McPixel 3 Review – 7 Hours Later, I Still Don’t Know What I Just Played
Title: McPixel 3
Developer: Sos Sosowski
Release Date: November 14, 2022
Reviewed On: PC
Publisher: Devolver Digital
Ten years ago, McPixel was released as a puzzle game that threw out all logic of the genre. Through the save-the-day gameplay, players would experience short bursts of insanity that would instill frustration or bouts of laughter. I’m not here to speculate on what happened to McPixel 2, but here we are, ten years later with the release of McPixel 3. Unlike an aging band whose sophomore album isn’t as good as their debut, McPixel 3 plays a similar song and dance to its predecessor, which will surely satisfy fans. This game isn’t for everyone; hell, it may not even be for me, but it is undeniably fun.
After a quick tutorial, McPixel 3 boots up to a city that needs saving. Levels are unlocked using coins, which take players through a series of stages where the save-the-day elements occur. First, if you’ve ever considered yourself good at puzzle games, you will want to tone down your logic. Often, levels are completed using some last-ditch idea that you had.
The gameplay boils down to a point-and-click adventure where players are tasked to stop an explosion or fire or someone from dying, and the list goes on. However, your approach is often met with a bad ending. Oh, you’re in a plane about to crash? Click on the parachute, and save-the-day guy will throw it out of the plane. It’s like this for every stage, which usually has a few crude endings for our protagonist.
I’d give up any hope of enjoying this game if you hate crude humor. Almost every level has a few piss animations sprinkled around. In fact, a free hint would be that pee is usually the answer for many stages. These juvenile elements fuel this entire experience, with nothing off the table.
The levels seem to have no end of creative settings. Some stages have themes, but the puzzles are uniquely stupid, and I’m saying that as a positive. I turned my brain off while playing and had an amazing time. Interestingly, the more outlandish series of choices I made always seemed to lead to a secret or, more often than not, a good ending.
You need to save the day to win, but that’s easier said than done. If you fail a stage, you still go on to the next one, but you’ll need to complete the entire series to get to the next stage. Collecting endings is still rewarded, so simply trying new things will net you some coins whether you survive or not. However, it can be frustrating if you’ve tried everything but still can’t find the correct actions.
Thankfully, the game speeds up viewed animations, allowing you to skip them upon replay. Further, you can show all the interactable objects on the screen. I found this to be the most helpful feature because sometimes two interactable objects will be close together, making it tough to know if you’re clicking one or the other.
As you play through the series of minigames, McPixel 3 raises the bar that McPixel initially created. What could be described as an experience similar to Wario, McPixel 3 is in a genre of its own. You can’t put this game in a box; even this review is tough for me to write because I honestly don’t know what I just played. My head is full of piss jokes and kicks to the growing, and my sense of logic has been completely flipped upside down.
Graphically, I’d say McPixel 3 is almost too similar to the first entry, although it has a much sharper pixelated look. Further, Sos Sosowski shows off some new tricks using cool-themed levels and hilarious animations. As your IQ lowers, the levels become exceptionally complex in the later portions; you will be tested on just how dumb you can be to complete a stage.
McPixel 3 has a fantastic soundtrack, but I feel it’s missing sound effects. However, I can see how a growing kick sound effect would become annoying the hundredth time you kick someone. In terms of controls, I attempted to play using a controller, but I’d say the optimal way is to use a mouse or touch screen. Using a controller to move the pointer never felt natural and often wasted time as I attempted to interact with objects.
McPixel 3 is a game you need to turn your brain off to enjoy. It’s crude, creative, and stupidly fun. The frustration that stems from repetitive bad ends is a feeling created by a gamer’s desire to win. However, these puzzles are less about winning and more about experiencing, and similar to McPixel 3, that makes no sense.
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