There are many components to a video game, each one appealing to the masses in their own way. While visual style may not be a major selling point to many, fans of pixel art are immediately attracted to the jagged edges and often vibrant coloring. One of the biggest drawbacks of being a fan of pixel art is that it’s not common for major studios to sink money into the genre. Thankfully, indie developers stepped in, and the results have been impressive.
Note that you can find all of these games on Steam, so make sure to get some Steam Wallet Codes and experience these games today!
While you have many options to enjoy from prior years, 2021 is shaping up to be a year stocked with pixel art games you shouldn’t miss! We’ve compiled some of the best below, so get your preorder money ready. It’ll be difficult not to jump on many of these upcoming pixel art games.
Chinatown Detective Agency
The vibrant and neon city of Singapore comes to life in all of its pixelated glory in General Interactive Co.’s Chinatown Detective Agency. Enter a world where your choices shape the adventure as you guide former INTERPOL agent Amira Darma through the bowels of Chinatown as an amateur Private Investigator. Unravel a mystery that spans the globe and will have you scouring through a futuristic city, looking for clues while managing your most precious resource – time.
Chinatown Detective Agency challenges the mind with a multilayered investigative journey that, if you don’t play your cards right, could leave you with more questions than answers.
It’s not every day you get to save the world as a rough ‘n tumble bounty hunter goose. Mighty Goose is a classic sidescroller, right on down to the pixelated sprites and chaotic onscreen action. Developers Blastmode and MP2 Games crafted a fast-paced adventure that revolves around the titular Goose, who takes down hordes of enemies and screen-filling bosses with an array of explosive weaponry.
Mighty Goose captures the spirit of old-school run ‘n gun sidescrollers, delivering on a silly concept that’s enhanced by smooth, challenging gameplay.
No Place For Bravery
The tale of Thorn is one of peril and sacrifice as the old warrior sets out across a war-torn world to find his lost daughter. Everywhere Thorn travels, he’s met with a vicious foe looking to stop his long trek. No Place for Bravery is presented in a 2D top-down format and blends meticulous gameplay with role-playing elements. Glitch Factory’s pixelated fantasy tells a rich and engaging story based on real tales of bravery.
Unlike many 2D top-down games, frantic point and click tactics won’t work. It’s all about patience and perfecting the rhythm of combat, similar to From Software’s Dark Souls series.
Gestalt: Steam & Cinder
That pixelated, flowing red hair of protagonist Aletheia is a sight to behold in Gestalt: Steam & Cinder. Of course, there is much more to Metamorphosis Games’ 2D platformer than hair, but it’s a good indicator of how detailed the studio went on the visuals. The core experience is a fast-paced sidescroller set against a backdrop of beautifully designed artwork that contrasts the action unfolding onscreen.
A blend of a deep narrative and varied combat keeps Gestalt moving forward at an even pace. There is much to do in this RPG adventure, from side quests to chatting up NPCs. Be mindful, though, as the choices you make will steer the direction of the narrative. Upgrade Aletheia’s stats to build a hero that no boss can endure and unravel her story.
A Space For The Unbound
Not all pixel art games need to be laden with action and adventure. Sometimes, it’s the poignant tales that really capture our attention. A Space for the Unbound sends players to 90s Indonesia, in a rural town where everybody knows your name and nobody dares mess with the girl with supernatural powers. Okay, so developer Mojiken was sure to add a little adventure to this tale of self-discovery as players work with the mysterious girl to save the town from an unknown force.
A Space for the Unbound is a story-driven experience that lets you dive into the mind of the town’s NPCs in search of a means of protecting the town from complete destruction.
A stylized journey awaits in Bushiden, an action-packed Metroidvania title that puts you in the shoes of overprotective brother, Reylee, the last of the Iga-Ryu Clan. When his brother goes missing, and the devilish Gaoh is said to have reemerged, Reylee takes action – bringing along his trusty sword and an assortment of hard-hitting powers.
Power Reylee up through cybernetic upgrades and slice ‘n dice your way through hordes of varied enemies in Pixel Arc Studios’ non-linear sidescroller. The “crowd control” feature gives you an edge in combat, and if you’ve encountered a boss you can’t kill, revisit old levels to see what treasures you may find.
Hack, slash and maneuver your way through stunning environments that help bring the world to life.
Crank up the 8-bit heavy metal music and prepare yourself for an action-packed return to formula with Zenovia Interactive’s Steel Assault. 16-bit pixelated action fills the screen at every moment as players control Taro Takahashi in a post-apocalyptic America. Equipped with a useful whip, a zipline, and his trusty fists, Takahashi takes on his enemies without pause as he seeks revenge against the dictator that devastated the nation.
Master the fluidity of combat, and you’ll have Takahashi running circles around the massive bosses and their minions. Steel Assault is the kind of game to keep you on your feet as you perfect the always-moving fighting style that benefits Takahashi.
Take on the Old Gods in Fallen Flag Studio’s action RPG, Eldest Souls. Pulling inspiration from From Software, Eldest Souls is an unforgiving meticulous action RPG that favors the patient and penalizes the button mashers. It may not look like a Dark Souls game, but the difficult combat will have you quickly realizing you can’t rush your way through this one. Especially since you’ll be squaring off against an array of bosses – the Old Gods.
Don’t let the challenging combat get in the way of following along with the deep and engaging tale of the Old Gods and the man who set out to stop them.
Capturing the visual style of a pixelated game doesn’t always work, but when it does, we’re treated to exciting adventures like those listed above. If you have some space on your hard drive, why not add these titles to your Steam wish list so you’re ready to purchase them right away upon release? There is no doubt you won’t want to miss these! Let us know more about your favorite pixel art games in the comments below.