PlayStation Mobile spotlight: Life of Pixel


My name is Richard Hill-Whittall, I’m the Creative Director of Super Icon and I’d like to introduce you to a little green pixel who is coming to PlayStation Store for PlayStation Mobile tomorrow, 9th January, priced at £1.59/€1.99.

Life of Pixel is an old fashioned platform game with plenty of modern twists and puzzle elements. The star of the game is called Pixel and, as mentioned, he is a little green pixel. Tired of being part of the crowd, he wanted to see more and learn about his background. Luckily, he happened to live right next door to a videogame museum and under the cover of darkness he sneaked in to take a look…

Pixel found a World of Retro joy. A time when the humble pixel ruled!



Life of Pixel is a game dedicated to the brilliance of classic gaming machines. The game is comprised of 64 levels, which are spread over eight different game machines.

We thoroughly researched the graphics capabilities, pixel resolutions, colour palettes and scrolling of each machine and our aim was to recreate these limitations as closely as possible. So, using the Commodore C64 levels as an example, the level blocks, enemy sprites, player sprite and effects were drawn using the exact palette limitations and pixel resolution of the C64 – so nice chunky 2×1 pixels were the order of the day.


Each machine features eight levels, and the machines included within Life of Pixel are Atari 2600, ZX81, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, BBC Model B, Nintendo Gameboy and NES.

The game itself is full of classic platform elements old and new, such as moving and destructible platforms, double jumps, gravity inversion (walk on ceilings) and lots of different enemies. The aim is for the player to collect a certain amount of gems to open the EXIT door, with the focus on completing the level in the fastest possible time.


Working on Life of Pixel was just about the best experience in my 20-plus years of game development. To get the chance to create graphics within the limitations of all those old machines was a dream come true – and if you look carefully you will see lots of nods to classic games that were popular on the various machines.

I hope you all enjoy playing the game as much as I enjoyed making it!


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40 Comments 15 Author replies
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Really want to buy this game but I can’t since SCEE still have not expanded the PSM to more countries.

Can someone one at SCEE give us a status please?

    Fred Dutton 8 January, 2013 @ 4:12 pm    

    We’ve nothing to announce today I’m afraid. When there is news, you’ll all be the first to know.



chrisboers 8 January, 2013 @ 4:11 pm   3

While I am not a great fan of the ‘Retro’ hype that is going on, you seem to have gone the extra mile of making that retro look-and-feel fit.
I hope you’ve adapted the controls and gameplay to this era, as the clumsy controls that roamed then are now no longer acceptable of course.

So, which original game(s) did you mostly use as inspiration for the levels? Any Castlevania in there? (I think I see bats?)

    Richard Hill-Whittall 8 January, 2013 @ 4:35 pm    

    Agreed – the controls are up-to-date, we’ve implemented a nice flexible double jump mechanism which allows you a lot of control over the jumps. So while you still need to be skillful, there shouldn’t be any of the pixel perfect jumping frustration of old.

    Yep – there is a little bit of Castlevania in there, and lots of older stuff – like ‘Uridium’ in the screen above.

anunnakid 8 January, 2013 @ 4:24 pm   4

We need this in Sweden. When is PSM coming to Vita in Sweden?

Consu-Chops 8 January, 2013 @ 4:33 pm   5

Be good will that… but the UK PS Store won’t sell it… and there will be a 5 month delay without word of it.. Hmm.. like Counter-Strike!


I am all over this like white on rice.

RenanChagas 8 January, 2013 @ 4:44 pm   7

Any news about the playstation plus for this month.

USA already comment the content for january.

Agamer2006 8 January, 2013 @ 4:48 pm   8


Here you go

Most of the content is already on the store

Carnivius_Prime 8 January, 2013 @ 4:52 pm   9

Looks like a fun game and as someone who often does pixel art to Amstrad and NES specs I find it quite appealing. Although I have to wonder about some of the colors used in the ‘Super CPC World’ screenshot, particularly the low saturated brown on the right side of each brick and in the ground tile. 😛

Carnivius_Prime 8 January, 2013 @ 4:53 pm   10

And the CPC only has one shade of grey 😛

Lexingtongue 8 January, 2013 @ 4:58 pm   11

Aren’t the mountains in the first image modelled on the peaks in Castlevania Adventure on the Game Boy? Look decidedly familiar, they do!

aros2011 8 January, 2013 @ 4:58 pm   12

Definitely picking this up tomorrow, it looks awesome.

