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Video Game / McPixel

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"Savin' the day, the McPixel way!"

McPixel is a 2012 video game developed and published by Sos Sosowski.

There's a bomb somewhere in the building/house/deserted island/whale/castle/school/outer space/(insert location here)! You've got twenty seconds to defuse it! What would you do?

Be a complete idiot, apparently.

In this cross between WarioWare and Leisure Suit Larry, follow the adventures of adventure man, jack-of-all-trades and general vandal McPixel as he finds himself in various cliffhanger situations, and has only 20 seconds to save the day with a mixture of cartoon logic and wanton destruction.

Available here and through Steam. A sequel, McPixel 3, published by Devolver Digital, was released in 2022.

McPixel contains examples of:

  • Butt-Monkey: There's a certain old man who appears at least once in every chapter that gets abused in various upsetting ways, such as being thrown off a bridge, out an elevator, out of a train, or having McPixel climb inside of him to safely detonate the bomb.
  • The Cameo: A "Space Butterfly" level that was added at the request of Jesse Cox. PewDiePie, the Bro, Stephano and a Barrel appear in the same DLC set.
    • The promotional video about the non-existent McPixel 2 contains cameos from several people who worked with Devolver Digital in the past (Daniel Mullins, Bennett Foddy, Goichi Suda...)
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Chapter 4, Round 1, Level 4. McPixel gets hammered off a drink that's 1% alcohol and Groin Attacks Guy Fawkes. Can't hold it literally, either.
  • Cloud Cuckooland: McPixel is just the tip of the iceberg; don't expect anyone—or anything for that matter—in the game to act in any sort of logically predictable manner.
  • Comedic Sociopathy: McPixel's task is to make sure the bomb doesn't blow up, no one said anything about making sure bystanders don't get hurt or used as battering rams.
  • Cut and Paste Environments: Chapter 4's special stage is all the same room. Only the outcomes on each of the rooms is different.
  • Detonation Moon: One of the stages is on the moon.
  • Digital Piracy Is Okay: The developer even handed out promo codes for the game on a torrent page on The Pirate Bay. This gave the game a lot of publicity, which TPB's organizers helped along by modifying their logo to resemble McPixel's. Article linkie.
  • Gasshole: One of the extras for 100% Completion is a "Fart-Along" rhythm game.
  • Groin Attack: Whenever McPixel interacts with a person, his first action will be a kick to the groin.
  • Idiot Hero: The titular protagonist, of course! And lucky for him it's one of the few universes where one has to be an idiot in order to win.
  • Jumping on a Grenade: And sometimes, eating the grenade. 50% of the time, it works. The other fifty percent, everything else explodes.
  • Moon Logic Puzzle: The only kind of logic that can beat 99% of the puzzles. To put things in perspective, the first rule of playing this game is this: If the solution you have in mind makes sense, there's a 75% chance it's wrong. The remaining 25%? It works, but not in the way you were expecting it to. After a couple levels, it's almost second nature. The four bonus rounds, meanwhile, are No Logic Puzzles.
  • Needle in a Stack of Needles: The final set of levels in the main game tasks McPixel with defusing the one bomb out of eleven that's not a dud. To make things worse, the six levels in the set are all identical apart from their outcomes.
  • Permanently Missable Content: The game has four Mind Screw bonus rounds (one made entirely out of the title character, one set on the rainbow trail of Nyan Cow, one set in a sewer underneath a toilet, and a crazily glitched up one) that can only be accessed a limited number of times while doing the initial runthroughs of each of the official stages note . They are reached by getting three silver or gold completions in a row, and missing once breaks the chain. Once you finished all normal stages, these bonus rounds can no longer be reached without wiping the save file.
  • Quote Mine: Take a look at the website and see how many review quotes are mined to the point of unintelligibility.
  • Retraux:
    • Mimics late 70s/early 80s pixel games. The cover art itself is very eighties as well.
    • The lack of sound effects, along with the bizarre non-sequitur slapstick comedy, invoke the style of early 20th century silent films.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Time Bomb: Almost every level has a bomb with a fuse or timer, but it's set for 20 seconds to respond. In the stage with a visible timer (Dual-phase bomb in chapter 4), it's malfunctioning and switching between 0 and 1 but this doesn't affect the timer.
  • Timed Mission: Every level gives you twenty seconds to figure out a solution.
  • Title Scream: MCPIXEL!! greets you each time you fire the game up. The same graphic also appears whenever you start and finish a round, though the voice clip itself doesn't occur.
  • Unexpected Virgin: A volcano demands a Virgin Sacrifice. You have the option to toss a Dumb Blonde or a cow in. The solution to that particular puzzle is for McPixel to throw himself into the volcano.
  • Un-Installment: McPixel 3 is the second game in the series. A gag promotional video by Devolver claims that there was going to be a McPixel 2, but it was too ambitious to succeed.
  • Urine Trouble: McPixel apparently has a thing for urinating on certain objects and people for whatever reason. Is almost certain to happen if he drinks alcohol of any sort.
  • Wire Dilemma: McPixel encounters one of these in one scenario. His response is to just yank out a fistful of wires without any care for order or precision. Naturally, it works.