PAX West 2023: Hands-on With The Latest PixelJunk Games
Q-Games came to PAX West 2023 to show off two titles: PixelJunk Eden 2 as well as the newly released PixelJunk Scappers Deluxe.
During my time playing PixelJunk Eden 2, I came to a wild realization: the PixelJunk games have been out for over 15 years now – a fact which made me feel better about my heavily apparent lack of skill while playing this sequel (even if it made me feel incredibly old). I was fairly decent at the first PixelJunk Eden game, I promise! It’s just apparently been a few years since I last played it.
After reacquainting myself with the game and its controls, I felt right back at home as I controlled my Grimp character, jumping and swinging around in order to help cultivate new plants as I progressed through the stage. Admittedly, it was hard to hear the audio in the bustling PAX West Expo Hall, but with multimedia artist Baiyon returning for this sequel, I don’t have any doubts that the sights and sounds will be just as wonderful if not better than the first game.
PixelJunk Eden 2 is now available on Nintendo Switch and will also release on PC for Steam and Epic as well as PlayStation with full 4K support later this year.
I also had a chance to check out the newly released PixelJunk Scappers Deluxe which released back in July. As someone whose gaming childhood heavily involved Beat ’em Ups, I was really curious to see what the PixelJunk version of that would be.
Scrappers, as it turns out, provides an interesting twist to the genre, morphing it into what they’re calling a “Clean ’em Up.” The plot is that you’re a robot trash collector. All the robots had launched their trash into space, but it all came back down. Now, as a robot trash collector, your job is to collect trash and place, or throw it, into the back of the garbage truck that accompanies you throughout each level. In addition, there are other robot trash collectors that show up. You can beat them up and also throw them into the garbage truck. The more trash you collect, the more money you make, and then you can use that for upgrading weapons. It’s also worth noting that the controls are made to be simple- you can attack a few times in succession, but there aren’t any complex combos that you have to remember.
At the end of the demo, I had a chance to check out one of the harder boss levels. Apparently, the game’s director has a love of the Japanese pop idol group Perfume, and the level is heavily inspired by idol culture, complete with robots waving their light sticks around. This particular level was further along in the game’s campaign and definitely provided a challenge, but it was still pretty fun.
The whole campaign can be played with up to four players. If you want, there also also some mini-games to play that mix-up the gameplay a little bit.
PixelJunk Scrappers Deluxe is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, and PC via Steam and Epic.
Images courtesy of Q-Games.