Richard Hill-Whittall 8 January, 2013 @ 5:00 pm   13

Ahem – we may have made a couple of tweaks to the CPU palette. It was unintentional though – so we’ll probably tweak those colours in a future update.

almighty-slayer 8 January, 2013 @ 5:03 pm   14

Looks fantastic, guys (as i said on Twitter). Keep up the great work.

Will certainly be buying this, and i hope you get a chance to release those other games 🙂


Carnivius_Prime 8 January, 2013 @ 5:04 pm   15

Doh. I somehow missed the ‘PlayStation Mobile’ bit. I can’t buy it. I only have a PS3 and PSP (which you’d think would be enough for this but nope). Does it support the Vita’s real buttons (am asking for when I eventually buy one as touchscreen controls really put me off and it’s why I don’t game on my phone)

    Richard Hill-Whittall 8 January, 2013 @ 5:35 pm    

    Yep – it fully supports the Vita physical buttons and this is definitely the best way to play.

Carnivius_Prime 8 January, 2013 @ 5:10 pm   16

By the way I still own a real CPC464 and I still play on it fairly often (and as recently as two days ago). This year’s going to be the 29th year I’ve owned it and it still works absolutely perfectly. I can’t say the same about some other machines I’ve owned. Am on my third PS3 and my seventh PC due to various hardware issues (to be fair only my first PS3 died, I replaced my second one with a Slim). Also surprised most of the cassette tapes still load fine too. 😀

    Richard Hill-Whittall 8 January, 2013 @ 5:44 pm    

    I never owned one at the time (I had a Speccy then a C64) but I remember playing at a mates house Yie Ar Kung Fu which was far better on CPC – and also Inside Outing/Get Dexter looked so good on CPC, and so nasty on my C64.

    The 4 colour isometric games looked amazing on CPC too.

WonderOne 8 January, 2013 @ 5:16 pm   17

Congratulations on releasing this awesome game on Playstation Mobile! Will buy it once PSM becomes available in the netherlands


Looks neat, and the price is nice. I’ll be sure to buy it once PSM expands into my country.


Hi Richard, nice work with the game looks great fun. Will be checking it out for sure. Looking forward to playing the NES levels.

Nice price to.

Any news when trophies and leaderboards will be added getting to PSM.

    Richard Hill-Whittall 8 January, 2013 @ 5:46 pm    

    Thanks bap10 🙂

    Not sure when trophies and leaderboards will be added to PSM, but as soon as they are we’ll do updates to both our PSM titles to add those features in.

Carnivius_Prime 8 January, 2013 @ 6:02 pm   20

Yay for real buttons 🙂
I’ll get a Vita eventually (still itching to play through Uncharted Golden Abyss I got on PS Plus since I’m a huge Uncharted fan) and I’ll likely get this game then since it’s cheap and I’m always happy to support retro-style games that actually go for some authenticity (I’ve seen so many games in recent years call themselves retro as an excuse for lousy graphics that wouldn’t have even been acceptable in the early to mid 80’s)

And yeah when developers made proper use of the CPC it could do great things (check out the recent fan-remakes of R-Type and Bubble Bobble for the CPC which are vastly superior to the official versions that came out on CPC all those years ago) but because in most areas it sat in third place behind the Spectrum and C64 a lot of devs simply ported over a version of the game from one of those machines (wide pixel mode if it was C64, 4 color mode if Spectrum). As the CPC didn’t have the 8×8 attribute and colors per sprite limits of the other two computers it always bugged me to see, for example, a 3 color sprite ported from the C64 version when the CPC could have used all 16 on-screen colors in that sprite if it wanted. Ah well. Good luck with the game. 🙂

Ants_Pai 8 January, 2013 @ 6:10 pm   21

Looking forward to getting this tomorrow as my first PSM game other than Lemmings I guess. I’m glad you’re going to support trophies when they arrive as that’s the main reason I don’t buy any PSM games for my Vita ;__; But anyway thanks!!!! Looks amazing!

Carnivius_Prime 8 January, 2013 @ 6:22 pm   22

Hm…. odd. Something about the ‘Only One Level Left’ screenshot was bugging me but I couldn’t work out what but it’s hit me. The rock texture in the ground tile. I just overlayed it onto one of my cavern background tiles in a NES-style game I was developing some time ago called HERO: Celestial Force and it’s an almost exact match…

Carnivius_Prime 8 January, 2013 @ 6:34 pm   23

And that’s not all. The blue and white Iron Man shares great similarities with an animated 4 color running sprite I did for CPC. The legs, upper arm and chest are identical. What’s going on?

