Pixel Assassin is a platform created by Zek and allows you to take control of an assassin who has been given tasks to hunt and kill certain targets. Each level is unique, offering new targets and new objects which can help you on your mission. However, there is one mission in this beta which is a quest, where you don’t have a target to kill, instead, you have to make it over the chasm by retrieving goods for a guard. Within this beta, we have 5 levels, one with a celebrity appearance within the level as your target, and each one is different from the last while remaining the same. How does this work? Well, it reminds me of Mario, where each level has the same background where you are on the ground and the same colour scheme is generally used, but there is always a different layout to the levels so it makes it more difficult to complete. Generally, that is a good thing to have because it stops people completing the game quickly.veb
Controlling your character is simple, due to it being a mobile game there are no complicated controls. It is simply an attack and jump button as well as your directional controls. These are quick to learn as well because they are on the UI, in my opinion they are a bit to big and take up more space than needed on the screen itself but that isn’t a massive problem because the controls are transparent (apart from the symbol such as a sword to show attack, as well as the circle around it) so they don’t affect the visuals of the game itself. The gameplay is smooth, there is no delay between pressing the control and the character action, which is fantastic as it allows for the game to be played smoothly without any annoying delay which would ruin the game.
Visually, the game itself reminds me of Caveblazers, the way it looks with everything being made up of clear pixels. Personally, I enjoy this style of pixel graphics, it is done very well in the game itself and it suits the game. The sprites (characters) are made on Piskel, which for anyone wanting to create pixel art or sprites for their game, I would highly recommend using this due to the fact it is simple to use and doesn’t take long to learn how to animate your sprites. I have no issues at all with the way the game looks, I am relieved that the buildings look different from the background as it makes it easy to differentiate between the buildings and the background.
Combat in this game reminds me so much of Mario, just because it is either you kill the enemy or they kill you, there is no in between. You can kill enemies by stabbing them in the back with your dagger, you have no direct confrontations with any character in the game up to now. Remember this is a beta so we could see confrontations and a variety of weapons in the full release of the game. Also, when playing the game, don’t try and surprise attack them from the front like I did, either way, they will kill you with their sword they have equipped, and when going to attack archers you have to time the attack correctly.
Pixel Assassin does have some problems, which I hope are sorted when the full release comes around, the first being that if you have completed 2 levels for example if you quit the game on your phone and come back on you have to start from level 1. I found this infuriating at times because I would get to level 4 and have a message and go to read the message, just to come back to the game and see I would have to start from the first level. Hopefully, we have a save feature or an automatic save when the full game is released. Another problem I encountered was on the second level, where there is an archer shooting down at you (by the way I did like where you had to hide from the arrows and time your escape) but the arrows must have had a homing attachment to them. Why did they? I would see the arrow come towards my position, but it was dropping so it would (realistically) hit the ground, but when I jumped it would go straight to me and kill me. This was annoying as it happened repeatedly, and even when I wouldn’t jump if I was within a certain area of the arrows they would come and kill me even though they weren’t heading in my direction. Something I would like to touch on, which isn’t exactly a problem for me and isn’t a problem with the game, but it was the objective of one of the missions where you have to assassinate Donald Trump. Personally, I found the idea of you climbing the wall humorous, but it could be seen as offensive to certain people who support Trump or even anyone associated with Trump himself. Also, this wasn’t a problem with the game itself but it made the game tedious, the fact that every time I completed a mission I would be forced back to the main menu and have to choose the mission from there.
The background music of this game fitted the game perfectly, as it gives more of a medieval feel to the game itself. As well as this the sound effects for the game are loud and clear, which is good because for the player we can clearly tell when we kill someone. Another great feature, which I enjoyed a lot was the “books” feature, what is this feature? Well, you are given a book, which is a short story on how you became who you are. The events which unfold to make you become the assassin. This is great for me, as I always love backstory to the characters so you know who they are and it can make you relate to them on a much more personal level as well.
Generally, Pixel Assassin is a good mobile game, it is creative and simple, so it is fun for all ages. There are a couple of problems with the game that could be improved, but that is the same with every game out there, including AAA games. I am looking forwards to the full release, which I will be reviewing! So, have a look out for that when the review goes live. The full game will be free but with ads, so I am unsure whether there will be a micro-transaction to remove the ads or not. You can follow Zek on Twitter for more information and latest news.