8bit and 16bit pixel art has a lot of charm and a classy look that most games can’t match. Even though some modern pixel art games make people nostalgic because they look like old games, others try new things with the style. Pixel games have shown over and over again that realistic-looking graphics aren’t necessary to show messages, stories, atmosphere, and emotions in a way that makes sense.
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Pixel art was what made video games unique in their early days, but it’s still very common in games made in the last few years. You should play these games if you like this kind of art.
1. ANNO: Mutationem
ANNO: Mutationem is one of the most beautiful games that have come out in 2022 so far. Ann, the main character, is looking for her brother in a vibrant cyberpunk city. An action RPG, this game has 3D parts where Ann explores the city, talks to people, and buys things, as well as side-scrolling parts where she fights with hack and slash elements.
ANNO: Mutationem’s pixel graphics are one of its best features, because the colourful images add depth and personality to the setting, making it seem more real and alive. The combat is also fun, and the story is good enough for this kind of game.
2. Vampire Survivors
OK, Vampire Survivors isn’t the most beautiful pixel art game out there. In fact, it looks a lot like a simple game for the most part. However, this game does well because of its gameplay and how many times you can play it. Afterward, players fight wave after wave of enemies, which gives them new items and survivors they can use in future playthroughs, but it also takes a lot of time.
Even though the screen is filled with destruction and mayhem, Vampire Survivors doesn’t get too much to handle, so death usually leads to a new start. The combat is also very complex, with each character taking a lot of time to learn.
Metal Gear is the subject of the game’s name, but it also pokes fun at other genres. The 2021 game doesn’t have a lot of new ideas when it comes to its stealth. It’s functional, but not much more than that. To make up for a weak core game, UnMetal keeps upping the ante with its unpredictable story and other secondary mechanics, which keep things interesting for a while longer than the game itself.
As far as pixel art games go, UnMetal is one of the more fun ones out there. It’s true that humour is subjective, so the game’s humour won’t be funny to everyone.
Unsighted is an action RPG that focuses a lot on exploration. It tells a story about war and androids that is very interesting. A ticking clock that leads to Alma’s death and a desire to find five important items are the main things she has to deal with when she wakes up. Players are free to explore Arcadia, a desolate city, at their own pace after the stage is set. They can look around at their own pace.
Unsighted’s pixel art is a treat to look at. In Studio Pixel Punk, they used the art style’s simplicity to its fullest, creating a haunting world. It’s also fun to fight, especially when you get used to the parry system.
5. Bonfire Peaks
Bonfire Peaks is a game where you have to help a character through a forest while they try to burn boxes of their things. As players move through the beautiful and intimidating setting, the puzzles will become more difficult as new mechanics are added that require different ways of thinking to solve.
The answers aren’t always obvious, and if someone’s train of thought goes in the wrong direction, the puzzles might even seem impossible to solve. You need to play Bonfire Peaks if you like pixel art and puzzle games!
Pixpil’s Eastward is a great indie game that takes players on an amazing journey through a world that looks like it was drawn by hand. People in the story are John, a mute but strong man, and Sam, a bright-eyed young girl. It turns out that they were born and raised in an underground community. They go out into the world to find out that everything they thought was right isn’t.
With a gripping story, great writing, beautiful images, and memorable side characters, Eastward is a haunting delight that you won’t forget. As long as you don’t mind the gameplay taking away from the story of the pixel game, you should be fine.
When it comes to indie pixel games, Omori has all the ingredients for a great one. Even though the game hasn’t had the same level of exposure as Undertale or Stardew Valley, it still has a lot going for it. Omori, who made the game in RPGMaker, used pixel art and hand-drawn art to make beautiful and imaginative landscapes that both charm and scare players.
Omori is mostly a psychological horror game, even though the visuals might not always make it clear. Omori, a young boy who has been through a lot and can’t deal with it on his own, has a group of kids look into his dreams. There are a lot of mature themes in the indie game, like depression and grief, but they’re all handled with care and thought.
Technically, Omori isn’t just a pixel game, because it also has other art styles in it. However, they complement each other very well and work together so that they can echo the emotional beats that the story hits.
8. Death Road To Canada (2016) – 79.6
It’s called Death Road to Canada, and it puts players in charge of a car with four people inside. The only goal is to survive the endless hordes of zombies. To make the game more interesting, it randomly changes things like the location when you start a new game.
In the game, there are many different characters (apocalypse survivors) to interact with and play as, and each one has a unique personality trait that makes it even more fun. Not at all. This game isn’t going to scare people away from zombies again. Instead, it’s more on the funny side of things.
9. Terraria (2011) – 81.3
It’s clear that Terraria takes a lot of inspiration from Minecraft. It brings the sandbox elements that make Minecraft so great to the two-dimensional world. In this game, players have a lot of freedom, which is great because there are a lot of things to mine and caves and homes to build.
It looks like Terraria is just another side-scroller game from an indie game company, but its gameplay has a lot of depth even though it’s very easy to play. Another way to make it more fun is to play with friends.