    Richard Hill-Whittall 8 January, 2013 @ 6:45 pm    

    Coincidence? Drop me a mail to rich[at] if you want to see our tile sets/GFX.

Carnivius_Prime 8 January, 2013 @ 6:43 pm   24

I’ve made an animated gif comparing my originals with the mentioned pieces from here if you need proof. I’d just like an explanation.

Carnivius_Prime 8 January, 2013 @ 7:08 pm   25

Email sent. Thanks for the address.

INTERista_DMC 8 January, 2013 @ 7:08 pm   26

can someone answer me when the PSN mobile come out for rest of the world ?


Looks like a cool retro game. Love the 8 bit art although 16bit is my fave era!
I will be picking this up for sure and it’s good to hear some comments from the developer, particulary the one about patching in trophies and leader boards whenever they are released for PSM titles.
At under £2 it’d be wrongdoer not to pick this up for some retro fun

Speaking of which, any news on PSM Trophiesfrom the Blog Team?

    Richard Hill-Whittall 9 January, 2013 @ 10:45 am    

    We’re hoping to visit the 16-bit era at a later date with a possible sequel to Pixel.

Aces73High 8 January, 2013 @ 7:54 pm   28

WOWSER! This looks right up my street. I’ve just been discharged after a week in hospital today, and Life of Pixel looks like just the tonic I need. I’ll be downloading this the very second it hits the store!

Good luck with the game Richard.

    Richard Hill-Whittall 9 January, 2013 @ 10:44 am    

    Thanks dude.

    Hope you have a speedy recovery, and that you enjoy playing Pixel 🙂

Tsubaki_14 8 January, 2013 @ 8:17 pm   29

I bought a sony xperia S and was really REALLY looking forward to accessing PSM :(… even though there’s a US store it STILL wouldn’t let me login, possibly because it’s detecting my area >:| isn’t there any chance at all for the store to be accessible in ME area? This is so unfair man we’re the biggest sony fans around here!

cowbanana 8 January, 2013 @ 8:26 pm   30

I would buy this if I could. But SCEE’s ridiculous incompetence puts a stop to that.

So I guess everyone loses, right? Why is the situation even like this in the first place? Why can’t we get a straight answer?

As you can see this situation only creates resentment against SCEE and PSM.

I might not even care by the time it rolls out here.

Project2insanity 8 January, 2013 @ 9:38 pm   31

@cowbanana; Incompetence is a foolish word to use when you don’t know what goes on behind the scenes.


This game sounds excellent – top work Super Icon, and big props for the attention to detail. This is _so_ going to be my next Vita game :).


When is PSM being released in New Zealand!!!! I want CTR on my Xperia S 🙁

RossyWilson 8 January, 2013 @ 11:49 pm   34

looks promising.



i have an xperia s and have not seen that on sale, as far as i know psm in not about getting ps1 games on to phones, there was some kind of beta store a while back that did have the ps1 games for phones but that seems to be gone now as sony are focusing on original titles like this and rebel ect.

I REALLY want to buy itfor my PSVITA.

But SONY thinks that o live in the wrong country so no support for Playstation Mobile in Sweden.

Which sucks. Really.

Both SCEE and Super Icon loose in this case.

I also have a PSMobile certified phone. But can’t buy it there either.

When can we have some update for PSMobile for Scandinavian countries? I can see that you can download an executable virtual machine for PsMobile under settings in my PSVita

    Richard Hill-Whittall 9 January, 2013 @ 10:41 am    

    Hopefully SCEE will roll out PSM into Sweden and other territories soon. I remember they were pretty good at getting PSPMinis into lots of different territories when we published Minis.

    So fingers crossed it will be soon.

INS1GHTFUL 9 January, 2013 @ 11:08 am   37

i really like the look of this and the price is good (other PS Mobile devs should learn). I’m definitely buying


Bought it and love it. Plays and looks great and is a bargain!
Looking forward to the 16 bit sequel already.
Great work and hope its a success for you.

    Richard Hill-Whittall 11 January, 2013 @ 4:29 pm    

    Thanks FBZ – really appreciate the feedback, and glad you like the game.

quagga_tattoo 13 January, 2013 @ 12:58 pm   39

I’d love to play this. But don’t have a Sony mobile. I do have a PS3, will it be available on PS3 ?

I love this game remind me of the top Wii games I play back in the day from the NES and I like the soundtrack to the game also does anybody know we’re a website I can go to to get the soundtrack for this game