Ode to Pixel Days
In Talha Kaya's artsy platformer Ode to Pixel Days, Hans believes retro isn't just a set of graphics... it's the key to winning the heart of the beautiful cheerleader who shuns him because he's ugly. Believing everyone would be happier if we all looked the same, he builds a magical machine that begins slowly downgrading the people of the world... after all, the only thing standing in front of true love is what's in the mirror, right? Use the [arrow] or [WASD] keys to move and [spacebar] to interact when prompted. Ode to Pixel Days is definitely a personal experience, but it doesn't really feel like it becomes an actual game until the latter half when it incorporates more actual puzzles and platforming instead of just simply walking from point A to point B and squishing something along the way. It's a combination of elements that almost feels a little unbalanced, since if you're primarily interested in the story you can be put off by the fiddly bits, and vice-versa. But where some players will dismiss as being too artsy and navel-gazing, others will be able to appreciate it for the personal story it is and the remarkable amount of thought the developer has put into crafting and telling the tale. Cynical? Bittersweet? Still too idealistic? That's up for you to decide. But as a heartfelt expression of a personal journey, Ode to Pixel Days is worth experiencing.