Q-Games' PixelJunk series has always strived for simplicity in both its mechanics and monikers, but the title assigned to PixelJunk Shooter has long seemed a bit off. First released on PlayStation 3 in 2009, the methodical, puzzle-tinged adventure lacks the kind of frantic, intense edge you might expect based on its branding, but the freshly-ported Mac experience still quietly captivates with its smart challenges and offbeat presentation.
When PixelJunk Monsters debuted as a downloadable PlayStation 3 game in early 2008, it proved a real diamond in the rough – and something of a revelation. This was before tower defense games exploded in popularity, and still months before we had an App Store, let alone one eventually filled with numerous great genre options. To see a game mine such rich strategic complexity out of a simple approach was so impressive at the time, and I fondly recall pumping dozens of hours into the game, alternating between extreme emotions of glee and rage as I stared into the cartoonish glow.