McPixel, released in 2012, is a series of 100 “short challenges” in which you, as the titular pixelated hero, must dig through secrets, stupidity and stupidity to save the day from disaster in 20 seconds or less. A decade later, developer Sos Sosowski is gearing up to follow up with a sequel, McPixel 3, published by none other than Devolver Digital.
McPixel 3 promises another 100 levels to play through, with over 900 gags, 1,500 interactive objects and over 20 microgames “in every genre imaginable”. Again, the name of the game is to avert disaster in very short playthroughs, with crisis aversion methods including – this comes straight from the Steam listing – “summon a spider billionaire, have a barbecue in his pants, hitting a T-Rex in space, pissing in sports cars and kicking Fork Parker in the balls.”
After playing some of the early levels of McPixel 3, I can confidently say that the game is even more messed up than it looks. Nothing makes sense, and McPixel’s actions are completely unpredictable: for example, when I tried to get into a sports car, McPixel instead opened the door and, as mentioned above, peed in it. (There’s a bomb in the car, you see, and I’m guessing he was trying to defuse it. In another level, McPixel also pees on a cruise missile in an attempt to stop it from destroying a tall building. height. No “solution” succeeds.)
Spoiler alert ahead, the correct sequence of events in this level is as follows:
- Kick the driver in the balls to make him drop his keys.
- Pick up the keys.
- Give the keys to the driver. He starts.
- The car explodes from a safe distance—day is saved!
The real fun in McPixel 3 is not solving the puzzles, but experiencing the intense weirdness of failure. Each level has a number of achievements based on actions and results, and each achievement earned earns you coins that can be used in a virtual arcade machine. I haven’t earned enough coins to turn it on yet, so I have no idea what it does, but that’s almost irrelevant: the fun is in the random slapstick silliness that emerges from the McPixel’s utterly bizarre and monumentally stupid interactions with the world around him.
Overall, it reminds me a bit of Chuchel from Amanita Design, which I loved – It’s short, sharp, and absolutely bonkers. If you like that kind of thing, you’ll have the opportunity to try it out for yourself very soon: a demo for McPixel 3 will be playable in the upcoming Steam Next Fest, which starts on February 21. The full game is due out later this year.