In Pixelry, you play as a young lad in a pixelated kingdom – appropriately named Pixelville. His dream is to become a knight and win the hand of princess Arianna Annabelle di Grandigund Hyacinthe (whew) in marriage. Since it’s a world of pixelated chivalry, it’s only natural that he would have to win her heart through his jousting skills. The unnamed protagonist must rise through the ranks and make a name for his himself as a horseman by winning the championship called “The Big 5,” which consists of the most renowned and successful knights in the realm. Along the way he will encounter surprise battles that will test his strength and compete in mini-games to acquire gold for better equipment.
Jousting is fairly straightforward. You gallop from the left to the right while your opponent charges at you with the intent to skewer your internal organs. By using the arrow keys you can adjust your speed and shield position. Pressing the space bar rises and lowers your lance. To defeat your opponent, you must block his attacks and strike his unprotected areas, which can lead to some very intense side-scrolling jousting matches. Wins gain you both fame and money, while losing results in a loss of fame that you’ve worked so hard for.
There are several mini-games to break up the action. One is a job where you examine potions for inconsistencies by pressing the up arrow if it’s perfect and pressing the down arrow if there’s some sort of flaw. The other mini-game is racing your noble steed through an obstacle course littered with obstructions and debris.
The realm of Pixelry consists of several locations, all of which may be accessed from beautifully drawn top-down map. Some are unlocked by certain tasks, and more are planned on being added in the future. The development team has said that since the plot revolves around knights coming to Pixelry, we most likely won’t see the world outside of the kingdom.
It’s possible to customize your horse and heraldry through several presets and your freehand pixel drawing skills. The development team promises that in the future all equipment will be customizable – that of course includes armor, shields, and lances.
The soundtrack is a delightful chip tune score that fits the game and time period perfectly, and adds excitement to the game, further make Pixelry feel like a nod to the video games of yesteryear.
For a game that’s currently in the early alpha stage, Pixelry is looking to become a nostalgia inducing cult-favorite. You can play 15 minutes of Pixelry for free by downloading the demo or you can purchase the alpha-funding version for $6.99 on Desura.