“Retro Remakes and Sassy Memes – A Match Made In Heaven?”
The best tribute one can make to an old classic is to remake it in a new way, and I’m not just saying throw some motion blur, bloom and lensflares on it. The first game to experience the true “upgrade” this generation was Pac-Man CE, followed by Galaga Legions. These games not only held the core gameplay of the original, but legitimately improved upon it by adding new features and game modes. Much like these predecessors, Pixel Whirled upgrades Space Invaders, and I can say with complete certainty that the upgrade is an improvement, well worth mentioning in the same sentence as the other ‘old school reimaginings.’
Much like Space Invaders, waves spawn at the top of the screen, and you must slide across the bottom, firing upon them before they reach the bottom of the screen. The trick in Pixel Whirled is that there are TWO screens active at all times – both the Pirate Screen, and the Ninja Screen. The screen not tracked by you fades into the background, half-transparent, but is still “active,” so that if the background monsters reach the bottom, the game is still over. Fortunately, you can flip between screens at any time, so the only barrier to success is your itchy trigger finger; You should have no trouble enjoying the cheesy 8-bit monsters crawl towards you across iconic retro backgrounds.
Aside from semi-overused meme of Ninjas & Pirates (& Zombies & Cowboys & Robots…), I was amazed at how seamlessly Holmade Games was able to make a retro remake so accessible, so visually enjoyable, and yet so uniquely challenging. The “8-bit”-style they aim for is ideal for Pixel Whirled, complete with catchy chiptunes blaring in the background.
It’s too bad that they didn’t take the remake concept further – some form of multiplayer, competitive challenge, or leaderboards would really flush out this game, but as it stands, I can’t help but encourage retro lovers and those who enjoy shooters to try out Pixel Whirled. With the all the great features added in to this game, I can guarantee you’ll get your money out of it.
Game Score 8/10
Download a free trial of the game here.