Back in my PlayStation 3 days, I had 2 games that I would fire up for relaxed challenges. The first was Pain, a game that no one seems to remember. The second was Pixeljunk Monsters.
Pixeljunk Monsters is a tower defence game with a small twist. In these games, you are usually an omnipotent overlord manipulating the world below. In Pixeljunk Monsters, you are the chief on the ground, and have to run around and do everything yourself!
Waves of enemies make their way toward your village, and you need to save your people. This is done like any other tower defence game – build towers on trees to tackle the enemies. Different weapons are more effective against different opponents. It’s all a balancing act that you learn as you progress.
If you manage to finish the stage without losing anyone, you earn a perfect ‘rainbow’ clear. It was proof of mastery at every level, and I would play a level over and over until I got that rainbow. Back in the day, Pixeljunk Monsters was one of the few games I Platinumed. I also finished all the DLC trophies in Pixeljunk Monsters Encore. That was a rare event, and still is!
Then on PlayStation Portable, I was excited when Pixeljunk Monsters Deluxe came out. This version was not only portable but had the Encore expansion content and a whole new area just for PSP! I could fire up Pixeljunk Monsters and play a level wherever I was.
I would do the same on PlayStation Vita with Pixeljunk Monsters Ultimate HD. Unfortunately, the Vita died before I could Platinum this version. Ultimate is a remaster of Deluxe, but I never quite had the time to just go and finish it.
Well, guess what I have been playing again! I tried playing Pixeljunk Monsters 2 on the Switch, but I couldn’t get into it. I don’t know what it is about the sequel that put me off. The change to 3D models alone isn’t it. The feel from the 2D original is very different though.
Maybe I should give the sequel a chance. But for now, when I am on the couch and want to play something without ‘playing’ something, Pixeljunk Monsters is back on the menu!
If you have a Steam Deck or want to try it on PC, Pixeljunk Monsters Ultimate is also available on Steam. It is slightly different to Deluxe, but only in starting towers and monster waves are different.