McPixel is a classic point and click action game, but there is slightly more to it than one might expect. Gameplay is simple; you play as the title character, McPixel, and each of the game’s levels has the same goal: you have twenty seconds to stop a crisis. Each level has its own set of objects to play with in order to help you save the day, ranging from wrenches, cows, and aliens to sumo wrestlers and pokeballs. It’s even more ridiculous than it sounds.
McPixel’s Story mode consists of four chapters with three rounds in each, and each round is made up of six levels. Each chapter also features a special round if you replay it and clear all three rounds 100% by getting every possible outcome within each level.
As easy as that sounds, McPixel is a trial and error, “let’s see what this does” kind of game. Logic is thrown out the window, and you will certainly stumble upon many of McPixel’s solutions by accident. Some of the game’s solutions make no sense at all, but that element is what gives the game its charm. It’s entertaining to see all of the different possibilities play out, whether it’s sticking a flashlight in Batman’s mouth and causing him to emit beams of light or putting out a fire by peeing on it. The game actually rewards you for getting every possible outcome within each level with a gold tile, as opposed to white. Getting gold in all three rounds of a chapter unlocks a special round of levels, and the special rounds actually turned out to be my favorite part of the game. Unfortunately, even with the special rounds to unlock, it’s all over too quickly. I cleared the game’s one hundred levels with gold in just over two hours, but getting there did take more than a few retries of each level in order to succeed.
McPixel’s blocky graphic style looks like something you might play on the NES or Atari. It’s deliberate. The graphics are not groundbreaking by any industry standard, but they are not trying to be. The music loops that accompany the game are catchy and add to the game’s twisted humor. I feel like McPixel would best be played with a few friends taking turns. It’s a game that feels like an interactive meme or Youtube video, and it would be fun to watch other people’s reactions.
My experience with McPixel was full of laughs, grimaces, and many raised eyebrows at all of the explosive crotch kicking, Godzilla slaying, and self-sacrifice of the game’s easily distracted protagonist. McPixel is an underdog hero with good intentions, though things don’t always work out for him the first time around. The game is not an epic adventure by any means, but it is a brief, ludicrous experience that will surprise you with its nods to pop culture and toilet humor.