when I started playing.

This is a fun little game. Can't wait to get home and finish it.

I think it has forwarded a grand story in a way that no twin stick shooter ever has, and with skill that absolutely rivals a game like Dragon Age.

Man, you're spamming up my Twitter feed with your love for this game, Certis. I'm looking forward to picking this up, if the hype for the previous games are any indication for the quality of this one. Without wanting to go on too much of a tangent, Sony is putting out a PJ multi-pack with Racers, Eden, and Monsters... would those games still be relevant and enjoyable right now? I see a potential marathon in the near future.

They're all similar in aesthetic, but quite different in gameplay terms. I never really got into Monsters, since it's a tower defense game. Eden was fun in a weird relaxing/frustrating kind of way, but I'm told they've patched that up since to ease the difficulty. Racers I have no experience with.

Eden is much more fun now that's it's patched. I kinda hated it before. Monsters is a fun tower defense game, but if you don't like tower defense game it probably won't change your mind.

I too didn't buy Racers.

Eden is the first and only PixelJunk game I got before I fell in love with them. Even before the patch I loved to play it, frustrating as it was. Afterwards.... I was in love. Great game. Never played Monsters (even though I like tower defense games!) and heard mixed reviews of Racers. Just cause of Eden I got Shooter. Its great. Day one purchase. 10 dollars isn't that much, even if the game is short. Plus like Eden, I'm positive it'll be a game that even once I am done, I'll pop in and play it when I have 10-30 minutes to kill and don't want to get too heavily vested in a game.

If Shawn explodes with delight, the developers did something right!

I haven't played shooter yet, but Monsters isn't getting the love it should. One little known fact about it is that it supports two player, and is a great game to get a wife/gf into gaming. The resource management brutal on normal though, so you might want to drop it to easy until you get the gameplay elements down to a science.

Waitaminute... is this like PixelJunk Solar Jetman?

Certis wrote:

I think it has forwarded a grand story in a way that no twin stick shooter ever has, and with skill that absolutely rivals a game like Dragon Age.

Now you guys are just getting snitty. Well done!

Thanks for the info, I'll probably check PJ:S out tonight.

Hahaha! "Wafer thin."

I sprung for this as soon as I got a free second at home last night. Played through three levels and found it refreshingly light and fun. I am a latecomer to Eden but I had just bought that the previous night after finding myself attempting to try the demo just one more time.

I, for one, welcome our Pixeljunk overlords. But I'm not buying a tower defense game, Pixeljunk, so suck it.

I shouldn't be surprised after how interesting Eden was, but this really is a great game.

Certis wrote:

I think it has forwarded a grand story in a way that no twin stick shooter ever has, and with skill that absolutely rivals a game like Dragon Age.

I love you.

Great game for ten bucks. I was a little worried that the gimmick of the game would lose its sheen after an hour or so, but I'm still eager to get back into it. The addition of the two player mode adds another layer that should give it some legs.

On a related note I saw a video for a similar game called Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet a few months back. That's one that might even top PixelJunk Shooter, especially with its great art style. I can't wait for it to get finished.

Despite St.hillary not being much for shooters, we've had a blast with this game so far. Its an awesome little co-op game. To be honest though, it's so much fun in coop, I can't see playing it solo.

Picked it up over the weekend, and LOVE IT! The wife and I have gotten some serious time with it, both co-op and solo, and it's just great fun. Shooter does what all great games do: it uses simple, intuitive gameplay in a fun and interesting way to addict you.

Bought this last night and played till well past my bedtime. What a blast! . . . my current lifestyle is not very compatible with all the sweet friggin' games that are coming out right now.

Fun game. I finished it over the weekend, and didn't realize I was about to. I'd play more, if there was any!