Pixel Assassin

...feeling a somewhat worrying sense of accomplishment in Pixel Assassin

You may recall that I already reviewed Pixel Assassin, an Android game about, well assassinating people, in its early development (take a peek) and, much like a washing machine stuck in an endless spin cycle, I've decided to don my hood and gloves to have a go at the final release.

Oh Good...

Perhaps it says something about the difficulty of today's assassination-based games (ed - steady on, grandad), but Pixel Assassin really makes you feel good about managing to land that backstab on an unsuspecting guard without dying for the 50th time. If you haven't already guessed, it's still a bloody hard game. Getting too close to a guard, or managing to walk headfirst into a speeding arrow, results in instant death and respawn at the checkpoint - which, I am happy to report, actually works now, yippee!

Yep, spinning traps make things even trickier...

Possibly the somewhat floaty jumping animation doesn't help in this regard, as it's hard to time your landing behind a fellow before he turns around when you're slowly sinking to the ground like a deflating balloon. I can't quite decide whether this is something that should have been 'fixed' before full release, or if the developer has deliberately left it in. I'm hoping the latter...

...because I enjoy pretending to be a mildly incompetent assassin! How's that for a smooth segue? Ahem. You see, there is something almost comedic about the strange floating jumps my character does, or the little stabs of the dagger that almost suggests a certain shyness. Indeed, I like to imagine my assassin has become one by accident, wildly flailing at passing soldiers with a knife until one of them falls over. Jumping over that bloomin' Crimson Knight boss over and over again to avoid his massive sword is rather frustrating, but also a bit awkward and amusing, like we're both engaged in a dance but neither of us can figure out the moves.

Caught mid-assassination, or awesome rockstar pose?

Quite why I'm imagining it like this is beyond reasoning, but there is an important point here: Pixel Assassin is perhaps even more rewarding because it is so hard to do any assassinations without completely cocking it up. And I completely welcome this, if only to lower my own sense of smug self -satisfaction I get from playing most AAA games.

In other words, play Pixel Assassin and prepare to feel totally awesome when you finally succeed.

*flies dreamily away*


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