|Basic setup of the game - Pixel Lincoln scrolling through the levels|
What is Pixel Lincoln? I know that I was wondering this after checking out their campaign page. It's a deckbuilding game based on a DS game, based on a different game?? What?? Well, basically, what happened is that Jason made a little game that he was showing off at conventions as a novelty, more than anything - kind of like, "hey, this is neat." Well, a local (video) game development studio thought that it was cool and decided to make a Nintendo DS game from it. That's pretty cool. I don't know the details on that, but I think that it should be coming out sometime in the quasi-near future. However, in the meantime, Jason got to keep playing around with this "Pixel Lincoln" character. When doing so, he came up with the game that you see on Kickstarter.
So, a few game designers seem to have gained inspiration from classic video games recently. I don't know that I can blame them - I played a ton of Nintendo games, myself, as a kid. So, now we have Puzzle Strike, which is a Tetris/boardgame hybrid, BattleCon which is a throwback to Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter 2, and Pixel Lincoln. Instead of the fighting or puzzle genres, Pixel Lincoln takes its inspiration from the classic sidescroller. It really reminds me a lot of the old NES game "Bad Dudes," because of the pixelation and the scrolling through levels to fight mini-bosses and bosses. There's also an element of Super Mario Bros, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game, and maybe even some Double Dragon involved.
|Purposeful pixelation and over the top items|
Really, the initial setup reminded me of Ascension, and I was very concerned that the game was going to be far too reactionary and chaotic. When we played, it was two player, so it might have some of that feel with more people playing. However, in our game, I didn't have that frustration. It's very odd - you are still reacting, but you have both more and less control as you react. You have less control, because you have to react to every card in the line. Yet, you have more control, because you can choose to end your turn instead of reacting to the card - thus prepping your hand to deal with that card on your next turn (or just jump over it, if you've got the right card). It really just has a completely different feel than any other board game I've played.
|Losing life is less common in Pixel Lincoln|
Now, one of the other hot words right now is "deckbuilding." Yes, this is a deckbuilding game, but a lot of the traditional strategies and feel of "traditional" deckbuilding games (Dominion) isn't really in place here. One of the main deckbuilding strategies is to get rid of all of your initial cards, since you will be buying better ones. But in Pixel Lincoln, there aren't any jumps that you can buy (in the game we played at least), so you will need these initial cards all game, unless you intend to defeat/purchase every card you encounter. Yes, you might be better off by getting rid of the Bearderangs, but that's about it. And, there are still a few times that you can cull a few cards from your hand - when you encounter a "Level Checkpoint." Notably, this is also when you deal with bigger bosses: the mini-bosses and then the final boss for the level.
Overall, I don't think that Pixel Lincoln is going to revolutionize the way that you look at boardgames. However, I do think that it provides a fresh new game that gives a very different gaming experience from any other boardgame that I have played. I enjoyed the game that I got to play of it, and I intend to get a copy of the final release.
Hopefully I've helped shed a bit of light on what Pixel Lincoln actually is, and helped you make a decision on whether this is a game that is worth funding on Kickstarter. If not, I understand (after all, it's not my game), but if you're interested in supporting Pixel Lincoln, you can check it out the Pixel Lincoln Kickstarter campaign.