Having grown up at a time when E.T. on the Atari was the height of technology, I'm used to a lot of modern "retro games" usually embodying the worst of the era by emulating the clunky controls, tedious gameplay, and laughable translations. Maybe because everyone is bitter that they'll never make a better game than JoustSHUT UP IT'S AMAZING CAN'T HEAR YOU. Bart Bonte knows that old school can be elegant and challenging in its simplicity too, however, and his puzzle game Piksels (also playable on GameJolt), created for the #lowrezjam, proves simple can be sweet... and smart! Using either [WASD] or the [arrow] keys, your goal is to get each pixel into the outline on every stage, but when the rules start changing and the levels get trickier, you'll have to think outside the box. Or in. Depending on the design.
At just sixteen levels, Piksels is short, more snack than meal sized, but still manages to make some remarkably clever changes with its very basic concept. It's a bit like A Blocky Christmas, but with perhaps more thought involved due to the varying shapes you need to recreate. With nothing so fancy as instructions, you're basically left to figure out each new element introduced on your own, but things are intuitive enough that that's never a problem. Piksels is the sort of puzzle game that exemplifies the best of the genre... straightforward, yet mentally engaging, and accessible to just about everyone. Even if it doesn't involve ostriches.