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PixelJunk Shooter
Pixeljunk shooter.jpg
Logo revealing the official title, PixelJunk Shooter; the winning result of a contest to name the game.
Developer(s) Q-Games
Publisher(s) JP Q-Games
Composer(s) High Frequency Bandwidth
Alex Paterson
Dom Beken
Native resolution 1080p
Platform(s) PlayStation 3
Release date(s) NA December 10, 2009

EU December 10, 2009
JP December 24, 2009

Genre(s) Multidirectional shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, cooperative multiplayer
Media Download
Input methods Gamepad

PixelJunk Shooter is a video game developed by Q-Games for the PlayStation 3. It is the fourth major title in the PixelJunk series. It was released on the North American and European PlayStation Store on December 10, 2009.[1]



In PixelJunk Shooter, up to two players can control their own subterranean vehicles to rescue a number of surviving scientists trapped underground.[2] Using their ships' missiles, players can defeat enemies and destroy weak rock to progress through the environment. In addition to rock and ice, players must manipulate three types of fluid (water, magma, and a magnetic black liquid) in order to reach the survivors.[3] Once each survivor is rescued or killed, players may progress to the next part of the stage. If too many survivors are killed, players are forced to quit or restart the stage. The game has fifteen stages divided evenly among three "episodes", each episode ending with a boss encounter.[4]


PixelJunk Shooter was formally announced during a 2009 pre-E3 press event on April 29, 2009. Originally referred to as PixelJunk 1-4, a 13-day contest was held in which fans submitted game title suggestions to Q-Games.[5] The official title, PixelJunk Shooter, was announced on May 25, 2009.[6] The simplistic name was received negatively by some fans to which Q-Games president Dylan Cuthbert explained that the name was chosen not only for its simplicity, but also because shooting is the game's central mechanic ("Shooting jets of magma, shooting streams of water, shooting enemies, missiles, lasers, plasma spread weapons etc.")[7] Several other titles were considered, including "PixelJunk Elements", the most popular submission. Ultimately, "Elements" was dismissed because "[it didn't] sound action-packed enough".[8]

PixelJunk Shooter is the first title in the PixelJunk series to offer a traditional narrative, conveyed to players through a series of speech boxes awarded upon rescuing certain survivors.[5]

The game's soundtrack is comprised of songs by High Frequency Bandwidth, composed by Alex Paterson and Dom Beken.[9]


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 86.54%[10]
Metacritic 86/100[11]
Review scores
Publication Score A[12]
Eurogamer 8/10[13]
Game Informer 8.50/10[14]
GameSpot 8/10[15]
GameSpy 4/5 stars[16]
IGN 9.1/10[17]

PixelJunk Shooter was met with positive critical reception. Described by Eurogamer as "part retro videogame, part chemistry set; part Geometry Wars, part Zelda",[13] Game Informer called it "one of the best titles you’ll find on PlayStation Network".[14] Similarly, IGN's review called it one of the best PlayStation Network titles of 2009, as well as Q Games' "best work yet".[17]

The game was praised by critics for its level design and unique physics;[13][14] lamented that the game did not include a "sandbox" mode wherein players could experiment with the game's various fluid substances.[12] The music of High Frequency Bandwidth was also praised, described as "a funky, dynamic collection of upbeat trip-hop" by Eurogamer.[13]

Critics were not uniform in reception of the game's combat. While Eurogamer praised the enemies as "cunningly-designed",[13] GameSpy remarked that the combat experience overall "isn't all that interesting".[16]

Several reviews made note of the game's brevity; GameSpot called it "ultimately too short for its own good, abruptly ending just when you're getting into a groove".[15] Other reviewers were less critical of the game's length, noting that the story concludes with a "To Be Continued" screen, suggesting an "Encore" expansion is likely (similar to those released for PixelJunk Monsters and PixelJunk Eden).[12][13]

PlayStation Home

The PixelJunk Shooter space in PlayStation Home is a 3D representation of elements seen in the 2D game. In the foreground are two Home avatars wearing scientist uniforms unlocked by playing PixelJunk Shooter.

A PlayStation Home space for PixelJunk Shooter was added onto the existing Q Games "PixelJunk Museum" space on December 17, 2009. Upon entering the Museum, players receive articles of clothing unlocked by completing portions of PixelJunk Shooter. Completing the game 100% will unlock a complete scientist costume for players to equip their Home avatars with.

The Home space features the virtual interior of the "Ers Piñita Colada", a space center seen in the main menu for PixelJunk Shooter.

See also


  1. ^ "‘Tis the PixelJunk Season…". Playstation Blog. Retrieved 2009-12-02.  
  2. ^ PixelJunk Shooter Preview: Hot And Cold-Running Co-Op,, Jun 8, 2009
  3. ^ Mueller, Greg (2009-04-29). "PixelJunk 1-4 Hands-On: Better Than a Lava Lamp". Shacknews. Retrieved 2009-04-29.  
  4. ^ Cuthbert, Dylan (2009-05-25). "PixelJunk 1-4: Drumroll Please ...". PlayStation.…/comment-page-5/#comment-222761. Retrieved 2009-05-26.  
  5. ^ a b Cuthbert, Dylan (2009-04-29). "Name the Next PixelJunk Game!". PlayStation. Retrieved 2009-04-30.  
  6. ^ Cuthbert, Dylan (2009-05-25). "PixelJunk 1-4: Drumroll Please ...". PlayStation.…/. Retrieved 2009-05-26.  
  7. ^ Cuthbert, Dylan (2009-05-25). "PixelJunk 1-4: Drumroll Please ... (comment)". PlayStation.…/comment-page-5/#comment-222730. Retrieved 2009-05-26.  
  8. ^ Cuthbert, Dylan (2009-05-25). "PixelJunk 1-4: Drumroll Please ... (comment)". PlayStation.…/comment-page-5/#comment-222769. Retrieved 2009-05-26.  
  9. ^ "First PixelJunk 1-4 Details, Hands On Impressions". Kotaku. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2009-04-30.  
  10. ^ "PixelJunk Shooter for PlayStation 3". GameRankings. Retrieved 2009-12-16.  
  11. ^ "PixelJunk Shooter (ps3) reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2009-12-16.  
  12. ^ a b c Barnholt, Ray (2009-12-10). "PixelJunk Shooter Review for the PS3". Retrieved 2009-12-16.  
  13. ^ a b c d e f Welsh, Oli. "PixelJunk Shooter Review". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2009-11-25.  
  14. ^ a b c Miller, Matt (2009-12-14). "PixelJunk Franchise Wins Again". Game Informer. Retrieved 2009-12-16.  
  15. ^ a b McShea, Tom (2009-12-15). "PixelJunk Shooter Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 2009-12-16.  
  16. ^ a b Gallegos, Anthony (2009-12-15). "The Consensus: PixelJunk Shooter Review". GameSpy. Retrieved 2009-12-16.  
  17. ^ a b Roper, Chris (2009-12-09). "PixelJunk Shooter Review". IGN. Retrieved 2009-12-16.  

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